Now Available: Revised Working with Support Personnel Guideline and Draft Standard of Practice on Clinical Supervision

ACSLPA’s revised Working with Support Personnel (SP) Guideline was approved by Council at the January 23rd meeting. The Guideline is relevant to all SLPs and audiologists practicing in Alberta. It is the first revision of the guideline since 2011 and amalgamates what were two separate guidelines for SLPs and audiologists into a single document.

Major revisions to the Guideline include the following:

  • A new, user friendly document format.
  • Easy access to links and resources, including appendices that can be printed and shared with others as required.
  • Revised Standard of Practice indicators are embedded directly into the guideline so that it’s easy for regulated members to see how the Standard (which is the minimum practice expectation) and the more detailed Guideline, which addresses implementation of the Standard of Practice and other considerations, work in concert with one another.
  • There is no longer a specific percentage of direct and indirect supervision expected of the supervising SLP or audiologist. Rather, the SLP or audiologist must consider various factors such as the skill set or competence of the SP, the client’s individual needs, and any factors that are unique to the practice environment when determining the amount of supervision that is required. Regulated members will be expected to have sound rationale for the decisions they make in this regard and should be able to articulate those rationale as required.

In addition to the guideline, we have also posted a draft, revised Standard of Practice on Clinical Supervision.

As the standard awaits an external stakeholder consultation by Alberta Health, which has been delayed due to the impacts of COVID-19, the current Clinical Supervision Standard of Practice (2015) will remain in effect until such time as the stakeholder consultation can be completed. Both the current and the proposed standard are available here for your review.

A significant change to the Standard of Practice is that regulated members are expected to refrain from entering into an employment agreement whereby they clinically supervise the person who employs them (e.g., a speech-language assistant who owns their own business contracts directly with an SLP to provide supervision to them in their clinical practice).

Both the Guideline and the Standard of Practice utilize a Right Touch regulatory approach, with the interests and safety of clients as the primary considerations. A right touch framework implies that we work to find the right level of regulation based on the level of risk to a client-sometimes that will be less and sometimes that will be more, dependent on the situation.

Stay tuned for information about a Lunch and Learn session on the new Guideline and Standard of Practice which will be scheduled late February/early March.

Questions may be directed to Susan Rafaat, Deputy Registrar at deputyregistar@acslpa.ca.