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. 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. 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
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.
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 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 he/she has sufficient time to devote to each mentee that he/she has 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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?
You are only required to have one designated mentor for your primary employment setting (i.e., where you work most often). Multiple mentors are not permitted.
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
- 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
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
- 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
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. 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.
13. What activities count towards patient care?
Patient Care is defined by CASLPO as including Direct Client Care or Supervision of Direct Client Care. However, 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.
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.
14. 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
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.)
18. 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.
19: 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.
20. 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.
21. 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.
22.What happens after my Final Evaluation Report has been submitted to the College?
When your Final Evaluation Report has been approved by College staff 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. You will receive your wall certificate within 30 days.
23. When do I receive a wall certificate?
After you have successfully completed the mentorship period and become a general member of the College, a wall certificate will be sent to you within 30 days.
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. 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.
27. What happens if I do not complete my mentorship successfully?
In this scenario the College must be contacted to determine the next steps.