In the role of collaborator[1], speech therapists work effectively with different professionals and stakeholders to ensure high-quality client care. The goal of this inter-professional and intra-professional collaboration is to achieve effective coordination and decision making with respect to the client. The combination of care and well-being and the removal of barriers in health care requires speech therapists to serve as innovative networkers and health information officers within integral new forms of cooperation. Sharing knowledge and responsibilities is necessary when working with fellow speech therapists and with professionals from other disciplines. This means being sensitive to cultural differences, respecting each other’s boundaries, understanding each other’s perspectives (norms and values) and showing an interest in getting to know one another. Only then can collective responsibilities be tackled and joint goals and results be achieved. Differences can be effectively utilised when people are willing to see and respect one another. Speech therapists work actively with other professionals in the fields of health care, education, administration, professional training, entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as with stakeholders such as governments and financiers. The organisation and depth of this collaboration require an enterprising attitude from speech therapists. Speech therapists report to relevant parties in accordance with the applicable guidelines and legal frameworks.

[1] The description of the collaborator role focuses on working with other professionals (with a joint focus on the client). Collaboration with the client is described in the communicator role.

Core Activities

  • Working with other healthcare professionals to support client-centred care;
  • Drawing on resources and enlisting the help of stakeholders or potential collaboration partners of relevance to the client;
  • Positioning the profession in inter-professional relationships;
  • Initiating and maintaining networks;
  • Tailoring communication to the comprehensive capabilities, culture, background and preferences of the discussion partner;
  • Reporting to relevant parties.

Examples of professional activities

  • Executing and evaluating the methodical speech therapy steps in a targeted, methodical and flexible way, in consultation with other involved parties;
  • Working in a client-oriented manner;
  • Being open to the norms and values of other disciplines;
  • Collaborating in a results-oriented manner in multicultural and/or international settings;
  • Demonstrating sensitivity to environmental signals;
  • Initiating and encouraging collaboration throughout the chain;
  • Explaining own contribution to the collaboration and the joint results;
  • Reporting on client interventions to other disciplines;
  • Coaching colleagues;
  • Consulting colleagues.


Level 1: Novice
At the instruction of the educator, speech therapy students recognise and describe the importance of collaboration in professional practice and the specific role they play in that collaborative relationship.  Speech therapists are focused on collaborating with fellow students and other relevant individuals and evaluating the effects of their performance on other players in the collaborative process.  They identify and align with the norms and values of other relevant individuals.

Level 2: Advanced beginner
Speech therapy students collaborate effectively with fellow students and other relevant individuals during simulation situations or at the instruction of the educator. In the simulated or practical situation, they identify issues and opportunities to position speech therapy in relation to other professions. Speech therapy students initiate partnerships outside the degree course.

Level 3: Competent
Speech therapists work independently and in targeted inter-professional and intra-professional collaboration in unfamiliar and changing practical situations. In this collaboration, speech therapists take responsibility for their own results and the collective results. In their collaboration with others, speech therapists share responsibility for managing complex processes. They reflect on their own performance and results in their collaboration with others and make adjustments as necessary. They initiate and maintain various collaborative partnerships within and outside their own practical situation and promote the interests of the profession in their contact with external parties. Speech therapists coordinate at the level of understanding, culture, background and preferences of partners.