Conference Proceedings | J Oral Health Dent. 2017;1(S1):A022 | Open Access

A Consensus Model for Achieving Dysphagia Competency

Lancaster J, Guthrie S and Stansfield J

Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK



The study aimed to scope current practice of developing competencies for dysphagia management for newly qualified speech and language therapists (NQ SLTS); develop a new consensus model for developing clinical competencies for the management of dysphagia for all levels of SLT practitioners; recommend systems for NQ SLTs to access the appropriate level of supervision to enable timely achievement of post-qualification dysphagia competencies. A literature review and interviews of experts in the UK were conducted to identify best practice for dysphagia competency development, across the UK and internationally. SLTs working in the north-west of England were surveyed to illuminate current competency development approaches. The study conducted a Delphi consultation of stakeholders and clinicians with further testing to derive an agreed model for achieving competency in NQ SLTs. Purposive sampling ensured representation of a range of clinical contexts and SLT experience. A consensus model has been developed based on the responses of participants during the Delphi process. The model supports clinical development of dysphagia competencies for newly qualified speech and language therapists and more experienced SLTs. A set of consensus-based recommendations have been produced covering the five themes of post-graduate formal training needs, development of practical skills, supervision, clinical excellence networks and workforce planning. Models for achieving competency can vary across different service contexts. This model and recommendations provide a consensus protocol for the feasible development of dysphagia competencies in paediatric, adult acquired and adult learning disability services.