The Professional Development Framework is a profession-specific resource and has been designed with speech and language therapists in mind, and as such the primary audience is SLTs. However, it is also of interest to operational and strategic managers and leaders, as well as managers in multi-disciplinary teams from different professions. It is also of interest to service users, students, support workers and those considering speech and language therapy as a career.

There is no right or wrong way to use the framework – it has been designed to be flexible and help to meet your needs irrespective of career stage or setting. The framework can be used in the processes that support professional development including but not limited to:

  • Appraisals / individual performance reviews
  • Supervision (one-to-one, group and peer), mentoring or career coaching
  • Preceptorship for newly qualified practitioners
  • Return to practice
  • Personal statements for job applications including promotions within and beyond the profession
  • Articulating advanced and expert level (transferable) knowledge and skills for career progression that transcends professional boundaries e.g. at the senior management and executive level
  • Preparation for the HCPC audit
  • Moving sectors e.g. into a diverse role, academia, or a leadership role
  • Developing a portfolio career
  • Active retirement planning (Sainty, 2018)

Here’s some tips to help you get the most out of the framework:

  • Each of the core components and domains of practice do not need equal weighting and attention. You may find you want to shine a light on aspects at different points in your career e.g. a move into education will see a greater focus on facilitation of learning, or a leadership secondment with a national arm’s length body will see a greater focus on leadership and management.
  • You can work through the framework on your own or you may want to map yourself into it with a trusted colleague or critical friend. As with most frameworks, it is the conversations they start that can be the most illuminating and support deeper reflection and learning on your own professional development.
  • It can be used as a tool within supervision but, if your supervisor is also your line manager, this dynamic may affect the nature of the discussion and is one to notice.
  • Use the detailed topics as starting points to identify courses and other learning opportunities e.g. secondments to support your career progression.
  • Return to the framework at different stages of your career to review your progression and identify new topics for learning and development.
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