Continuing professional development is a requirement for all speech and language therapists.
- Meeting the HCPC standards
- Clinical Topics A to Z for learning resources related to specific client groups
Please contact us with any feedback on these pages.
Please note: the resources on this page are provided for informational purposes only. No endorsement is expressed or implied, unless otherwise stated. While we make every effort to ensure this page is up to date and relevant, we cannot take responsibility for pages maintained by external providers.
- Elklan – a training programme for building capacity, through a whole school approach. (Impact reports on website).
- Speech Link Multimedia a multi-disciplinary team founded in 2004 offering online packages, to enable schools to support pupils with speech, language and communication needs
- RQIA (Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority)The RQIA was established in 2005 and is responsible for registering, monitoring and inspecting health and social care services in Northern Ireland, while encouraging improvement in their quality.
- Flying Start NHS® is a national development programme for the first year of practice in NHS Scotland for newly qualified nurses, midwives and allied health professionals. There is a module on delegation to health care support workers.
- Royal College of Nursing Accountability and Delegation
- Competencies for Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers in England Skills for Care (and Skills for Health)
- RCSLT dysphagia training and competency framework (PDF)
- RCSLT position statement on apprenticeships (PDF)
- RCSLT guidance on delegation
- HCPC Standards on delegation
- Stokes, J & McCormick, M. (2015) Speech and Language Therapy and Professional Identity: Challenging Received Wisdom. J&R Press
- Leslie, P. & Crawford, H. (2017) Decision Making and Ethics in Dysphagia 2017 J&R Press
- Enderby P, & John A. (2015). Therapy Outcome Measures for Rehabilitation Professionals
Our practice-based scenarios cover a broad range of subjects you may encounter in your professional life. Each scenario provides a work-based problem for you to consider and is designed to prompt discussion.
They can be done on your own, with colleagues or in groups, for example as part of a Hub or CEN.
Within each scenario you will also find links to key resources, areas of professional practice and HCPC standards.
- Scenario 1: Delegation within SLT team to maximise skills mix (Word)
- Scenario 2: Delegation to education staff (Word)
- Scenario 3: NHS and independent SLTs sharing information (Word)
- Scenario 4: Delegation to Students (Word)
Frequently asked questions
|What is my responsibility for tasks that I have delegated?||The definition of formal delegation is:
The allocation of work from a registered SLT to another member of the SLT workforce (registered SLT, student SLT, SLT assistant (job titles may vary for this position see Glossary of terminology).
As the registered practitioner you have a legal responsibility:
You retain accountability for the delegation, monitoring and ensuring that the outcome of the task is up to standard.
The SLT assistant is responsible for working within their level of competency and is accountable for accepting the delegated task and for his/her actions in carrying out the task.
This is providing that:
For more information go to: What is delegation
|What is the difference between delegation of a task and assignment of a task?||If a task is delegated to someone, they are responsible for undertaking the task while the registered practitioner retains accountability for the task.
If a task is assigned to someone both the responsibility and accountability for the activity passes from one individual to another.
|What is the difference between responsibility and accountability?||The main difference between responsibility and accountability is that responsibility can be shared while accountability cannot.
Being accountable not only means being responsible for something but also ultimately being answerable for your actions.
|The reablement workers in our AHP team offer support across the professions.
What is my responsibility for tasks delegated to them?
|As the registered practitioner you are accountable for the SLT activities delegated even if you do not have line management or overall supervisory responsibility for the individual to whom you have delegated.
This may include accountability for training, support and monitoring of the reablement workers and liaising with direct supervisors to ensure that appropriate support and guidance is provided to complete those tasks delegated.
|I delegated a task to a health care support worker in our team which was inadequately carried out, leading to a complaint being made by the service user’s family who thought that the activity should have been undertaken by a registered member of staff.
Am I professionally liable and will my insurance cover it?
|It is important that when SLT activities are delegated this is communicated effectively and documented so that all concerned understand the rationale and the anticipated positive outcomes for the service user. View Principles of Delegation (Word doc) more information.
