12 June 2023
The RCSLT, with funding from Health Education England (now NHS England), has launched a new UK wide online hub and competency framework for speech and language therapy support workers, their supervisors, and the services they work for.
Support worker is a broad term used to refer to people working in a variety of different roles and job titles at all levels within the unregistered speech and language therapy workforce.
The hub was developed in response to feedback from a 2021 RCSLT survey into support workers which identified issues such as a lack of clarity around job roles and career progression as well as limited support systems and training. It aims to support equitable and consistent training for support workers, with clear progression routes and guidance on professional training and development in both workplace learning and formal settings.
The hub includes:
- A competency framework for speech and language therapy support workers
- A toolkit of associated resources, including delegation and supervision guidance, to support the implementation of the competency framework within speech and language therapy services
- RCSLT position paper (supporting the training and development of speech and language therapy support workers) and joint position paper (optimising the contribution of the AHP support workforce)
- Career advice and information about the diversity of support worker roles, training and development within the role, and specific case studies spanning services and clinical areas
- Resources and links to information about networks and support
The competency framework builds upon HEE’s AHP Support Worker Framework and recognises the valuable role that support workers have within the workforce as well as the importance of consistent training and having a defined a role within a team, service, and organisation. It should be used as a practical tool in speech and language therapy services, guiding safe and effective practice through supporting the training and development of the support workforce.
The project would not have been possible without Ruth Howes (lead author), the working group and all those who responded to the consultation. We appreciate the time and effort that has been given by all involved.