Jois Stansfield (United Kingdom)
Education, effective practice and ethics in speech and language therapy

Brief Biography

Jois Stansfield is a speech and language therapist with academic and clinical posts in England, Canada and Scotland, working with a range of client groups, notably intellectual impairment and dysfluency. Since 2003 she has held the post of professor of Speech Pathology at Manchester Metropolitan University, where she teaches clinical education, ethics and fluency classes and supervises Honours projects for Psychology and Speech Pathology and Speech Pathology and Therapy undergraduate students. In addition she contributes evidence based practice and project development units at MSc level and is currently leading the development of an all on-line Masters of Research in Health and Social Care degree.
Research interests include ethical issues in research and practice; communication in intellectual impairment; stuttering; student education; SLT service evaluation; and SLT history. Her PhD students are investigating autism, dysphagia, hearing impairment, intellectual impairment; older children with language difficulties; psychological responses to ill health and speech therapy clinical decision making.  She was one of the steering group members of the CPLOL led multi-partner EU project NetQues, developing benchmark competences for SLT graduates across Europe. Other recent research has focused on identifying training requirements for competence in dysphagia management for new SLT graduates; the experiences of parents with intellectual impairments and the ways in which they can be supported to communicate with authority figures and she has recently completed a commissioned project producing an on-line history of the UK professional body (RCSLT).

Education, effective practice and ethics in speech and language therapy

The paper traces speech and language therapy educational approaches in the 20th century, then draws from research on SLT education carried out in the UK in the late 1990s, relating this to the EU wide NetQues project completed in 2014, to identify the areas of practice considered essential for a newly graduating SLT today to be considered capable of effective practice, i.e. ‘competent’. 
Speech and language therapy students begin by bringing a combination of cognitive abilities, linguistic and interpersonal skills and personal motivations to the programmes of education they enter.  They develop a range of profession specific knowledge, clinical skills and a values base through a wide range of learning opportunities during their studies.  This enables them to succeed in their chosen field and join the speech and language therapy community.  A number of models of competence in SLT practice are presented and these are related to current approaches to SLT education for practice.  
It is argued that personal characteristics and values underpin the application of knowledge and skill aspects of clinical work that values can be learned and these are at the heart of effective, competent practice.  However, there is a complex and constantly changing relationship between these aspects of competence, which is directly influenced by the context in which a therapist works. Case studies are used as exemplars of clinical decision making in practice.
Ethical practice is expected of all SLTs and the paper goes on to discuss the bases of ethical reasoning in speech and language therapy, how this reasoning can be supported and what to do when ethical practice or professional competence are in question.
The paper concludes by considering how social mores change over time and how cultural diversity across Europe may challenge SLT’s values and notions of propriety.   It returns to the NetQues outcomes and country snapshots and the implications of the European Union’s official motto, ‘United in diversity’ for speech and language education and practice.

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European CPLOL Congress 8-9 May 2015 Florence Italy
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