Canada, you are one popular country and I can totally see why. If I was going to pack my bags up again and move overseas, I’d choose you! I get so many SLP’s contacting me about working or studying in Canada, so I thought I’d ask a Canadian. Because the truth is, just because a country might look appealing from your Instagram feed, doesn’t mean that it will be the right fit for you as an SLP. Here, Collette from Alberta Speechie shares some things you maybe didn’t know about what it means to be an SLP in Canada. She has also written a fab post on getting into SLP programs in Canada, so go and check it out.
What is the profession called in Canada? We are called Speech-Langauge Pathologists or SLPs. Informally we call ourselves Speech Paths, and sometimes Speechies
How long is the average degree for Speech Pathology? In Canada you have to complete a Masters program (generally 2 years). People typically have a Psychology or Linguistics degree before getting into their Masters program.
How do you get certified to be a Speech Pathologist? To work in Canada, you have to complete your Masters (course work and practicums). There is a minimum number of clinical hours you have to complete in a variety of areas such as voice, fluency, language, assessment, treatment, adults, pediatrics, disphagia etc… Depending on what providence you work in you may have to have passed the SAC-OAC (Canadian equivalent to ASHA) certification exam. It is recommended that all SLPs complete this exam and most do. Quebec has additional requirements to work in that province.
What acronyms do you use after being certified? In Alberta we use R.SLP which means we are registered with our licensing body. You will also see S-LP (C) which means we have passed the certification exam, are up to date in our professional development requirements and are a member of SAC-OAC (Speech-Language and Audiology Canada).
What do your clients or students call you? I go by my first name, Collette, but sometimes people will put Miss in front of it, Miss Collette. I work with preschoolers so sometimes I also get called Mom, Mama, or Mommy 🙂
What are these called in Canada:
In what setting do the majority of SLPs work? Most SLPs work in pediatrics across Canada. In Alberta a large percentage of SLPs work with preschoolers. Overall services for adults are slowly growing.
Where are some really interesting locations to work in your country? Some of the interesting places to work would be in the northern parts of Canada. Some SLPs who work up there fly to the communities where they provide service. In remote areas teletherapy is becoming more common. Huttterite Colonies in rural Alberta are also an interesting place to work. Hutterites are kind of similar to Amish people in the US.
What are some big SLP issues in your country at the moment?
- Universal Newborn Hearing screens (some provinces do it, and others don’t)
- Improving and expanding adult services
- Continued advocacy for importance and types of services that SLPs provide.
- The province of Saskatchewan is looking to gut their SLP and audiology services.
- For Alberta (where I live), they provide good services for children kindergarten age and under, but once children enter grade one, services are greatly reduced. This is something that needs to be remedied.
Who are some local SLPs that are doing great research? There is a great deal of research going in Canada. The Hanen Centre is in Canada so there is lots of research about parent programs. There is also a great deal of research about bilingualism. Johanne Paradis and Fred Genesee have done some great research in this area. Susan Rvachew is also doing some good work on phonological disorders.
What are the common articulation and language assessments used? For me the most common assessments I use are the CELF-P2, PLAI-2, PLS-5 (only when I have to) and the SPAT. The CELF is pretty common here.
Follow Adventures in Speech Pathology for late-night adventure musings, the Aussie honest truth on all things SLP and posts that are a little bit different, such as The SLP Hierarchy of Making Mistakes and How to Use One Special Book for All Language Therapy.