Coronavirus Outbreak and Implications

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CAASPR and provincial regulators are carefully monitoring the coronavirus outbreak to determine actions necessary to protect the health and safety of staff, volunteers, practitioners, students and the public. Many provincial regulators are attending frequent meetings to assess risks and obtain information. CAASPR is in-turn regularly been updated by our regulator colleagues.

We sympathize with the elevated angst caused by these uncertain circumstances, including the need for many universities to amend curriculum and suspend practicum activities.  The CAASPR team, provincial regulators and all stakeholders are working together to resolve many matters and ensure the protection and safety of health care providers and those requiring health care services. 

Canadian Entry-To-Practice (CETP) Exam Status

Many regulatory agencies have postponed their spring and summer 2020 professional entry-to-practice examinations due to the implementation of public health directives regarding social distancing and public gathering restrictive measures.  

Given recent communications with government ministries, university faculty and other stakeholders, CAASPR is currently evaluating the status of the October 3rd, 2020 examination – like regulators of other health professions.  

Again, our top priority is the competency of practicing audiologists, speech-language pathologists and the public they serve, as well as current students who will become future practitioners of the professions.

For more information about the exam, please see our FAQ document. 

Examination Requirement

An entry-to-practice examination is a necessary final step in ensuring that program graduates and new prospective practitioners have the required skills, knowledge and abilities to be competent professionals. Educational assessments plays an important role, but cannot be used as the sole determinant. 

Regulators have the public duty to assess and verify the competence, currency and fitness of audiologists and speech-language pathologists prior to undertaking independent practice.  This requirement is legally mandated in many provinces through regulations that include the need for a licensure examination.

Some regulated jurisdictions previously utilized the professional association’s certification exam as a tool to measure knowledge attained during audiology and speech-language pathology education and to ensure that applicants, who were internationally educated, had received training comparable to Canadian graduates.  CAASPR has discussed the introduction of a national examination, for the two professions, going back many years and in 2018 signed an agreement to accomplish that goal this fall with the introduction of the Canadian Entry-To-Practice (CETP) examination. 

Along with that goal, health care regulators are very mindful of their current responsibility to carefully assess regulatory requirements in light of public health directives resulting from the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Improving our communications with exam and applicant candidates

We have made changes to our website and exam enrollment processes (for certain provincial regulators)to more efficiently distribute updates, for those who require access to our website, and provide assessment of exam eligibility services to those participating regulatory bodies. CAASPR will provide updated information on our website as it emerges.

We are committed to providing adequate notice to all applicants prior to exam postponement.  In these uncertain times, we are mindful of students financial and other concerns.  For this reason, while our electronic administrative enrollment and international assessment systems are now active, we will delay examination scheduling and associated payment processing until CAASPR and its regulatory members have fully evaluated the impacts of COVID 19 on the regulatory examination.

If you have suggestions, you believe are worth considering, we welcome your feedback.  Please forward suggestions to: office@caaspr.ca

COVID-19 and impact on CAASPR operations

CAASPR has suspended all business travel in and outside of Canada. The decision has been made to not hold in-person meetings until Canadian COVID 19 public health restrictions permits. All CAASPR work and meetings are now virtually based. 

CAASPR staff are continuing to work remotely, to minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread and to practice social distancing. We are committed to closely monitoring the evolving situation and will advise our regulatory members and stakeholders as pandemic circumstances change.

COVID-19 resources for health professionals

Practitioners who are providing patient care, in traditional or non-traditional circumstances should stay closely connected with their provincial health regulatory authorities.  Provincial regulators are monitoring and acting upon provincial changes and will be able to provide the most current  information and resources during the pandemic. 

Looking to learn more about this virus?

For more information and updates on the coronavirus outbreak, the following resources are available:

Government of Canada
World Health Organization

If you have questions, please contact: office@caaspr.ca