This paper explores the nature and development of competence in speech-language pathology and is informed by the development and validation of a competency-based assessment tool to assess Australian speech-language pathology students' professional performance in the workplace (COMPASS®). Background is provided on speech-language pathology competency frameworks in Australia and a systematic program of research to validate this assessment tool. Findings relevant to understanding the nature and development of speech-language pathology competency are described. The domains of competence considered important for practice were found to extend beyond specific processes of professional practice to include generic competencies of Reasoning, Communication, Lifelong Learning, and Professionalism. The achievement of competency was identified as developmental, and clinical educators were found to validly and reliably identify seven levels of competency development. Competency may transfer across the scope of practice, and marginal students' performances were characterized by a high degree of variability. These findings are discussed in relation to the profession's understanding of competency and speech-language pathology education, professional development, and further research.
|Number of pages
|International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
|Published - 1 Dec 2011