Practicing Audiology

What are the steps required to become licensed to practice audiology in Canada?

Overview

Graduate degrees in audiology and speech pathology from Australian universities are recognized by the Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC) and provincial regulatory bodies for practicing in Canada, providing the necessary clinical and coursework hours were completed within the program.

To become licensed in either profession in Canada, you are required to have completed a minimum number of clinical/instruction hours in the other discipline. As an example, to become an audiologist in Canada, you must have studied and practiced speech pathology as well. The total amount of clinical and instruction hours required to become licensed vary depending on the province, and from the requirements to become clinically certified by the SAC (optional), there are a separate list of requirements. Clinical hours may include relevant undergraduate studies, so the number of hours each student will need to take in the program may vary.

It’s the student’s responsibility to contact their provincial regulatory body to ensure they understand the requirements and process to become licensed when they return, and they should track their hours during the program to make sure they have enough for certification.

The process

How do you become an audiologist in Canada?

First, you will need to complete a postgraduate degree like a Master of Audiology. To become licensed to practice professionally as an audiologist or a speech pathologist in Canada, you must go through a provincial regulatory board in the province in which you would like to live and work.

Here’s a general breakdown of the process:

1. Meet Clinical Hours
Be sure to advise your faculty of the hours you need to meet licensing requirements for the province in which you would like to work (and optionally SAC requirements for Clinical Certification). Remember, these hours are not tracked for you by the university; however, they will work with you to ensure that your clinical placements align with what you need to return home.

2. Credentialing
After graduation, you will apply for provincial licensure and have your educational background assessed for eligibility. Once approved, you will apply for your Initial Certificate of Registration (or have 2 years’ experience) and complete a six-month clinical mentorship, after which you may apply for full licensure.

3. Canadian Entry to Practice Examination
The CETP Exam is a national, standardized, competency-based entry-to-practice exam for speech-language pathologists and  audiologists. It is a regulatory exam based on the competency profiles and sub-competencies recently developed by CAASPR for the purpose of regulation.

Important note: Internationally trained individuals may prepare for the application process while still enrolled in a program of study or while outside Canada by becoming familiar with Canadian registration requirements and upgrading language skills if required.

Tracking your hours

The biggest hurdle you will face is making sure that you have completed the required hours—both face-to-face class time and practical hours—in both your major audiology courses and your minor speech pathology courses.

North American universities employ task-based learning, while Australian unis use practical-based learning. The result is that North American regulatory bodies focus greatly on hours spent in learning while Australian regulatory bodies concentrate more on the quality of the work, not the time spent on it.

So, what do you do?

Get extra hours
It is certainly possible to make up extra time in clinicals and extra courses to make up class time (at your expense). Other OzTREKK alums have been successful in being certified to work as audiologists and speech pathologists in their respective provinces. Work with your faculty advisor, and he or she may be able to help you find additional practice hours.

We recommend you contact your provincial regulatory board (listed below) for the paperwork required to record your class and clinical hours—not only do you need to complete the minimum hours, but you will need to prove it, too.

Credentialing

As an internationally educated graduate, you will also go through a credentialing process to determine your studies are equivalent to Canada’s.

Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba or Saskatchewan

  • Create an account and application file with CAASPR have a credential assessment completed by a third-party agency and possibly complete language proficiency testing; and
  • Submit all required documents to CAASPR and pay the associated fees.

Quebec, Ontario, Alberta or British Columbia
You should contact the corresponding regulator and follow their process for application and assessment. If your training is assessed to be equivalent to the minimum standard for accredited Canadian training programs, and you are required to successfully complete the CETP exam, you will be advised how to enroll for the exam and pay the exam fee.

Unregulated territories
If you intend to practice in an unregulated territory, you should contact the corresponding provincial/territorial professional association to learn the process for application. Applicants planning to practice in an unregulated jurisdiction are not required to write the CETP exam but may wish to do so if they plan to move to a regulated jurisdiction in the future.

