FAQ for SLPs and Audiologists
SHANS has historically played a leadership role in representing the interests of Nova Scotia practitioners and SHANS members have pursued licensure for protecting the interests of Nova Scotians for over 30 years. SHANS struck the current Legislative Committee to investigate and pursue legislative protection in 2010. At the time the College was formed on November 5th, 2019, SHANS ceased to exist and was incorporated into the College with all its liabilities and assets.
Audiologists and speech-language pathologists who were Full Members or Reduced Hours Members of SHANS or are eligible for certification by Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC) at the time the Act was proclaimed, and who have worked for at least 1000 hours in the last 5 years, are automatically eligible for registration in the College. The inclusion of the “eligible for certification by SAC” was included as this is the requirement for S-LPs working in a Regional Centre for Education. This automatic eligibility lasts for one year following the proclamation. This requirement is found in the Act Section 67. Members will need to complete the appropriate application form (SHANS members or non-SHANS member).
Individuals who do not meet the above requirements when the Act was proclaimed will need to apply to the College and meet the requirements for licensure as described below and pay any fees for registration and membership.
For new members, there are different procedures for graduates of approved education programs and those who graduated from another program. Approved programs are the accredited Canadian programs; all master level programs. Graduates of those programs will be eligible for registration if they have graduated in the last 5 years or completed at least 1000 hours in practice in the last 5 years. For someone who has not worked the minimal number of hours, the Registration Committee will review their application and may place a restriction on their license. Individuals who graduate from a program that is not an accredited Canadian program, will need to show that they graduated from a master’s or doctoral program (or equivalent in the jurisdiction of the program) and complete a competency assessment as required by the College. The Registration Committee will review the applicant’s international credentials and effective April 1st, 2020, the applicant is expected to pass the Canadian Alliance of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Regulators (CAASPR) Entry to Practice Exam for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CETP). College regulations include a Waiver which allows the Registration Committee to make an exception to the licensing requirements if the Committee deems that an individual is qualified. All members will be required to provide proof of insurance. The College Board sets the minimum amount of insurance a member must carry; currently it is set at $2 million. If you are a salaried employee your employer may carry the necessary insurance for the work you provide in that work setting, and have a process in place to obtain this documentation. All questions related to your insurance coverage should be directed to your employer (and/or your insurance carrier if you are self-employed). Both SAC and the Canadian Academy of Audiology (CAA) offer reasonably priced professional insurance packages.
The College itself operates in English. Level of language proficiency for a practitioner is set by the College but can be adjusted in certain circumstances. Also, the language proficiency requirement can be waived in certain individual circumstances. Thus, there are tools to accommodate members who are applying to work in a French setting.
To maintain a license, individuals must meet the continuing education requirements set by the Board and work at least 1000 hours in a 5 year period. The professions of audiology and speech-language pathology are dynamic and a level of active practice is necessary to keep current with changes. In addition, individuals will need to carry professional insurance (currently, a minimum level of $2 million). If you are a salaried employee, your employer may provide insurance. Individuals are encouraged to talk with their employer to determine what type of coverage is available within their employment setting. Both SAC and CAA offer reasonably priced professional insurance packages.
Speech-language pathologists and audiologists from PEI can join NSCASLP as either licensed members or associate members. Other provinces will only recognize an active practicing license. Associate membership in the NSCASLP will not allow one to be recognized by another College.
A license is required to practice in Nova Scotia. A license from NSCASLP can also be held by someone working in PEI or another jurisdiction. The current license fee is $400/year. Successful application also requires proof of liability insurance and currency hours of 1,000 hours over the last 5 years or graduation from an approved program within the last 5 years. NSCASLP also recommends maintaining continuing education hours. The grandparenting clause (automatic recognition of credentials for members of SHANS or people who are eligible for certification by SAC and have worked at least 1,000 over the last 5 years) would apply for people wishing to be licensed. Writing of the examination is not required by individuals eligible for this grandparenting clause. The grandparenting clause is in effect only until Nov. 4, 2020. Licenses are renewed annually and require evidence of liability insurance, continuing education requirements, currency hours (1,000 over 5 years), no findings against the member etc.
