Notices to the Professions

Notice to the Professions /
Supervising Communication Health Assistants: key requirements for registrant supervisors to meet

If you assign or delegate to a Communication Health Assistant (CHA) to provide health services for clients, you are supervising that CHA. There are key requirements for registrants to meet when supervising CHAs under Part 12 of the CSHBC Bylaws.

CHAs are non-registrants employed by a registrant or a registrant’s employer to support the registrant’s clinical practice of audiology, hearing instrument dispensing, or speech-language pathology.  

For a detailed overview of CHAs, see the CSHBC Notice to the Professions: Communication Health Assistants (CHAs): Who are they and what registrants need to know about working with them.

A CHA supervisor is a CSHBC registrant who is responsible for the clinical supervision, oversight, assessment, guidance, and evaluation of outcomes related to a CHA.

Non-registrants may have more than one role. They may perform CHA activities at times and non-clinical activities at other times. An individual is only a CHA when being assigned and/or delegated tasks or clinical activities by a registrant. “It’s the responsibility of the CHA supervisor to ensure they understand when an individual is performing duties as a CHA,” says Cathy Silversides, CSHBC Director, Quality Assurance & Professional Practice.

See Communication Health Assistants (Delegation & Assignment) clinical practice standard (PDF).

“The supervisor must be aware of what aspects of practice can be delegated and assigned to a CHA,” adds Ms. Silversides. “Before the delegation or assignment can take place, the supervisor is also responsible for ensuring appropriate verification has occurred with the skills, education, and competencies of the CHA.”

See Communication Health Assistants (Education, Training, & Competence) (PDF)

As well, registrants must ensure that CHAs they supervise use titles commensurate with their education, training, experience, and verified competencies.

See Communication Health Assistants (Titles & Credentials) (PDF)

“Supervision not only involves ensuring that a CHA has the proper skills, education, and competencies to provide health services (and has the appropriate title), but also, it involves the supervisor being very specific about what they’re asking the CHA to do in a delegation or assignment,” says Ms. Silversides.

There are situations where a registrant supervising a CHA may determine that it’s not appropriate to delegate a certain clinical activity to the CHA. “Although a CHA may be willing to do, for example, an ear impression, it may be that the CHA is not the appropriate person to take the ear impression for that client,” says Kathy Pereira, CSHBC Professional Practice Advisor, Audiology. “The registrant supervising the CHA may determine that at that time, given the CHA’s skills, education, competencies and/or the client’s needs, it’s best that the individual does not participate in this task.”

When working with CHAs, above all, supervisors must ensure “safe, appropriate, and ethical care is being provided,” says Ms. Silversides. “You as the supervisor of a CHA are ultimately responsible for the care of the client, which is also the case for supervisors of Conditional registrants and Certified Practice certificate applicants.”

For more information

College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of British Columbia

900 – 200 Granville St
Vancouver, BC, V6C 1S4

Phone: 604.742.6380
Toll-free: 1.888.742.6380
Email: [email protected]