19 October 2021

The RCSLT urges all members to embrace the benefits of social media while also adhering to HCPC guidelines and demonstrating the best of the profession

For speech and language therapists (SLTs), social media has opened up a world of opportunities to network with colleagues, service users and other professionals. It has enabled SLTs to develop their skills. It has also helped them raise awareness of how speech and language therapy transforms lives.

As your professional body, we are very proud of how so many of you have done that. Thank you! We celebrate your creativity. We encourage all our members to get involved.

At the same time, we all know the dangers of social media. It can attract polarised debate. Given its instant nature, things can be said that on reflection might be said in a different way, or not at all.

To help protect regulated professionals against that, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has produced guidance on avoiding social media’s pitfalls.

We encourage all speech and language therapists to abide by it. It is an expectation of the HCPC that professionals follow its guidance. The guidance can also help you protect the reputation of the profession as a whole. It states:

“You should apply the same standards as you would when communicating in other ways when using social media. Be polite and respectful, and avoid using language that others might reasonably consider to be inappropriate or offensive. Use your professional judgement in deciding whether to post or share something. Remember that comments or posts may be taken out of context, or made visible to a wider audience than originally intended.”

Read the full guidance on the HCPC website.

Given the nature of their work, SLTs see people at some of the most difficult points of their lives. Kindness, tolerance and empathy are in the DNA of each and every one of you.

We encourage all our members to have those characteristics as the cornerstone of their social media work too. However much we may disagree with people, we have a duty to be respectful and professional.

If you need support, your employer, union and the RCSLT can help. You can email us at info@rcslt.org