This guidance is for RCSLT education representatives to support them during the RCSLT accreditation process.
About this guidance
The RCSLT accredits pre-registration undergraduate and postgraduate degree-level entry routes to the speech and language therapy profession. Find out more about RCSLT accreditation and the benefits of accreditation.
Education representatives are professional members of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT), registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), who have experience in pre-registration speech and language therapy education and practice.
As an RCSLT education representative, you have an important role to play in the RCSLT’s accreditation process for pre-registration entry routes to the speech and language therapy profession. This document provides information and guidance to support you in this role.
The accreditation process is described fully in Accreditation for pre-registration entry routes to speech and language therapy: Information for programme providers. Please make sure that you read that guidance in conjunction with this one.
You can also download the guidance for education representatives as a PDF.
Your role as an RCSLT education representative
Your main role in the accreditation process is to critically review documentation submitted by the programme provider to assess whether the programme aligns with the 2021 RCSLT Curriculum Guidance (PDF), and to submit a report to RCSLT with your recommendation regarding (re-) accreditation of the programme.
You may be required to attend meetings and/or an accreditation event (online or in person).
You will work collaboratively with the RCSLT, the programme provider and other stakeholders, demonstrating positive regard for others’ perspectives and maintaining confidentiality.
You will impartially represent the RCSLT’s position in any communication, meeting or event, upholding the reputation of the RCSLT. You will disclose any known conflict of interest and biases in the course of your work as an RCSLT education representative.
You will submit your report to the RCSLT professional development team on a prepared template within four weeks of receiving the programme documentation. Your report will highlight areas of good practice, identify areas in the curriculum which may require development, and suggest possible solutions or developments.
As well as your recommendation regarding (re-)accreditation of the programme, you will also identify commendations, recommendations or conditions (if any). See the section on completing your report for more information.
When conditions are attached, you will review further submitted evidence from the programme provider and confirm to the RCSLT (via email) whether/when these have been met.
Preparing for your role
As an education representative, you will already have some knowledge of or experience in the design and delivery of pre-registration programmes and of quality assurance processes.
To fully understand the context in which pre-registration programmes are delivered, you should be familiar with relevant professional standards and guidelines including:
- RCSLT curriculum guidance (PDF) (2021)
- RCSLT practice-based learning roles and responsibilities framework (2021)
- RCSLT guidance for employers and universities on the speech and language therapy degree apprenticeship in England (2021)
- HCPC standards of proficiency for speech and language therapists
- HCPC standards of education and training
You will need to refer to the curriculum guidance during your assessment of the programme documentation, and you may need to refer to the other documents listed.
The RCSLT will inform you of any relevant updates, and of any new standards, guidelines or policies that might impact on pre-registration programmes.
The RCSLT will offer support for new education representatives. The RCSLT can also put you in touch with more experienced education representatives who can offer support and guidance before your first accreditation.
Support from the RCSLT
When you agree to act as education representative for a specific programme (re-)accreditation, you will be given a named contact at the RCSLT who will work with both you and the programme provider to ensure the process runs smoothly.
Your named contact will give you access to all the documents needed, as well as to the information for programme providers. They will be your first point of contact at the RCSLT and will respond to any queries you have about the process and your role.
The RCSLT named contact will liaise directly with the programme provider during the development stage of the process to ensure that the new programme/planned changes align with the curriculum guidance. They will send the placement provider all relevant forms for completion (application form; audit form), advise the programme provider on document production and completion and on what supporting documentation is required.
They will agree a date for submission of the documentation by the programme provider that suits both the programme provider and you as education representative. They will send you all the completed documentation within one to two weeks of receiving it from the programme provider and agree with you a date for submission of your report, usually within four weeks of you receiving the documentation.
You can get in touch with your RCSLT named contact at any point during the accreditation process, particularly if you have any concerns about the programme you are accrediting or the evidence submitted by the programme provider. You and your RCSLT named contact can discuss and agree on relevant additional documentation that may be required from the programme provider. They can then liaise with the programme provider about your concerns and request further evidence on your behalf.
Most contact between you, the RCSLT named contact, and the placement provider will be via email or phone. If you feel that a virtual or face-to-face meeting is required, you can ask your RCSLT named contact to organise this at a time that suits all parties.
You and your RCSLT named contact will agree on the agenda and who should be present at the meeting (eg members of the programme team, learners, placement provider partners, employers) depending on the issues to be discussed. They will send the agenda out along with all relevant paperwork least two weeks before the meeting takes place.
If you are required to attend an accreditation event in person, your RCSLT named contact will send you all paperwork related to the event at least four weeks in advance of the event.
The RCSLT will pay travel, subsistence, accommodation and any other out-of-pocket expenses for the education representative where necessary.
Completing your report
You should complete your report on the RCSLT Accreditation Education Representative Report form and submit it to your RCSLT named contact within four weeks of receiving the programme documentation for review.
Notes on completing the report
Please ensure you complete all the information for Sections 1 and 2 and that you clearly indicate your recommendation for (re-)accreditation by checking one of the boxes at the top of Section 3.
In the following sections, include any recommendations and conditions, if applicable. The rows will expand with your text. You can add further rows to these sections if necessary.
Your recommendations and conditions should be restricted to aspects of the programme that impact on its alignment with the RCSLT curriculum guidance (CG).
- In column 1, identify the specific section of the CG which is addressed by your recommendation or condition.
- In column 2, state your recommendation or condition clearly and concisely.
- In column 3, indicate what additional evidence is required from the programme provider to demonstrate that the recommendation has been acted on or the condition has been met. If you are not sure about what evidence to request, please discuss this with your RCSLT named contact before completing the form.
Recommendations do not need to be met before the programme is granted accreditation or re-accreditation. The aim is to encourage further enhancements, and/or to support the programme team in internal discussions (eg about resourcing). In this section, please highlight aspects of the programme or curriculum that would benefit from development (with reference to a specific CG section), but that do not materially affect the programme’s overall alignment with the CG.
Conditions are requirements the programme must meet before it can be accredited or have re-accreditation confirmed. RCSLT will work with the programme provider to ensure that the conditions are met within an agreed timescale. In this section, please highlight key aspects of the programme or curriculum for which there is insufficient evidence of alignment with a specific section of the CG thus impacting on the programme’s overall ability to produce graduates with the required capabilities for practice.
You can see some examples of recommendations and conditions in the sample completed report. If you are not sure whether your concern about the programme should be designated a recommendation or a condition, please contact your RCSLT named contact for discussion before completing the report form.
The commendations section provides an opportunity for you to highlight areas of good practice within the programme. Commendations do not affect accreditation, but can be helpful to the programme provider in other quality assurance processes.
Finally, don’t forget to sign and date the report form before submitting it (via email) to your RCSLT named contact.