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Too many professional registration requirements

Comment 1st September 2010

As a Speech & Language Therapist returning to the UK after 7 years working in Australia I was horrified to find out that despite keeping continous registration with the appropriate regulatory bodies in Australia I am required to spend in excess of 600GBP to become registered with the Health Professions Council and the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists. I have been required to pay for medical examinations and certification of identity documents as well as an application fee on top of the yearly registration fees. It seems a lot of red tape to wade through as well as a huge expense, when a simple communication with the professional body "Speech Pathology Australia" would have provided up to date information about the fact that I have kept appropriate and relevant registration in a country which has similar if not better requirements to ensure protection of the general public.

Why does this matter?

As far as I am aware there has always been a shortage of Speech & Language Therapists in the UK. Whenever I mention I am a SLT, anyone who has had any experience of speech and language therapy always make the comment that there experience of therapy had been good but they had to wait in excess of 12 – 24mths for even an initial assessment. Therapists such as myself can provide much needed services and make a huge difference to the development of good communication skills but the retention rate in the profession is low and after my recent experience I can see why!

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