The minimum requirements for SLPs’ and audiologists’ professional practice are defined in three key documents:

Code of Ethics Standards of Practice Competency profiles
  • The WHY
  • The principles governing conduct and professional practice
    (i.e. moral motivations and values).
  • The HOW
  • How regulated members must practice.
  • The WHAT
  • What regulated members must know to practice competently.

These documents set out the minimum requirements against which a practitioner’s conduct (i.e., professional behaviour) is measured. A breach of the minimum requirements as outlined in these documents may constitute unprofessional conduct (as defined in the HPA). All requirements set out in these three documents are applicable to all regulated members, regardless of their practice setting, or whether they provide clinical or non-clinical services.

Code of Ethics

The ACSLPA Code of Ethics (the Code) outlines the ethical principles, values, and responsibilities to which regulated members must adhere. Regulated members must practice in accordance with the Code.

The Code:

  • Provides a reference for regulated members to guide them in ethical behavior and decision making,
  • Serves as a tool for evaluating ethical behavior and as a legal reference for professional conduct, and
  • Outlines to the public what they can expect in terms of ethical practice from SLPs and Audiologists in Alberta.

ACSLPA’s Code of Ethics is based on the following four bioethical principles[1], which serve as the foundation for ethical behavior of regulated members.

[1] Beauchamp, T.L., & Childress, J.F. (2001). Principles of biomedical ethics. New York City, NY: Oxford University Press.

The ethical responsibilities of regulated members are organized under the ACSLPA core values:

Respect for all persons Professionalism Collaboration Accountability
Regulated members demonstrate respect for all persons, promote the well-being of others, and recognize clients’ right to autonomy in decision-making regarding their care. Regulated members demonstrate professional behaviour and integrity in the delivery of safe, ethical, quality services. Regulated members foster collaborative practice with clients, service providers, and others to support integrated client-centered care. Regulated members take responsibility for their actions and decisions.

Regulated members should refer to the Code of Ethics on the ACSLPA website for the full list of indicators for ethical behavior for each core value.

Standards of Practice

The Standards of Practice (i.e. the Standards) are the established measures or norms which define the minimum level of professional performance that regulated members must demonstrate in their practice.

The Standards are updated on a regular basis to reflect changing practice needs and trends. Each regulated member of ACSLPA is accountable for practicing in accordance with the Standards, regardless of role, practice area, or practice setting

The Standards have different purposes for stakeholders, as shown in the table below.

Stakeholder Relevance of Standards
Regulated Members Use the Standards to obtain guidance related to accountabilities, expectations, and minimum requirements for the practice of their profession.
Regulatory College (ACSLPA) Uses the Standards to inform practice related to continuing competency, complaints, and the conduct of regulated members.
Educators Can use the Standards to serve as a framework for curriculum content and development, practice evaluation and program review, and in conjunction with entry-to-practice competency statements.
Managers/Employers Can use the Standards to guide development of job descriptions, job roles, and performance evaluation.
Other Health Professionals May use the Standards to provide insight into roles and responsibilities, overlapping areas of practice, and opportunities for collaboration.
The Public May use the Standards to gain an understanding of what they can expect from services that are provided by SLPs and Audiologists.

The Standards of Practice consist of six broad areas as shown below.

Standard Areas
Standard Area 1.0 Service Delivery
Standard Area 2.0 Professional Responsibility/Accountability
Standard Area 3.0 Continuing Competence Program
Standard Area 4.0 Practice Management
Standard Area 5.0 Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct
Standard Area 6.0 Restricted Activities

* The table is for demonstration purposes only; content is subject to change.

Each Standard Area is further comprised of individual Standards of Practice, as shown in the example of Standard Area 1.0.

Standard Area Standards of Practice Under Standard Areas 1.0
1.0 Service Delivery 1.1 Client-Centered Service
1.2 Evidence-Informed Practice
1.3 Client Assessment and Intervention
1.4 Communication
1.5 Collaboration
1.6 Concurrent Practice

Each Standard of practice is comprised of three elements:

Note: The indicators in a standard are not listed in order of importance, nor are they all inclusive. All indicators are applicable to both SLPs and Audiologists. Each standard also includes a glossary of important terms used in the standard.

The complete Standards of Practice are available on the ACSLPA website for your review.

Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Competency Profiles

Each profession’s Competency Profile states the minimum knowledge and skills required for entry to practice as an SLP or Audiologist. The profiles were developed as part of a national project, using language common to healthcare providers to better support interprofessional collaboration. The profiles are evidence-based, needs-driven, and outcome measured.

ACSLPA uses the Competency Profiles in its registration, continuing competence, and professional conduct functions. The profile is based on the seven roles required of SLPs and Audiologists (shown below), which are broken down further into essential competencies and sub-competencies.

Advisory Statements, Guidelines, Position Statements, and Protocols

As discussed in Module 1, the College has also made available a number of supporting documents, developed to support the professional practice of regulated members. Their relationship to the Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice, and Competency Profiles is shown below (see Module 1 or ACSLPA website, for more). New documents are developed, as needed, to address issues relevant to regulated members. Each regulated member is responsible for staying informed regarding new directives and practicing in compliance with these documents.