Credentialing results
If deemed successful, you will be directed to enroll for the CETP exam and pay the exam fee. If you are deemed not eligible to proceed to the exam, the regulatory body in the jurisdiction where you intended to practice will provide you specific information regarding your application.

Taking the exam

Starting in Fall 2020, the SAC will be replacing their Clinical Certification exam with a new Canadian Entry-to-Practice (CEPT) Exam based on harmonized standards and competencies established by the Canadian Alliance of Audiology and Speech Pathology Regulators (CAASPR). Please see the CETP exam FAQs for information.

About the Canadian Entry-to-Practice (CETP) Examination
If you have been approved to write the CETP Exam, you will be directed to enroll for the exam with the exam provider, Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC). Some basic information from your CAASPR account will be securely transferred electronically to the exam enrollment page and you will be required to provide additional information regarding preferred examination location and language, etc., and pay the exam fee. You will have 2 years, from the date of your written eligibility confirmation, and 3 attempts to successfully complete the CETP Exam.

Important Note: Certain provinces and regulators do not require applicants to sit the CETP Exam. Applicants may, however, voluntarily undertake the Exam.

COVID-19 & CETP Exam Updates

CETP Examinations are rescheduled to November 21, 2020

Alberta
ACSLPA applicants educated outside of a recognized accredited program who are required to successfully pass an exam as part of their registration requirements will not be asked to register for the CETP exam at this time. We anticipate having more information available this fall.

British Columbia
Until further notice, we advise applicants not to begin the process of enrolling for the CETP Exam. Although the CAASPR portal is active for applicants to do this, we ask that you wait until CSHBC provides further information specific to British Columbia.

Ontario
CASLPO Council has decided that they will not require the successful completion of the CETP Exam until April 1, 2021, regardless of whether their amendments to the Registration Regulation are approved by the Ministry of Health or not.

 

Federal organization benefits

Graduates may also join Speech Language & Audiology Canada to gain access to professional resources for development, insurance, and other benefits. They may also undertake the SAC’s Clinical Certification process, allowing the use of the S-LP(C) professional designation.

The SAC mutually recognizes master’s-level speech pathology programs at Australian universities, which streamlines the approval process. This mutual recognition does not extend to audiology programs.

Currently in Canada, eight provinces require mandatory registration with a regulatory body.

Regulatory and Licensing Bodies in Canada

FAQs

What is the appropriate regulatory body for audiology in my province?

Alberta College of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (ACSLPA)
https://www.acslpa.ca/

College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of British Columbia (CSHHPBC)
https://cshbc.ca/

College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Manitoba (CASLPM
https://caslpm.ca/

College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO)
http://www.caslpo.com/

New Brunswick Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (NBASLPA)
https://www.nbaslpa.ca/

Newfoundland and Labrador Council of Health Professionals
http://www.nlchp.ca/

Ordre des orthophonistes et audiologistes du Québec (OOAQ)
http://www.ooaq.qc.ca/index.html

Saskatchewan Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (SASLPA)
http://www.saslpa.ca/

How many places are available for international students?

Because entry is highly competitive, there are currently only about 10 international seats available in each of the audiology programs.

How can I ensure my audiology application is strong?

For Macquarie, you’re welcome to include reference letters; however, the universities are mainly looking for a high GPA and if students meet the required prerequisites.

Will I be eligible to practice as an audiologist in Canada?

You should first contact the regulatory body of the Canadian province in which you plan to work upon graduation. It will be your responsibility throughout your studies to ensure you complete the proper requirements in order to practice in Canada.

You must be aware of the required speech pathology (major) and audiology (minor) clinical hours in order to practice in your province. Most programs OzTREKK represents with do not seem to meet Canadian certification requirements “as is.” This means you will be required to arrange and undertake additional clinical and course hours as required to meet Canadian standards.

Visit Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC) to familiarize yourself with their requirements for practice in Canada.

What is the competitive GPA?

A cGPA of 80% or higher is considered competitive for OzTREKK’s listed audiology programs. If you have a cGPA 75% or lower, we would not recommend applying.