Information you need to know to work as a Speech Language Pathologist

Who is the regulatory body responsible for Speech-Language Pathologists in Alberta?

In Alberta, you must be registered with the Alberta College of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (ACSLPA) in order to work in clinical, administrative, teaching or research settings, or to volunteer as a speech-language pathologist. Only regulated ACSLPA members may use the following protected titles of the profession: Speech-Language Pathologist, Speech Therapist, Speech Pathologist, SLP or R.SLP.

What are the registration requirements for internationally educated Speech-Language Pathologists?

NOTE: For complete information and to ensure you have the most up-to-date information, please visit the Alberta College of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (ACSLPA) website, and review the All other Applicants section of the Registration Handbook.

Internationally educated speech-language pathologists are required to have:

  1. Master’s degree majoring in Speech-Language Pathology
    1. Official transcripts confirming the date on which you officially received your graduate degree; documents must be original and sent to ACSLPA directly from the university where you received your qualifications.
    2. Original academic credentials assessment
      1. International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
      2. World Education Services (WES)
      3. University of Toronto – Comparative Education Service
    3. Handbook, syllabus, or calendar providing a detailed description of program and clinical practicum. Course descriptions should include course objectives and format, and total number of lecture hours. ACSLPA completes the assessment of the coursework and clinical practice hours, which must cover the areas described in Appendix 1 of the ACSLPA Registration Handbook. These requirements are based on the Academic Equivalency Framework established by the Canadian Alliance of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Regulators (CAASPR).
  2. Proof of English language proficiency if your first language is not English.
  3. Successfully complete the Praxis examination offered by Educational Testing Service (ETS).Upon successful completion of the ACSLPA assessment and Praxis exam, applicants will be eligible for conditional registration with ACSLPA. Conditional registration requires that you practice under the supervision of an approved speech-language pathologist for a minimum of twelve (12) weeks. When the supervisory period is successfully completed, the conditional registration will be changed to a full registration.
  4. Satisfactory police information check, including a Vulnerable Sector Check (PIC/VSC).
  5. Evidence of professional liability insurance.
  6. Written reference from a speech-language pathologist colleague or recent employer.

Note: Internationally educated speech-language pathologists who are new to Canada must provide their original Immigration Identification Card or Permanent Resident Card. ACSLPA will keep a copy of the document.

What is the role of Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology Canada (SAC)?

SAC is a national, professional member association and offers a certification exam for speech-language pathologists (and one for audiologists), which may be written by internationally trained applicants at ACSLPA’s request.

The exam is offered twice a year; applicants have up to three chances to successfully complete the exam. Applicants are encouraged to be aware of exam fees, registration deadlines, locations, and turnaround time of exam results. The SAC website provides this information, as well as recommended resources to prepare for the exam. Applicants may also apply to become a member of SAC.

What are the educational requirements for Speech-Language Pathologists in Alberta?

In Canada, the minimum education requirement for speech-language pathologists is a master’s degree in speech-language pathology.

The University of Alberta in Edmonton offers a Master of Science degree program in Speech-Language Pathology that has a course-based option and a thesis- based option. The entrance requirement is a four-year bachelor’s degree (in a discipline other than speech-language pathology) with specified prerequisite courses (for example, linguistics, psychology) and a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0/4.0.

A clinical practicum in a hospital, private clinic, rehabilitation centre or health care facility is required before graduation.

Universities and colleges throughout Alberta offer four-year bachelor's degree programs that can provide suitable preparation for a master's degree program in speech-language pathology. Admission requirements vary from one post-secondary institution and program to another.

Additional Canadian Master’s degree programs in speech-language pathology are offered by:

NOTE: Regulatory bodies compare international education and experience to Canadian standards.

What is the accepted English language proficiency test and where can I be tested?

Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency by completing testing through one of the following agencies:

Applicants are advised to review the ACSLPA minimal requirements for these tests, available in the ACSLPA Registration Handbook, Appendix 4.

To learn more about where to take an English language proficiency test in Alberta, visit English Language Proficiency Tests and Locations.

NOTE: English is considered the first language of the applicant if:

  1. it is the language primarily used by the applicant for reading, writing, listening and speaking in the workplace, and
  2. it is the language in which the applicant is most comfortable and proficient.

What supports are available to support internationally educated Speech-Language Pathologists to integrate into the Canadian labour force?

Directions for Immigrants offers workplace communication groups to help you integrate into the Canadian work environment. The Clear Communication for Health Professionals (CCHP) workplace communication group is designed to help internationally educated health care professionals fine-tune their communication skills with patients, supervisors, and colleagues. In one week, you will learn through role-play and scenarios the nuances and expectations of Canadian patients, inter-disciplinary teams, and other health care industry participants. Topics include overcoming communication barriers, professional workplace interaction/behaviour, Canadian workplace culture, conflict resolution, and teamwork. Visit Clear Communication for Health Professionals for more information.

What information resources are available for Speech-Language Pathologists in Alberta?

Additional Occupational Information

For more information on occupations, duties and wages, visit: