Working as a lone SLT

Competency 3: Working as a lone SLT and accessing supervision (see also reflective practice)


Working autonomously is essential in LMIC contexts where SLT provision is likely to be sparse and there may not be another SLT in the country/nearby. SLTs need to be aware of the boundaries of their role and that these may differ from professional boundaries in their home country. They also need to be aware that an existing local worker may already be doing some of the work of an SLT, so the visiting SLT needs to complement this through careful negotiation of role boundaries. SLTs need to know how and when to escalate to external networks of support, which may be in the country in question or in their home country. There may be a need to initiate and support small scale research projects on identified areas of need. Be alert to the possibility that SLT actions may compromise activities of local organisations; seek to discuss your actions with relevant local partners.




Aware Proficient Advisor
Aware that there are implications of lone working in a LMIC, both benefits and drawbacks


Aware of own skills and limitations with regards to working as a lone SLT





Seek to establish a network of support prior to working in a LMIC









Awareness of local / international guidelines for practising as an SLT and safeguarding (e.g. professional indemnity insurance, professional & regulatory body membership, WHO safeguarding guidelines)



Awareness of need to keep own skills and knowledge (CPD) updated through own research. This may involve identifying areas that require further research in collaboration with local SLTs



Awareness of need to access supervision

Creates and puts into practice practical solutions to some of the problems of lone working in a LMIC



Can maintain professional boundaries when working as a lone SLT





Able to draw on existing

resources (people, networks, materials):

-to set up networks of support (not necessarily from SLTs) in home country and in country of work

– to reflect independently on own skills and limitations and know how and when to escalate concerns to networks of support


Seeks out local policies and procedures on safeguarding adults and children to maintain safety as an SLT practitioner (cf emotional resilience – there may not be any local safeguarding procedures in place and you may not be able to effect any change)




Able to plan and implement own CPD through recognising opportunities/ challenges, attending relevant training events (within the country or outside), using online resources etc. Able to develop research questions that could form part of collaborative research projects with local SLTs



Can think creatively about

accessing supervision in new

ways, e.g. via Whatsapp / Skype

Evaluates solutions to issues of lone working and disseminates these to other colleagues


Able to work with local partners to develop guidelines for autonomous working and supervision in LMIC and help set up local support systems


Able to work with local partners to capacity build to ensure support networks are sustainable








Working with partners to implement and develop organisation safeguarding procedures








Supervises other people’s CPD in working in communication disability.

Able to advise others on research possibilities, and signpost them to appropriate colleagues to support research projects.




Able to provide supervision remotely to SLTs in LMIC


Key knowledge and skills


  • Knowledge of relevant support networks (both SLT and wider AHP colleagues)
  • Knowledge of own registration with professional and regulatory bodies, local registration and international (if none exist in the country you are working in, see WHO guidelines and IALP (International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics) guidance
  • Knowledge of models of supervision
  • Research skills, including the ability to access research and learning opportunities for one’s own clinical development