There is also the option of being an Associate Member (fee $200/year). Associate Members are registered with the College but are not licensed to practice in Nova Scotia. Registration involves evaluation of the individual’s credentials to practice (training, practicum hours etc) when first registered. To keep registration, one would need to renew their associate membership annually. The grandparenting clause (automatic recognition of credentials for members of SHANS or people who are eligible for certification by SAC and have worked at least 1,000 over the last 5 years) would apply for people wishing to be Associate members. Writing of the examination is not required by individuals eligible for this grandparenting clause. The grandparenting clause is in effect only until Nov. 4, 2020.
If one is an Associate Member and wants to get a license to practice in the future, they will have to apply for a license. Their file will be reviewed by the Registrar and the Registration Committee. If the individual is missing a requirement such as currency hours, the Committee may determine that a Restricted License is appropriate and restrictions such as requiring some upgrading, a period of supervision etc. may be placed on the license. Again, Associate membership would not be recognized as a qualification to practice by another College. The Associate member would have to become licensed if they wanted to move to another province under mutual recognition between Colleges.
All audiologists and speech-language pathologists practicing in Nova Scotia will be required to join the College. For 2019, the SHANS dues will be considered the College dues for members of SHANS. People who are not members of SHANS will pay the application fee of $100. Dues for 2020 are $400 and will be required to be submitted upon receipt of invoice at that time.
On November 5, 2019, SHANS members will be sent an email with their personal identifier and temporary password to access the on-line registration system for the College. Once logged on, the member will confirm and/or edit their information and add new information required for registration in the College. For individuals who are not current members of SHANS, an application must be made through the College website.
Members have the opportunity to participate by serving on the Board of Directors of the College or on one of the Committees. For more information about these entities, refer to Governance page under the About section of this website.
An association management group, in conjunction with a part-time Registrar will provide the administrative services required to operate the college. The management group offers meeting space and their administrative team provides financial management and general operation support for the College.
The primary reason for a professional group to become licensed is to ensure the public is adequately protected. Specifically, licensure helps ensure the safety and effectiveness of services by setting appropriate standards of conduct and competence. Such standards include providing the public with an affordable and accessible avenue to report concerns and complaints about the care they have received, and a reasonable expectation that such issues will be effectively addressed. Greater public confidence in the professions can also lead to an enhanced willingness to seek help. In addition, audiologists and speech-language pathologists in Nova Scotia will benefit from enhanced portability, professional recognition and opportunities for collaboration. As regulated professions, the College participates in the Canadian Alliance of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Registrars (CAASPR) and the Nova Scotia Regulated Health Professions Network (NSRHPN).
Under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) provincial jurisdictions automatically recognize the licensed status of professionals operating in another licensed jurisdiction. No such protection exists for non-licensed environments. With a new entry-to-practice exam being developed for 2020 by CAASPR, audiologists and speech-language pathologists moving from an unlicensed jurisdiction to a licensed one will be required to write the new exam. In addition, the ability of employers to attract talent from a licensed jurisdiction to a non-licensed environment is also compromised.
Yes, licensure restricts the use of the titles to those who are members of the College. For Audiology, the Act reads “No person shall describe the person's activities as the "practice of audiology" or take or use the designation "Audiologist", “Hearing Aid Audiologist" or "Audiology Specialist", or any derivation, translation or abbreviation thereof, either alone or in combination with other words”. For Speech-Language Pathology it is “No person shall describe the person's activities as the "practice of speech-language pathology" or take or use the designation "Speech-Language Pathologist", "Speech (language) Therapist", "Speech and Language Therapist" or "Speech and Language Clinician", or any derivation, translation or abbreviation thereof, either alone or in combination with other words”.
Members can use the post-nominal Aud-Reg (audiologists) or SLP-Reg (speech-language pathologists). For members who are also certified by SAC, your provincial designation should be listed first, followed by SAC certification.