Developing the new SPiE learning program

Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) recently launched the new Speech Pathology in Education learning program, a curated suite of learning modules aimed to support speech pathologists in enhancing their professional journey in education. Speech Pathology Australia, Senior Advisor, Early Childhood and Education Jane Delaney and Project Coordinator Rachael Furner discuss the development of the modules and their importance of this comprehensive learning program specifically designed to support speech pathologists working in education.  


Working as a speech pathologist in the education sector requires a unique set of knowledge, skills and experience. This new program complements the Speech Pathology in Education (SPiE) Practice Guideline and Position Statement released in 2022.  

Practice guideline and position statement 

2022 saw the release of the SPiE practice documents, both a position statement and practice guideline. To ensure we captured the needs of clinicians and members, we began the process with a national survey that resulted in responses from 600 Australian speech pathologists. The survey explored current practice challenges and what speech pathologists were seeking in the guidance for the new practice documents.  

The practice guideline development process was informed by research and evidence including nationally and internationally accepted frameworks, theories and studies. The project was a huge undertaking and would not have been possible without the support of our members. We would like to acknowledge and thank the members of the Speech Pathology in Education Practice Document working party.  

Why we created an online learning program 

As research tells us, a practice guideline, while helpful, isn’t necessarily enough to support practice change and improvement on its own. The online learning program aims to unpack the guideline and support clinicians to engage with the content. 

The learning program is primarily designed to deepen speech pathologists’ engagement in the practice guideline (2022) and support implementation of the practices described. 

The learning program aims to:  

  • help speech pathologists unpack their roles and responsibilities - what does it mean to work as a speech pathologist in education settings? 
  • support speech pathologists with shaping their practice using the international and national legislation on inclusion (inclusive education) 
  • support speech pathologists in organising, sharing and using their discipline knowledge so that it connects to education contexts and outcomes  
  • support speech pathologists to implement the practice principles and how these could be used to enhance service  
  • support speech pathologists to deliver outcomes driven service – how to structure service from the start so that there are measurable and objective child outcomes.  

How we developed the learning program 

Member engagement and feedback was a crucial element of this project. To ensure we captured the needs of clinicians and members working in the early years and education sector, we utilised advisory groups to support the development process.  

These groups had representation from majority of the states and territories. Members were asked to consider the components of the guideline that could be explored further, which helped to inform the curriculum and content of the learning program. Together with advising on content and curriculum, the advisory groups were engaged to review the modules throughout the development period. Thank you to our members. 

We worked with SPA’s professional education team to shape the content into the modules as now seen. We were pleased to have engagement of national and international content experts to provide more detailed content on the identified areas of practice.  

The learning program consists of three modules each including smaller units. The three modules explore the ‘big ideas’ in education, the problem-solving process to data driven decision making, and a guided approach to leading speech pathology services in education.   

The modules and units are designed to be worked through in a sequential order; however, we recognise that the needs of individuals may differ based on previous knowledge and experience. Each unit is designed with opportunities to enhance reflective practice and provides setting specific worked examples and practice challenges. 

The learning program is available on the Learning Hub. Don't have a SPA account? Register here. 

Learn more about speech pathology in education.