HOW COVID-19 MAY IMPACT YOUR CASLPO MENTORSHIP
CASLPO is granting extensions to the mandatory mentorship period for initial registrants recognizing that practice restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic are affecting timelines for completion. Please see FAQ #13 and #19 below for more information on extending the mentorship period and patient care hours during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please note: The College continues to experience a high number of inquiries and a response from staff to your questions may be delayed. We thank you for your patience.
Mentorship is required for initial registrants and in some cases for registrants who have practiced for less than 2 years. Through the process, initial registrants (i.e., mentees) develop and demonstrate the competencies necessary to meet the standards of practice under the guidance and mentorship of an experienced general registrant of the College. During the mentorship period, the mentee must reflect on their ability to meet the standards of practice 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.
The Basics of CASLPO's Mentorship
- The term of mentorship is 6 months with guidance from an experienced general registrant of the College who meets the criteria for mentors;
Mentorship is not supervised practice. The mentee is accountable for their clinical work and decisions;
- Mentees must complete 500 hours of patient care;
- Mentors must provide 48 hours of guidance to the mentee, which is 2 hours per week or 8 hours monthly;
- Direct observation from the mentor is mandatory;
- A midterm and final report of the mentee’s progress are required and submitted to the College by the mentor via the Mentorship Self-Assessment Tool (MSAT); and
- A mentorship contract must be submitted by the mentee to the College within 30 days of beginning employment.
You cannot begin your mentorship period or use the professional title “speech-language pathologist”, “speech therapist” or “audiologist” until you are registered with CASLPO.
Time spent with your mentor before the College has issued a certificate of registration to you, cannot be used to satisfy your mentorship requirements.
Before you begin your mentorship, you must:
- Secure an offer of employment;
- Find a mentor; and
- Be registered to practice (i.e., have a CASLPO registration number)
Mentor Training - Module 1: A Conversation About Consistency
Mentor Training-Module 2: The Clinical Reasoning Tool in Mentorship
|Clinical Reasoning Tool - Mentorship|
1. When do I start my mentorship?
The start date for your mentorship is your first day of employment as a SLP or audiologist, or a date shortly thereafter. You have 30 days from your employment start date to submit your mentorship contract to the College.
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. Therefore, the start date of your mentorship must be a date that occurs after the date you became initially registered.
2. What are the basic requirements during the mentorship period?
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. This is ideally 2-hours per week or 4 hours every two weeks amounting to 24 hours in each 3-month half segment. Guidance hours can be shared with a collaborator but must be organized by the designated mentor.
- 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 using the Mentorship Self-Assessment Tool (MSAT)
3. What are the criteria for mentors?
Mentors must be in good standing with the College, which means they meet the following criteria.
The mentor must:
- Be a General member without any terms, conditions or limitations on their certificate of registration issued by any committee of the College.
- Be an experienced practitioner with a minimum of four years of professional practice in the area (audiology or speech-language pathology) in which mentorship is provided and satisfies CASLPO's currency requirement.
- Not have been:
- found guilty of professional misconduct and/or incompetence;
- found to be incapacitated
- issued a caution in person from the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee within the last 6 years; or
- required to complete a Specified Continuing Education or Remediation Program (SCERP) from the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee within the last 6 years
- Not be the subject of an investigation, a capacity inquiry, or a complaint (unless the complaint is being considered under sections 26(4) and 26(5) of the Health Professions Procedural Code1).
- Not have any existing charges against them in respect to a federal, provincial or other offence.
- Not be the subject of a proceeding respecting allegations of professional misconduct, incompetence, or incapacity by a body that governs a profession.
- Have an up-to-date and completed Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) and be compliant with the College’s Quality Assurance Program requirements.
- Not have a history of repeated suspended or revoked registration.
Being Schedule 2 of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991.
4. How are mentors verified?
Prior to processing an applicant's initial registration, College staff will verify proposed mentors based on the criteria.
Mentor Criteria Met
If the proposed mentor meets the criteria the applicant's initial registration is processed within 5 to 10 business days and further information about the mentorship period is e-mailed to the mentor and the applicant.
Mentor Criteria Not Met
If the proposed mentor does not meet the criteria the College will notify the mentor and the applicant. The applicant must find another member of the College who can provide mentorship. Upon request the College can assist applicants who need help finding a mentor. The responsibility of securing a mentor remains with the applicant.
If at any point the mentor changes, for example before the mentorship period begins or while a mentorship is in progress, the new proposed mentor will be verified before the change is approved.
5. 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.
6. 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 they have sufficient time to devote to each mentee that they have committed to.
7. 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 email@example.com and indicate the following:
- Your profession
- The cities/areas in which you are searching for a mentor
8. If I have more than one job, do I need to have a mentor for each location where I practice?
No, multiple mentors are not permitted. You must only have one designated mentor, preferably for your primary employment setting (i.e., where you will work most often). Your designated mentor will discuss your practice with you, taking into account your multiple practice settings and perhaps different practice areas. Mentors can have a “collaborator” for other settings or practice areas. Please see the FAQ on mentorship collaborators. Mentors are ultimately determining if you meet the minimum standards required of all SLPs and audiologists in every practice setting.
