Information & ToolsThe Role of the SLP- Assistant

A Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) is a specialist who works with individuals to improve their communication skills. An SLP may work with stuttering, voice, language, and articulation (speech) disorders. An SLP may work in a school, hospital, nursing home, private practice, university, or other health care setting. North Carolina approved a program to train Speech-Language Pathology Assistants (SLP-Assistant) in order to help SLPs do their jobs. Just as dentists have assistants, SLPs now have SLP-Assistants.

What SLP Assistants Can Do

The following points outline what an SLP Assistant can appropriately conduct in the course of practice. For additional information on these or other professional practice issues, please contact NCSHLA at (919) 833-3984 or via e-mail

    SLP-Assistants CAN:
  • Perform screening tests
  • Provide therapy following a written plan established by the SLP
  • Help with scheduling patients, ordering supplies, and filing information
  • Help with research activities

    SLP-Assistants CANNOT:
  • Give diagnostic tests or interpret test results
  • Write or change the treatment plan established by the SLP
  • Counsel patients/families relative to speech/language disorders
  • Provide treatment without having access to his/her supervisor
  • Provide swallowing therapy (except as part of an approved demonstration project)

SLP-Assistant Education & Training

Registered SLP-Assistants must have an Associate's Degree (or its equivalent) in Speech-Language Pathology Assisting. There is a transition track that allows students who hold a Bachelor's Degree to qualify by taking only a few courses in SLP-Assisting. All SLP-Assistants must pass a competency test.

Links to NC's Licensing Boards

The following resources are some governing bodies for the field that provide additional information.