CASLPO’s mentorship is a requirement that supports individuals as they commence clinical practice in the field of speech-language pathology or audiology, or in some cases return to clinical practice after a period of absence. Mentorship helps members of the College develop the competencies necessary to comply with standards of practice and demonstrate their readiness to practice independently as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist in Ontario.
Mentorship is a minimum of six months completed under the guidance of an experienced general member of the College. During mentorship, the mentee must reflect on their performance through self-assessment. The mentee and mentor work together to complete assessments of the mentee’s practice at the midterm and at the end of the mentorship.
In order to begin your mentorship, and obtain credit for the hours completed, you must first:
- Be registered with CASLPO
- Secure employment within your profession
- Have a mentor
- Submit your mentorship contract within 30 days of beginning your employment
Time spent with your mentor before the College has issued a certificate of registration to you, cannot be used to satisfy your mentorship requirements.
For an overview of mentorship, please review the following:
1. What are the basic requirements during mentorship?
During your mentorship period you must:
- Complete 6-months of mentored practice
- Complete 500 hours of patient care. Ideally 250 hours in each 3-month half segment.
- Receive 48 hours of guidance from your mentor. Ideally 2-hours per week or 24 hours of guidance in each 3-month half segment
- A portion of the 48 hours of mentored guidance must be direct observation of your practice
- Complete a midterm and final evaluation with your mentor and submit reports to CASLPO
2. What qualifications do mentors need to have?
- Hold a general certificate of registration in the professional area (audiology or speech-language pathology) in which mentorship is provided
- Have 4 years of work experience in the professional area in which mentorship is provided
- Have an up-to-date and completed Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) and be in compliance with Quality Assurance requirements at the time of the mentorship initiation
- Must not be in default of their certificate of registration
3. Is my mentor "supervising" my practice during my mentorship?
No, your mentor's role is not to supervise you. Supervision is mandatory when you are a student and your supervisor is responsible for the clinical decisions that are made. Once you are registered with the College you are accountable for all the services you provide to your patients. Your mentor's role is to guide you generally in your practice, including directing you to useful resources, to enhance your competence and so that you meet the College's standards.
4. How many mentees can one mentor provide guidance for?
The College does not have a limit regarding the number of mentees that one mentor may provide guidance for. It is the mentor's responsibility to ensure that he/she has sufficient time to devote to each mentee that he/she has committed to.
5. I am unable to find a mentor, what should I do?
The College can assist you in your search for a mentor if you have been deemed eligible for registration and have already found employment in your profession. Based on where you will be working the College can provide you with a list of potential mentors. It will be up to you to contact the individuals on the list to determine if they are available and if they will be a good fit as your mentor.
To obtain a list of potential mentors contact firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate the following:
- Your profession
- The cities/areas in which you are searching for a mentor
6. If I have more than one job, do I need to have a mentor for each location where I practice?
You are only required to have one designated mentor for your primary employment setting (i.e., where you work most often).
If you intend to count hours worked at a secondary employment setting towards your 500 hours of patient care you must do the following:
- Discuss your work at the secondary employment setting with your mentor
- Document the number of patient care hours completed at your secondary employment setting
- Document the name and contact information of a member of the College, or another professional, at the secondary employment setting who can verify that you have completed the hours
- Provide this documentation to your mentor, as your mentor may choose to contact the other professionals to verify your hours
7. Can my mentor collaborate with other SLPs or audiologists to provide my 48 hours of mentored guidance?
Ideally over the course of your mentorship, your designated mentor will:
- Provide all 48 hours of mentored guidance
- Spend some time directly observing your practice
- Consult with other professionals to confirm your patient care hours if applicable
- Submit mentorship reports to the College
The College understands that there are some circumstances where it is difficult for one mentor to provide all 48 hours of mentored guidance. Other SLPs or audiologists may provide a portion of the 48 hours if the following conditions are met:
- Your designated mentor must coordinate the hours of mentored guidance you will receive from other members of the College, whether these hours will be at your primary employment setting or at a secondary employment setting
- Your mentor must contribute some hours of guidance as well
- Your mentor must consult with the other members who have provided mentored guidance before he or she completes your midterm and final mentorship reports
8. What if my mentor does not have experience in all the areas of SLP or audiology practice that I will be working in?
Your mentor does not need to have experience in every area of practice you may work in. They can still evaluate whether you meet the practice standards of the College based on the 48 mentored hours they will provide and the meetings, discussions and evaluations you will complete together.
9. When do I start my mentorship?
Your mentorship must start when you begin working as an SLP or audiologist. It is very important to note that you can only begin working as an SLP or audiologist after you have your certificate of registration to practice.
10. After my initial certificate of registration is issued, can I work without a mentor?
No, it is a condition of an initial certificate of registration that you must be mentored. Therefore, the College will not issue your initial certificate unless you have a mentor in place. Consequently, the start of your employment and the beginning of your mentorship must coincide. The College takes it very seriously if you do not adhere to the conditions of your license. Should issues arise, contact the College and we will help you develop a workable plan.
