The development of the Professional Standards

This page provides an overview of the 'Professional Standards for speech pathologists in Australia (2020): the CBOS review' process.

This graphic is a diagramatical representation of the Professional Standards for speech pathologist in Australia.

The review of the Competency Based Occupational Standards for Speech Pathologists-Entry Level (CBOS) (Speech Pathology Australia, 2011, revised 2017) was coordinated by the Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) Professional Standards team under the leadership of Stacey Baldac. Gretchen Young of Young Futures, in partnership with Katy O’Callaghan of Outpost Consulting and Angela Murray of Bunyip and Associates were appointed as consultants for the review process.

The brief was to develop professional standards that reflect the minimum knowledge, skills and attributes required for contemporary speech pathology practice in Australia. In addition, the new standards were to capture the profession’s commitment to evidence-based, responsive services, informed by the goals and needs of individuals and communities and which acknowledge the diverse and evolving nature of the speech pathology profession.

Phase 1a commenced with an extensive literature review and benchmarking Australian speech pathology standards against speech pathology standards in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, as well as Australian standards in occupational therapy, physiotherapy, social work, teaching and engineering.

During early 2019, Phase 1b sought and analysed stakeholder feedback on the proposed framework, culminating at the 2019 Speech Pathology Australia National Conference. View detail findings of Phase 1 This graphic is associated with the hyperlink that precedes it and indicates the document is in PDF..

By mid-2019, Phase 2 proposed new draft standards and elements, a result of several consultations with the Competency Standards Advisory Committee, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committee and the Professional Standards Advisory Committee, a Delphi process, stakeholder workshop and Board reviews. By late 2019, Phase 3 further refined the standards via public consultation, committee review and Board feedback. Details of the progress made by this phase of the review are available in a short Speak Up podcast and in a more extensive webinar.

By the close of 2019, the newly titled Professional Standards for Speech Pathologists in Australia proposed three key Domains, each with a set of Standards and Elements, relevant to graduates of Australian speech pathology university programs and all speech pathologists working in Australia.

During 2020, The Professional Standards document was extensively formatted, the glossary was refined, and the references were updated. The Board of Speech Pathology Australia ratified the Professional Standards for Speech Pathologists in Australia in March 2020. The Board determined that the new Professional Standards would be introduced to stakeholders and speech pathologists during Speech Pathology Week, 23-29 August 2020, with the intention that the Professional Standards will apply to speech pathologists from 1 January 2021.