Continuing professional development is a requirement for all speech and language therapists.
Here you will find resources to help you to continually improve your skills and expand your knowledge on the topic of technology.
The HCPC updated standards of proficiency (in effect from 1 September 2023) include changes around digital skills and new technologies. The updated standards emphasise the need to be able to keep up to date with digital skills and new technologies.
Please note: the resources on this page are provided for informational purposes only. No endorsement is expressed or implied, and 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.
Please contact us with any feedback on these pages.
Professional development scenarios
We are developing a suite of scenarios on our CPD site, which includes scenarios relating to technology. You will be able to use these individually, or with colleagues, or in supervision sessions, to support your CPD.
A link to this new resource will be provided once it is available.
Frequently asked questions
- How can I set up a social media account for my service?
- Should I have separate professional and personal social media accounts?
- What privacy settings should we have on our social media accounts?
- How often should you update and monitor communications technology?
- Will the use of communications technology lead to therapists being contacted out of working hours?
- When is it appropriate to use social media to communicate with clients?
- How should text messages, phone calls, emails and other correspondence be recorded in clinical notes?
- Should you share personal mobile phone details with colleagues and service users?
- How should I respond to complaints or inappropriate posts on social media/via email?
How can I set up a social media account for my service?
- Read the RCSLT communications technology guidance.
- Speak to the communications team within your organisation for social media policies, advice and support.
- Speak to colleagues and other services that are currently active on social media to learn from their experiences.
Should I have separate professional and personal social media accounts?
Many therapists prefer to have a personal social media account and an additional professional or business account. This is one way of maintaining a boundary between work and personal life. It enables you to manage any inappropriate contact on a personal account, such as a service-user requesting to be your ‘friend’ on Facebook by, possibly, redirecting them onto the professional or service account.
If private therapists on Twitter use their accounts for multiple purposes, a disclosure could be useful, e.g. stating that any views or opinions expressed are their own and not their services.
What privacy settings should we have on our social media accounts?
Depending on the exact social media in use, there are various options for privacy settings. For example, on Facebook you can select who can join a particular group, or send messages to the whole group. Consider carefully the purpose of using of the communications technology before you set up the social media account, including the level of privacy needed.
Take into account:
- Who will be using the account within the service, and who the target audience and who other likely audiences might be.
- How often a moderator will need to check it.
- Who may use the social media to contact you, and what kind of messages they might want to communicate.
- What kind of information you might need to respond with.
How often should you update and monitor communications technology?
Due to the easy accessibility of communications technology, it is often expected that responses to communication will also occur quickly.
Many now assume emails are checked every work day. If this is not the case, it may be useful to have a disclaimer on your email signature stating your working pattern and possibly when a response may be expected. If you are out-of-the-office or on annual leave, an out-of-office message and details of who to contact in an emergency can be set up on your email account.
Some advise that, in order to appear active, Twitter accounts should be monitored at least daily and tweets sent around daily. Facebook pages should also be monitored daily, with posts at least weekly. Refer to, and if necessary set, your own service standards regarding checking and updating social media.
Comments and messages sent via social media may be viewed by potential service-users. Messages are easily forwarded on, or screenshots can be taken and shared. Consider responding to messages in date order, and be mindful about the content you include in your posts.
Will the use of communications technology lead to therapists being contacted out of working hours?
Communications technology often allows patients to contact services at a time that is convenient to them, therefore expectations about response times need to be consistently managed. Ensure that you/your organisation have clear guidelines about when messages are checked and responded to. Don’t initiate a conversation out of these hours, as this will suggest you are accessible at times when you are not.
When is it appropriate to use social media to communicate with clients?
Social media is a valuable method of communicating with a wide audience about relevant topics or issues. It can be used to share general information, such as tips and strategies, but should not be used for any matters that are confidential, including any patient-specific information.
How should text messages, phone calls, emails and other correspondence be recorded in clinical notes?
Should you share personal mobile phone details with colleagues and service users?
Along with the HCPC and RCSLT guidelines and standards, consider the issues raised in the Professionalism section. Consider the most appropriate means of communication with service-users. If they ask for your personal mobile phone details, be prepared with other options for communication that you can offer.
Independent practitioners may wish to consider having separate phone numbers for professional and personal use. For professional discussions, colleagues should use secure technology, i.e. work telephones, email accounts, tablets etc. that meets information governance standards.
How should I respond to complaints or inappropriate posts on social media/via e-mail?
Complaints should be managed in the same way as a complaint in person or on the telephone, i.e. according to your organisation’s policy, and HCPC standards and RCSLT guidance. This will normally include acknowledging the complaint quickly and giving a timescale within which the person will receive a fuller response.
If a complaint can be viewed by the public on social media, a brief response stating that you will contact the person privately with a fuller response should be posted. This will make other viewers aware that the post has been acknowledged and addressed by the organisation. Any discussions about specific incidents or cases should be carried out following the confidentiality and professionalism guidelines, and not on social media.
Inappropriate or abusive posts should be removed, if possible as soon as they are identified, with an explanation, if required, to the poster as to why it was inappropriate. If you cannot remove posts, e.g. in a forum, a message clearly stating the guidelines for posting should be repeated to all users to ensure appropriate use of the communications technology and continued engagement from other users.
Videos and webinars
YouTube contains numerous videos demonstrating the use of iPads and apps in therapy. Many developers web pages also contain video demos and some training resources are available online. None of these have been officially accredited and should be evaluated using professional skills.