About speech–language pathologists
Speech–language pathologists (SLPs) are health professionals who identify, diagnose and treat communication and swallowing disorders across the lifespan.
Speech–language pathologists may practise independently or within an interprofessional framework, collaborating with other professionals such as audiologists, physicians, nurses, educators, dietitians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists, child care staff and social workers, as well as communication health assistants. Speech–language pathologists provide a broad range of clinical and other professional services.
CIHI’s Health Workforce Database (HWDB) collects aggregate-level, standardized data on the regulatory environment, supply, and demographic and education characteristics of speech–language pathologists in Canada.
- Data from 2001 to 2016 is available on request by completing this data inquiry form or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For more information on CIHI’s health workforce data, visit the HWDB metadata page.
Reports and analyses
- Canada’s Health Care Providers: Provincial Profiles, 2007 to 2016 — Data Tables (Dec 2017)
- Canada’s Health Care Providers: Provincial Profiles, 2013
- Canada’s Health Care Providers — 1997 to 2011: A Reference Guide
In Canada, SLPs are regulated in all provinces except Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia and are not regulated in any of the territories.
To practise as a speech–language pathologist in Canada, SLPs must hold a master’s degree or equivalent in speech–language pathology and a licence to practise, if the jurisdiction in which they practise is governed by a regulatory body.
Scope of practice
The scope of practice for SLPs is articulated in provincial/territorial regulatory legislation, which outlines the range of responsibilities that define the boundaries of professional practice.
SLPs are health professionals who identify, diagnose and treat communication and swallowing disorders. They provide a broad range of clinical and professional services, which includei
- Screening, assessment and intervention related to hearing, communicating or swallowing
- Prevention, counselling and education services to patients or clients, families, caregivers, other professionals and the public regarding all aspects of communication and swallowing function
- Education, research and administration duties
i. Speech‑Language & Audiology Canada. Scope of Practice for Speech‑Language Pathology. Accessed August 10, 2017.