If you intend to count hours worked at a secondary employment setting towards your 500 hours of patient care you must do the following:
- Inform your mentor that you have another job where you are obtaining patient care hours
- You must use the Patient Care Hours Tracking Form which can be found in the Mentorship Self-Assessment Tool (MSAT) under “Mentee Resources”.
- Use the form to document the number of patient care hours completed at your secondary employment setting. You must provide the name and contact information of a member of the College, or another professional, at the secondary employment setting who can verify your completed hours.
- Provide the form to your mentor, as your mentor may choose to contact the other professionals to verify your hours.
9. 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
- Confirm that you have completed the required number of patient care and mentored guidance hours
- 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. This may occur if your mentor has time constraints or if you are working in another clinical practice area that your mentor is less familiar with. Other SLPs or audiologists may provide a portion of the 48 hours as “collaborators” if the following conditions are met:
- The collaborator must be a General member of the College who meets the criteria for mentors
- The Mentorship Collaborator Form must be submitted to the College as part of your Mentorship Contract
- Your designated mentor must coordinate the guidance hours you will receive from a collaborator, whether these hours will be at your primary or at a secondary employment setting
- Your mentor must contribute guidance hours. All the hours cannot be delegated.
- Your mentor must consult with the collaborator(s) before completing your midterm and final mentorship reports in the MSAT.
- You must use the Mentored Guidance Hours Tracking Form to document the guidance hours you receive from a collaborator. This form is in the Mentorship Self-Assessment Tool (MSAT) under “Mentee Resources”.
10. What if my mentor does not have experience in all the areas of SLP or audiology practice that I will be working in?
It is helpful if your mentor has work experience in the same or similar areas of practice because then there is a shared understanding of the context for your work in the profession. However, it is not necessary for your mentor to have experience in every area of practice you will 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.
You may have another SLP or audiologist collaborate with your mentor for areas of practice that are unfamiliar to your mentor. Your mentor would organize this collaboration and contact the collaborator to discuss your practice in that setting so that they can evaluate you appropriately for your midterm and final evaluations.
11. 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.
12. My mentor will be external to the organization employing me. Can my mentor be offered compensation for mentoring me?
An employer can choose to offer compensation to an SLP or audiologist employee who takes on the mentoring role. This is an independent decision of the employing organization and is not required by CASLPO. Such an arrangement must be negotiated between the mentor and the employer and should not involve the mentee. Mentees are prohibited from compensating mentors directly, as this puts the mentor in a potential conflict of interest.
13. 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 your hours using the Patient Care Hours Tracking Form, which is in the Mentorship Self-Assessment Tool under “Mentee Resources”.
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.
14. Can I include supervision of support personnel in my 500 patient care hours?
You may count the time you spend recommending, developing, or implementing a treatment and/or management program and you may count time you spend consulting with the CDA regarding the patient's plan of care. You may not count the time that the CDA spends carrying out the clinical tasks you've assigned, or your observation of the CDA carrying out assigned clinical tasks with a patient, towards your 500 patient care hours, as this does not constitute direct patient care on your part.
Supervision of support personnel is a minimum practice standard in the Mentorship Self-Assessment Tool (indicator 1.5). You are required to demonstrate that you meet this practice standard if supervision of support personnel is part of your practice.
15. Can I provide virtual care services during my mentorship in provinces outside Ontario?
Yes, however, you may not count those patient care hours towards your required 500 patient care hours. The 500 patient care hours required during the mentorship period must only include your work and services provided to Ontario-based patients. Hours spent providing services to patients outside the province of Ontario cannot be counted towards your CASLPO mentorship.
In addition, CASLPO registrants may only provide virtual care if they are registered to practice in the jurisdiction where the patient is located. This is true even if the patient will be out of the province temporarily. This means that if you intend to provide virtual care to a patient in any other province or country, you must inquire with that province or country's regulatory/licencing body and ensure you meet their requirements to practice before you provide any virtual care.
16. Can I have a remote or virtual mentorship?
Yes, the mentee and mentor do not have to be in the same physical location. The interaction required between mentor and mentee for effective mentoring can occur remotely through virtual means (telephone, video, e-mail etc.) and also using the Mentorship Self-Assessment Tool (MSAT).
Mentors can be external to an employing organization, assuming the employer will allow this kind of arrangement. In all cases, involvement of the employer to facilitate a remote mentorship arrangement is important.
For remote or virtual mentorship, determine how you will meet the following requirements with your mentor and discuss what your plan is with your employer:
- The mentorship process includes a patient record review at the midterm and final evaluation. You will need to discuss how this can be facilitated remotely and in a secure manner with your mentor. Your employer must be informed that this is required.
