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Speech and Language Therapist

Speech and Language Therapist

On a speech and language therapist apprenticeship course, you’ll help provide speech, language, communication and eating, drinking and swallowing therapies.

A speech and language therapist works with clients to improve their speech, language, communication, eating, drinking, and swallowing skills. 

They work in several contexts: hospitals, nursing homes, the community, charities, schools, and individuals’ homes. You will be able to specialise and move into leadership, instruction, and research roles throughout your career.

The primary purpose of the job is to improve the quality of life, health, and well-being of people who suffer from communication and dysphagia (eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties).

You will be the primary professional responsible for analysing and improving outcomes for people who face these issues via evidence-based research.

You could assist children in identifying and developing communication difficulties to reach their full potential, or you could assist adults with conditions that affect communication and swallowing, such as stroke, dementia, or Parkinson’s, or you could assist people with learning disabilities in communicating.

What you’ll learn

On a speech and language therapist apprenticeship course, you’ll learn to:

  • Communicate with everyone in a manner that is appropriate for their cognitive ability and understanding level, culture, gender, ethnicity, background, and preferred communication techniques.
  • Monitor and alter verbal and nonverbal communication to fulfil the needs of people, taking several variables into account, such as language and linguistic capabilities, attention and listening skills, mental capacity, learning, physical and sensory capacities, and so on. 
  • Adapt one’s communication style for effective case taking, assessment, differential diagnosis, and collaborative goal-setting.
  • Encourage and motivate individuals to participate actively in assessment and intervention by using effective interpersonal skills.
  • Use behaviour change and behaviour modification techniques to support self-management of speech, language, communication, and swallowing difficulties.
  • Plan, deliver, and evaluate holistic speech and language therapy treatments and provide accessible information that aids in achieving participation-based goals and promoting health and well-being.
  • Collaborate with a multidisciplinary team to provide accessible information about speech, language, communication, and eating, drinking, and swallowing issues for a multidisciplinary team to boost the effectiveness of the team.
  • Set goals and collaborate with service users, their families/caregivers, and the multidisciplinary team to develop intervention strategies for speech and language therapy.
  • Get feedback from others, engage in introspection, self-directed learning, and professional growth, and overcome skill and knowledge gaps for personal and professional gain.
  • Recognise the advantages of change and implement agreed-upon methods for development, innovation, and transformation; reflect on the process, and use this data to assess the outcome and impact future practice.
  • Facilitate others’ learning and coaching while providing timely and constructive feedback and contributing to developing and evaluating intervention programmes.
  • Synthesise notions of normal and abnormal speech, language, communication, eating, drinking, and swallowing with pertinent knowledge from linguistics, phonetics, psychology, sociological, and biological sciences to construct the foundation of reasoned professional practice.
  • Examine, monitor, and evaluate the ongoing effectiveness of speech and language treatment programmes.
  • Source, critically evaluate, interpret, analyse, synthesise, and distribute research findings related to speech and language therapy and people’s needs.
  • Create pertinent research questions on speech, language, communication, swallowing, and SLT practice. Select research concepts and methodologies, and supply data and information to enable effective analysis.
  • Recognise and use clinical governance approaches to increase quality and innovation.
  • Recognise your signals of well-being and work within the parameters of your vocation and experience, knowing when and from whom to seek advice or support. Delegate responsibility or refer to another expert, and know when to raise concerns about the quality of your practice.
  • Evaluate the clinical risk of each speech and language therapy intervention and take the required precautions to protect oneself, patients, colleagues, and the public.
  • Adapt your speech and language therapy responsibilities to the political, social, and cultural settings in which they work, and show the value of the service and dedication to the profession.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • Three A-levels or an equivalent Access qualification.
  • Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this before taking the end-point assessment.

Assessment methods

The End Point Assessment comprises two distinct assessment methods: 

  •  Live observation of practice with question-and-answer session
  • Professional Discussion 

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

Duration and level

  • Duration: 48 months
  • Level: 6 – Degree Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship standard

More information about the Level 6 Speech and Language Therapist Apprenticeship standard can be found here.

Apprenticeship end point assessment

For more information about the End Point Assessment Process, please read the Institute of Apprenticeships’ information page

Updated on October 1, 2022

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