After delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, CSHBC is laying the groundwork for conducting Practice Reviews with Registered Speech-Language Pathologists (RSLPs).
The College is also working toward additional Practice Reviews to be conducted with Registered Hearing Instrument Practitioners (RHIPs); practitioners in the hearing instrument dispensing profession were the first registrants to participate in Practice Reviews.
As well, long-term planning is underway for Practice Reviews of Registered Audiologists (RAUDs).
What are Practice Reviews?
The Practice Review module of CSHBC’s Quality Assurance and Professional Practice (QAPP) Program is a measure of practice competence within the clinical setting.
Practice Reviews are based on CSHBC standards of practice and related Clinical Decision Support Tools (CDSTs). Only aspects of the CSHBC Standards of Practice that are prescriptive (i.e., ‘must dos’) rather than permissive (‘may dos’) are included in the process.
“Practice Reviews are about real-time application of a registrant’s knowledge, skills, and abilities,” says Mardi Lowe, Professional Practice Advisor, Speech-Language Pathology and former Director, Quality Assurance & Professional Practice. “Are you doing what you know you should do in your practice?”
All onsite Practice Reviews are strictly confidential and between the College and the registrant. Employers may not participate, observe, or receive outcome results from onsite Practice Reviews. Registrants are required to meet any planned remediation activities within the timeline established with the Practice Review Assessor and/or a profession-specific Practice Review Panel.
All regulated health professionals in BC have a duty to comply with their respective quality assurance program under a college’s bylaws and provisions of the Health Professions Act. If a CSHBC registrant refuses to comply with a Practice Review as provided for in the Bylaws, the QAPP Committee must refer the matter to the College’s Inquiry Committee for investigation.
Conducting Practice Reviews also requires cooperation and collaboration with public institutions, including health authorities and school districts.
Practice Reviews status
Each of the three professions regulated by CSHBC are at different places in the evolution of the Practice Review module:
Hearing Instrument Dispensing
RHIPs registered in or before 2017, and in clinical practice, were reviewed using a two-part process. This involved the use of a validated screening tool. Registrants who did not pass the screening were seen for an onsite Practice Review. All remediation plans for this group have been completed.
Practice Reviews of all RHIPs registered in or before 2018 were also completed. Practice reviews of RHIPs who registered in 2019 were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and those reviews will resume in the near future.
Although additional data would be required to prove correlation, conducting Practice Reviews with RHIPs likely had an enormous impact on complaints received by the College. Although RHIPs represent the smallest percentage of the registrant base, historically they made up 90% of CSHBC complaint investigations. With the implementation of Practice Reviews, complaint investigations of RHIPs initially dropped to zero, and have remained relatively low post implementation.
The Practice Review process for RSLPs will begin in the near future, beginning with a pilot project of 40 RSLPs who were randomly selected in 2020. The pilot group will be screened and receive an onsite Practice Review. CSHBC is currently recruiting assessors to conduct onsite RSLP Practice Reviews. The pilot will include RSLPs who deliver care to preschool, school-aged, and adult clients. This process will enable CSHBC to validate the screening tool. Following the pilot, all new RSLPs will be reviewed within their first two years of practice, and other RSLPs will be randomly selected for Practice Reviews.
The Practice Review process for RAUDs is under development. Further information will be made available.
The timeline for conducting Practice Reviews with the three professions may change, subject to the COVID-19 situation in BC.
Additional Practice Reviews
Referrals for an onsite Practice Review may be made to the QAPP Committee, for example:
- Registration Committee referrals for registrants who cannot meet other QAPP Program requirements that are conditions of registration renewal, for example continuing competency credits (CCCs) or practice hours; or
- Inquiry Committee referrals as a result of a complaint investigation.