As the registered practitioner you are professionally accountable for the activities of support staff to whom you have delegated. They will have responsibility for ensuring they are working within their own scope of practice.
Where an issue of inadequate competence arises the SLT has a duty to follow this up with the support worker and their line manager through their line management arrangements and other organisational procedures. Further training may be deemed suitable or it may be that the support worker is given another task where competency is not in doubt / assured.
RCSLT insurance provides full cover against 3rd party actions and legal defence costs, for all members whether a fully certified therapist or associate member providing appropriate support and supervision is available and accessed regularly. See here for more information.
|I am already stretched in my working day.
How can I justify prioritising supervision for an SLT assistant over seeing service users?
|RCSLT recognises that competing priorities can often endanger the regularity of supervision, in particular direct contact with service users. But as an essential component of a good quality speech and language therapy service is that potential risk can be identified and managed and is an effective supervision for all staff supporting this process.
This has been highlighted in a number of recent health service reviews, for example, the Winterbourne View Hospital final report includes a recommendation that service providers “should provide effective and appropriate leadership, management, mentoring and supervision” (DH, 2012, p. 54). As the registered practitioner you are responsible for ensuring adequate supervision is in place, and ultimately are accountable for the tasks undertaken. The RCSLT Supervision guidelines recommend the frequency and duration for all practising SLTs and assistants are the same, regardless of experience – every 4 – 6 weeks together with managerial supervision and ongoing support as required.
|Collaboration with education staff|
|I am a NQP with 28 schools and so can only see the children a couple of times a year.
Can a teaching assistant be expected to perform the job of a therapist?
|Activities can be delegated to TA’s within their own scope of practice and the RCSLT guidelines on delegating tasks.
The registered therapist retains accountability for any tasks delegated and ongoing monitoring and support of the TA to ensure that any changes to treatment are addressed as required.
|I am an experienced SLT who has delegated therapy carryover tasks to a learning support assistant (LSA) in a school.
On returning to school to outcome the therapy, I find that they have not completed the task at all, and have not informed me.
What can I do?
|This can be a key area of difficulty when delegating to a member of staff who you do not have supervisory responsibility for. It is important to know the managerial and supervisory structure in which the LSA operates prior to asking them to undertake therapy carry over tasks.
Then if it not possible to resolve a matter between yourself and the LSA directly, you can contact those responsible for management and supervision to discuss the matter further and try to overcome any barriers to effective implementation
|How do you arrange successful delegation of therapy carry over tasks in school?||RCSLT recognises that this can be difficult to do, however, good practice indicates:
|Delegating to students|
|I am an SLT who is supervising a student on a role emerging placement in a service without an onsite SLT in place.
What is my responsibility for tasks that they undertake?
|Delegation of work to student SLTs needs to happen within the frameworks for supervision of students detailed by the HCPC and individual Universities.
RCSLT recognises that role emerging placements may challenge the traditional approach to supervising a student as the student may have day-to-day support and management by a non-SLT or non-AHP.
The supervising SLT retains responsibility for the caseload.
In cases of role-emerging placements where there may not be an SLT on site, the supervising SLT, service provider and higher education institute need to establish clear lines of accountability and supervision prior to the placement taking place. Any agreements need to include consideration of:
|I am a student on my last placement before graduating.
What should I expect in terms of tasks delegated to me?
|Clinical education requires that you be given opportunities to develop competencies in all areas including assessment.
The appropriateness of delegation will depend on your level of training and will typically be addressed in University placement documentation available to you and your supervising clinician.
If you have concerns around delegation – either being given too little or too much – you should address this with your University and the supervising clinician.
|I am an NQP working in an SLT team working with highly experienced SLT support staff in the community.
I don’t feel confident to delegate tasks to them.
What should I do?
|Discuss required levels of competence for a task and your concerns with your supervisor.
You may wish to increase your confidence by undertaking a CPD activity e.g. complete the Flying Start module on delegation.
Discuss their levels of skills, knowledge and experience with the staff themselves.