This section provides links to all of the pre-registration EDS competencies project’s supporting documents.
The new pre-registration eating, drinking and swallowing competencies have been developed to ensure that learners are acquiring the same entry-level knowledge and skills of dysphagia, regardless of where they are undertaking their pre-registration education and training.
The competencies were published in February 2021 with the aim that all learners are graduating with them from 2026.
They form part of a larger project to ensure the future speech and language therapy workforce is fit for purpose for the challenges of the twenty-first century.
Read and download the document below:
Signing off the competencies
All learners will need to maintain evidence of the sign-offs that they receive for the pre-registration eating, drinking and swallowing competencies, and HEIs may require that learners also maintain a record of sign-offs for their exposure hours. The RCSLT pre-registration eating, drinking and swallowing competencies sign-off sheet (updated May 2022) is intended to serve as a record of these signatures.
The sign-off sheet is available as both a Word document and a PDF:
- Competencies sign-off sheet (Word)
- Competencies sign-off sheet (PDF)
- Competencies sign-off sheet with achieved signatures only (Word)
- Competencies sign-off sheet with achieved signatures only (PDF)
Fulfilling the competencies on practice placements
The competencies require 60 total hours of practice placement experience in EDS. For more on how to fulfil these hours, particularly without an EDS-specific placement, read what constitutes an hour of eating, drinking and swallowing exposure (PDF).
The competencies cover all stages of interaction with the service user, from pre-assessment to discharge. Learn more with this flowchart (PDF), which maps the competencies onto the service user journey.
Completion of the practice placement hours component fulfils the required amount of EDS exposure, but does not automatically demonstrate competence in EDS. Learners will be required to have double sign off of 16 out of 20 of the competencies. Some of the 20 competencies need to be demonstrated and signed-off through face-to-face exposure. For more, read which competencies require face-to-face exposure in the clinical setting (PDF).
Interested in examples of how exposure hours are being fulfilled and the competencies are being implemented on practice placements? Read the eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties (EDS) practice placement case studies.
To support practice educators, the pre-registration EDS community of practice developed a document which gives examples of activities on placement (PDF) and how they can be used to sign of both the competencies and the 2023 HCPC standards of proficiency.
Learners can keep track of their progress by using their RCSLT online CPD diary with this useful guide
eLearning and simulation
The RCSLT have developed this free eLearning to support achievement of the competencies. If you are considering using this with students whilst on placement, please speak to your HEI as many have plans to use this within HEI based learning.
Speech Pathology Australia have developed this useful simulation based learning program.
We understand that given varying start times and course lengths, not all speech and language therapy courses will begin implementing the competencies in the same entry year, which may lead to variation across the UK in what to expect from learners before the competencies enter the HCPC SOPs in 2026. For guidance, read the implementation timeline and end-point expectations for learners graduating with the pre-registration eating, drinking and swallowing competencies.
Entering the workforce
The pre-registration EDS community of practice have produced this useful guide to support NQPs, their employers and supervisors during their transition into the workforce.
Have questions or feedback about the pre-registration EDS competencies? Let us know.