About speech–language pathologists
A speech‑language pathologist (SLP) is a skilled, autonomous professional who can screen, assess, identify and treat speech, language, voice, fluency, swallowing and feeding problems for all age groups.
Speech‑language pathologists can work independently or as part of a team in hospitals, clinics, early intervention programs, rehabilitation centres, nursing homes, educational institutions and research centres.
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 2013 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, 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 are not regulated in any of the territories.
To practise as a speech‑language pathologist in Canada, SLPs must hold a master’s or doctoral degree in speech‑language pathology from an accredited university and a licence to practice, if the jurisdiction in which they practise is not governed by a regulatory body.
- Registration with a regulatory body as required
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 November 21, 2016.