11. How do I document my patient care hours?
If you are completing all your patient care hours with your mentor at your primary employment setting then you can decide on the best method to document your hours with your mentor.
If you are completing some patient care hours at a secondary employment setting you must document the following:
- The number of patient care hours completed at the secondary employment setting
- The name and contact information of a member of the College, or another professional, at the secondary employment setting who can verify that you have completed the hours
Provide this documentation to your mentor, as your mentor may choose to contact the other professionals to verify your hours.
We advise in all cases that you keep copies of your documented patient care hours.
12. What activities count towards patient care?
Patient care includes Direct Client Care or Supervision of Direct Client Care.
Direct Client Care refers to professional activities on behalf of the client including:
- Assessment of the hearing, communication, or swallowing abilities and needs of the client.
- Recommending, developing, or implementing a treatment and/or management program based on the client's abilities and needs.
- Counseling and consulting with the families /caregivers and/or other parties or individuals directly associated with the client.
- Other client management activities such as discharge, referrals, follow-up, report writing, case conferences.
- Conducting research in speech-language pathology or audiology that involves the assessment or management of patients with communication disorders.
Supervision of Direct Client Care refers to professional activities that include:
- Overseeing and evaluating the clinical work of speech-language pathologists or audiologists (e.g. conducts performance evaluations or case reviews, assesses written reports, monitors professional standards)
- Determining, on professional grounds, whether an individual client should receive or be discharged from speech-language pathology or audiology services.
- Supervising research in speech-language pathology or audiology that involves the assessment or management of clients with communication disorders.
13. How do I submit my mentorship contract and the midterm and final evaluation reports?
You can scan and e-mail the documents to email@example.com. It is preferable that each document be sent as one single PDF. You may also fax documents to 416-975-8394 or mail them directly to the College. Our address can be found on our website here. We do not require an original copy, however please keep copies for your own records
14. How can I verify my mentorship schedule?
You can verify your mentorship start and end dates, as well as the due dates for your midterm and final reports, in the member portal under mentorship.
15. What happens if I change jobs during my mentorship?
If you change jobs, you must notify the College in writing and update your employment information in the member portal. CASLPO does permit your mentor to continue mentoring you in a new employment setting. However, this must be agreeable to both you and your mentor, as well as your new employer. If this is not feasible, you will need to find a new mentor and submit a new mentorship contract.
16. If I change jobs part way through mentorship and I have a new mentor, can I count patient care hours that I completed at the first job? Or, do I have to start over again?
If you want to carry over patient care hours from one job to the next, the College will require a report from your first mentor stating how the mentorship has been progressing. The College will then determine if you can count your hours from the first job towards your mentorship requirement.
17: I need to extend my mentorship because I cannot complete the requirements by my contract end date. How do I request an extension?
Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 30 days before the scheduled end of your mentorship period. The College will then contact you regarding your request for an extension.
18. I haven't been working as many hours as I anticipated and I won't have 250 patient care hours by the time my midterm report is due. Should I still submit my midterm report?
Speak to your mentor about whether they can evaluate you based on the number of hours you have completed. If they think that they have observed you enough to properly evaluate you, then they can submit a midterm report. If not, and you require an extension on your midterm report, contact email@example.com.
19. Do I need to submit evidence of compliance to the College with my mentor's midterm and final evaluation reports?
No, you don't need to submit your evidence of compliance to the College, unless you are specifically requested to do so. Your evidence of compliance must be reviewed by your mentor before your mentor completes your midterm and final evaluations.
20.What happens after my Final Evaluation Report has been submitted to the College?
The College will contact you after your Final Evaluation Report has been approved by College staff. The College will provide you with an application form and an invoice to apply for a general certificate of registration. You must complete the application for a general certificate of registration within 30 days of receiving notification of the successful completion of your mentorship period.
21. When do I receive a wall certificate?
Wall certificates are not issued when you are an initial certificate holder and completing your mentorship. After you have successfully completed the mentorship period and become a general member of the College, a wall certificate and a new registration card will be sent to you.
22. I am having a conflict with my mentor and I don't know how to address the situation. What should I do?
You should attempt to resolve conflicts directly with your mentor first. If the issue persists, you and your mentor should ask for assistance from the designated third party identified in your Mentorship Guidance Contract. If a resolution is still not possible, or the steps outlined do not seem feasible given your situation, then contact the College for assistance.
23. What would constitute "exploitation" by a mentor?
CASLPO's Code of Ethics should be used by members of the College to guide their practice. The framework of CASLPO's Code of Ethics can be applied to most professional decisions. Mentors should not ask mentees to do work that is not related to the mentee's position for which the mentee receives no credit or remuneration.
24. What happens if I am laid-off or lose my job during my mentorship period and cannot find work to complete the mentorship within 24 months of the issuance of my initial certificate of registration?
If you are unable to complete the mentorship period within 24 months of the issuance of your initial certificate of registration, your initial certificate will expire and you must re-apply for a certificate of registration with CASLPO.
25. What happens if I do not complete my mentorship successfully?
In this scenario the College must be contacted to determine the next steps.