New Title(s) for Supportive Personnel

09 June, 2014
SAC News

New Title(s) For Supportive Personnel


Jump to:



As part of our recent governance review (you can read all about the project here), we took the opportunity to re-evaluate the titles and terms we use to describe our professions.

Over the years we’ve heard from countless members that the title “supportive personnel” is far too vague and that it doesn’t adequately reflect the work that supportive personnel do. After surveying supportive personnel, as well as speech-language pathologists and audiologists who work with supportive personnel, SAC has decided to replace the “supportive personnel” title with more descriptive and professional titles.



speech-language pathology assistant (abbreviation: S-LP assistant)
Speech-language pathology assistants work in an assistive capacity with speech-language pathologists.

audiology assistant (no abbreviation)
Audiology assistants work in an assistive capacity with audiologists. 

speech and hearing assistant (no abbreviation)
Speech and hearing assistants work in an assistive capacity with both S-LPs and audiologists. 

Further, similar to the way we now use the umbrella term communication health professionals, we will now refer to S-LP assistants, audiology assistants and speech and hearing assistants collectively as communication health assistants. The umbrella term will help keep our messaging clear and concise, especially when writing press releases and other articles for the public. Clarity and consistency are key to increasing public awareness about who you are and your scope of practice.



We encourage communication health assistants to use the new SAC designation in their signatures, if permitted by your employer. Doing so will help promote your profession and it will communicate the fact that you work closely with speech-language pathologists and audiologists. 

Moreover, the new titles are a reflection of SAC’s new brand and our recent advertising campaign, both of which are part of a larger initiative to increase public awareness about the professions and the importance of communication health.

Here are some examples of how you might be able to incorporate your new title into your email or letter signatures:

Jane Smith, Speech-Language Pathology Assistant
Associate (SAC) 

Jane Smith, Audiology Assistant
Associate (SAC)

Jane Smith, Speech and Hearing Assistant
Associate (SAC)

SAC also recognizes that some communication health assistants may choose to use a credential from their educational program, however we still encourage you to include your SAC designation, for example:

Jane Smith, BA, Audiology Assistant 
Associate (SAC)

Jane Smith, BA, CDA
Associate (SAC)



At the Special Members Meeting on May 9, 2014, SAC members adopted new bylaws that redefined SAC membership, moving to one membership class (S-LPs and audiologists) and six associate categories. As such, communication health assistants (formerly referred to as supportive personnel) are now associates of SAC. While the terminology has changed from “member” to “associate”, your rights and privileges remain nearly the same and you continue to be eligible for the same benefits and discount programs. Perhaps the biggest — and longest awaited — change is that our Communication Health Assistant Representative on the SAC Board of Directors now has full voting privileges!



Now that these bylaws have been voted on and approved by both members and Industry Canada, our priority over the coming months is to ensure that everyone in our association understands the changes and what they mean. We will be sending out an email within the next couple of weeks to review the changes and discuss important next steps. We will also be going through the process of updating all of our materials and our webpages to incorporate the new titles outlined above. 

If you have any questions, please contact Joanne Charlebois, CEO at