Early Career Support
Speech Pathology Australia (the Association) provides support for speech pathology students and recent graduates in the early stages of their career. On this page is information and resources to help with the transition to life in the workforce.
Arising from a survey conducted by the Speech Pathology Australia Early Career Reference Group, several strategies have been identified to help members navigate their early years in the workforce.
View Finding the Balance
Watch the Finding the Balance @ Home video
Watch the Finding the Balance @ Work video
Resources for Clinical Practices
Speech pathologists can work in a variety of areas. The following documents will assist you in your work.
The Scope of Practice describes the breadth of the professional practice carried out by speech pathologists. The Principles of Practice contains information on Standards of Practice, Recommended Minimum Facilities, and Guidelines for Good Practice.
The Competency-Based Occupational Standards (CBOS) for speech pathologists in Australia provides information on the minimum skill, knowledge base and attitudes required for entry-level practice of the profession.
The Association's Parameters of Practice contains information and guidelines for delegation, collaboration and teamwork in speech pathology practice. This will assist you in developing your understanding of your role within an interdisciplinary team setting and provide information about how roles and input can be shared amongst different professionals.
As a member you are bound by the Association's Code of Ethics. If you would like to seek clarification on issues relating to ethical practice contact the Association's Senior Advisor, Ethics and Professional Issues.
The Association's Clinical Guidelines provide information on specific clinical and workplace issues and can be useful in obtaining information and current references on a topic or issue, and informing key stakeholders during workplace negotiations
The Association’s Position Statements are a summary of information on specific clinical and workplace issues relevant to the speech pathology profession.
Certified Practising Membership with Provisional CPSP Status
For all members, including new graduate members, Certified Practising membership (full and provisional CPSP status) is deemed as the requirement to be considered a Practising member and, therefore, eligibility for Medicare and Private Health fund Provider Number Status.
New graduate speech pathologists can be conferred with Provisional CPSP in their first year of joining as/upgrading to Certified Practising membership on signing the Association's membership application form. In signing, a member agrees to undertake specific requirements in relation to the Association's Professional Self Regulation. This program includes a minimum level of clinical supervision and professional development.
Finding a Job
The Association maintains an Online Jobs Board for the benefit of the speech pathology profession. Other positions are also advertised on job search websites such as Seek, My Career and Indeed.
Read Finding a Job: A Guide for New Graduates . A great resource with information and advice when looking for work.
Another great resources is Starting work: A guide for new graduates for information and resources when starting out.
Pay and Conditions
Speech Pathology Australia has engaged the services of WorkPlace Plus.
WorkPlace Plus specialises in industrial relations, human resource management and employment law across Australia. It can also provide industrial and award advice. Contact WorkPlace Plus.
Find more information about the difference between contractors and employees.
Mentoring and Supervision
The Association advocates minimum standards of professional support and clinical supervision for speech pathologists. View the Association's Position Statement on the Role and Value of Professional Support and Supervision Standards. Learn more about the Association's support for Supervision.
You could also consider becoming a mentee in the Association’s Mentoring Program. This program helps practitioners, new to some aspect of their role (mentees), develop their skills, knowledge and networks, by matching them with a more experienced practitioner.
Accessing Professional Development
The Association has a number of avenues to assist you with your professional development.
Early Career podcasts
The Early Career Reference Group has produced a number of podcasts specifically for students and early career clinicians. These podcasts provide information and support about issues such as supervision and mentoring, ethical responsibilities, complex clinic situations, and employment and HR issues. The Association also has a separate podcast series titled, Speak Up.
Listen to the Early Career and/or Speak Up podcasts on Soundcloud.
Working in Private Practice
The Association encourages graduate speech pathologists to gain at least three years of experience before they commence working as a sole practitioner.
This experience may be gained by working for another private practitioner or in the public or community sector. If limited work opportunities in the public sector restrict your ability to secure the necessary experience and you therefore commence work as a sole private practitioner, you are encouraged to seek support from an experienced clinician. This may be achieved by seeking a mentor through the Association’s Mentoring Program or by employing an experienced clinician to act as your mentor and supervisor.
Reference should also be made to the information sheets, FAQs, guides and templates, and other material that make up the Professional Resources.
For Australian trained speech pathologists working overseas can be a fun and rewarding experience. Before you consider such an option you must prepare by researching the requirements for the state/province of the country you wish to work in before leaving Australia or accepting a position. Learn more about Working Overseas.
Direct Support from the Association
If you require advice about professional practice or working in private practice contact the Association's Professional Support Advisor.
In addition, reference should be made to the Professional Resources that are available, which includes information and material on clinical practice, employment and legal issues, working with support workers, and working in the private sector.
Early Career Reference Group
The Early Career Reference Group (ECRG) was established in September 2016. The Group meets once a month to discuss issues concerning new graduates and early career speech pathologists. The primary role of this group is to identify the unique needs and concerns that early career speech pathologists may face while seeking to establish and build a professional identity and career and then support the Association to develop resources and supports for members.
The group is made up of a number of speech pathologists who have recently graduated and two Association staff. The current members of the group are:
- Arielle Cassian
- Victoria El-Khoury
- Brooke Goodyear
- Vivienne Hui
- Melissa Katris
- Beth Lane
- Yanjun Li
- Davina Lo
- Josie McIntyre
- Sara Nicita
- Kathleen O'Reilly
- Tanya Ramadan
- Julie Sax
- Olivia Skala
- Jessica Taranto
- Brianna Tuckerman
- Association Staff: Nichola Harris and Nathan Cornish-Raley.