- Your mentor needs to directly observe your practice. Mentors can observe in real-time over a secure video platform as you see a patient, or they can review recordings of a patient session. Patient consent for the mentor to observe is always required. Your employer must be informed that direct observation of your practice from the mentor is required.
- You will need to discuss how the overall mentorship process will occur remotely in terms of connecting with your mentor on a regular basis for guidance, feedback, clinical reasoning tool (CRT) discussions, general discussion of your practice and completion of the MSAT.
17. What activities count towards patient care?
The 500 patient care hours required for your mentorship include only 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.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, mentees may include the following towards the 500 patient care hours that are required.
- Training in infection prevention and control practices, COVID-19 screening and use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Additional time spent during the provision of in-person patient care on infection prevention and control (e.g., screening of patients, hand hygiene, use of PPE, and equipment and area cleaning before and after in-person appointments)
- Aspects of assessment or treatment that are carried out using virtual care according to the standards of the College.
If your job description differs greatly from what is described above as patient care, please contact the College to confirm if the employment opportunity will be suitable for the purpose and requirements of CASLPO’s mentorship program.
18. How do I submit my mentorship contract and the midterm and final evaluation reports?
You can scan and e-mail your mentorship contract to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
The midterm and final mentorship reports are submitted by the designated mentor through the Mentorship Self-Assessment Tool (MSAT).
19. How can I verify my mentorship schedule?
Your mentorship schedule and report due dates are displayed in the Mentorship Self-Assesment Tool (MSAT) in the side bar menu on the left of the screen.
20. 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.
21. What happens if I change mentors?
In all cases you must notify the College before you change mentors.
If you are staying at the same work location but switching to a different mentor your new mentor will be verified and your existing contract will be updated. If you are changing both your work location and your mentor, then your new mentor will be verified, and a new mentorship contract will be required. A written statement about the progress of your mentorship will be required from your first mentor prior to approving a new mentorship contract.
If the new proposed mentor does not meet the College's criteria you will be required to find a new mentor within 30 days. If you cannot find a new mentor within this time frame the College will require you to stop practicing in the profession until a qualified mentor can be secured ( Ontario Regulation 21/12, subsections 9 and 10.)
22. 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 written statement 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.
23: I need to extend my mentorship because I cannot complete the requirements by my contract end date. How do I request an extension?
The College is granting extensions when needed given the current circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic. There will be no repercussion for late submission of mentorship evaluation reports.
Extensions will be handled by individual request when you know your extension requirements. We realize it may be difficult for you to predict exactly how long you will need to meet the mentorship requirements (500 patient care hours provided by you as the mentee and 48 hours of guidance received by you from your mentor).
If you are unsure about how much additional time you will need to complete your mentorship, then please wait to request an extension until after you discuss this with your mentor and gain some certainty.
When you know how much additional time you require then follow these steps:
- Fill out the Mentorship Extension Request Form in the MSAT. The form is under "Mentee Resources".
- E-mail the form to email@example.com
- You will receive a confirmation when your extension has been granted.
- Your new end date and revised due dates for reports will be visible in your MSAT within 24 hours of the confirmation.
If Your Extension May Go Beyond The 2-Year Limit:
The Registration Regulation stipulates that the mentorship period may be extended for up to 18 months beyond the allotted 6 months. This puts a 2-year time limit on completion of the mentorship period from the date of your initial registration. If you are in a situation where you are approaching this 2-year deadline, then contact the College.
24. 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?
It is recommended that you have at least 250 hours of patient care, or within 50 hours of that amount, before your midterm evaluation and report are submitted. This amount of patient care allows for sufficient practice experience and reflection on your progress to meet practice standards by your midterm.
If you do not have at least 200-250 hours of patient care by the midterm, you must request an extension to your midterm report due date. To request an extension, complete the Mentorship Extension Request Form in the MSAT under “Mentee Resources”, and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
25. 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. Your evidence of compliance must be reviewed by your mentor in the Mentorship Self-Assessment Tool (MSAT) before your mentor completes your midterm and final evaluation reports.
26.What happens after my Final Evaluation Report has been submitted to the College?
When your Final Evaluation Report has been submitted by your mentor in the MSAT it will be reviewed by the College. This may take several days. Once your final report is approved, your initial registration will be changed to general and you will be able to log into the member portal and download a new membership card.
27. When do I receive a wall certificate?
Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, College staff are currently unable to issue wall certificates. Under normal circumstances, a wall certificate would be sent to you within 30 days after you have successfully completed the mentorship period and become a General registrant of the College.
28. I am having a conflict with my mentor and I don't know how to address the situation. What should I do?
Try to resolve the conflict 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 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. We encourage the mentor and mentee to contact the College together in this situation.
29. 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.
30. 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.
31. What happens if I do not complete my mentorship successfully?
In this scenario the College must be contacted to determine the next steps.