How to progress your speech and language therapy career
By Dan Allard
Make the most of professional memberships
The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) ensures that the voice of speech and language therapists are heard when it comes to policy and service delivery. As a professional member, you will have access to a number of online resources designed to help with learning and development and access to various conferences and events.
Attend speech and language therapy networking events
Networking events can be really beneficial in making new professional contacts and discovering training opportunities in your local area. The events page on the RCSLT website shows a host of regional networking events and online webinars which are available to members. Online networking is also an important consideration; LinkedIn can be a great channel for sharing or discovering insights and can be beneficial for your CPD portfolio.
Use CPD to improve learning
As you will be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), you will need to complete a variety of CPD activities to maintain your registration. You should build your learning around your own specific career goals; if there is a particular area of speech and language therapy that you would like to specialise in (perhaps working with those affected by neurological conditions, or supporting children with developmental delays), focus your learning in these areas.
The RCSLT has a section on their website relating to leadership. For those who wish to move into managerial or clinical service positions, these resources may be hugely beneficial.
Make strategic use of locum jobs
Many speech and language therapists find that locum jobs can help boost their career prospects by allowing you to gain experience in a variety of clinical settings. If you find that there is an area of practice which interests you, you can choose roles based on this, allowing you to gain expert knowledge and potentially progress through the NHS banding system faster.
For those who are unable to commit fully to locum speech and language therapy jobs, there is an opportunity to combine permanent NHS job roles with locum or bank positions. This gives practitioners the continuity of a steady income alongside more opportunities to learn from others.
If you’re looking for new ways to progress your speech and language therapy career, why not take a look at the resources available within our careers hub?