Innovators develop knowledge and insights in the field of speech therapy. They actively contribute to the dissemination and application of knowledge and to improving and innovating speech therapy interventions and services. Innovators conduct practice-based research. In doing so, they contribute to quality improvements and the valorisation of knowledge in practice. Speech therapists are enterprising. This means they are open to new ideas, ask critical questions and are capable of answering these questions methodically. Speech therapists conduct research in relation to a professional product, such as a recommendation, a design or an action.

Core Activities

  • Conducting practice-based research;
    Developing the profession;
  • Sharing knowledge and insights;
  • Initiating and developing innovations;
  • Contributing to the implementation of improvements.

Examples of professional activities

  • Conducting research from request to conclusion by means of a case study;
  • Collecting, critically assessing (e.g. the validity, reliability, applicability) and processing new information and knowledge to benefit the professional practice;
  • Recommending new thinking and working methods (e.g. procedures, interventions, evidence) for the professional practice or alternatives to existing thinking and working methods;
  • Analysing current and desired situations and evaluating new solutions;
  • Developing, testing, implementing and evaluating new methods, products or services and involving practice and theory;
  • Contributing to the implementation and assurance of changes to professional practice;
  • Identifying and analysing practical problems;
  • Collecting and interpreting empirical data;
  • Applying research results;
  • Reporting, presenting and publishing new knowledge and insights of relevance to the profession.


Level 1: Novice
Speech therapy students acquire targeted knowledge and insights into the professional field through assignments and case studies provided by the educator. They search for and apply national and international sources.

Level 2: Advanced beginner
Speech therapy students collect qualitative and quantitative data and interpret this in consultation with educators and fellow students. Students research speech therapy issues and problems in simulated situations. They are familiar with research methods that can be used to assess the applicability of knowledge and insights. The student evaluates and reflects on the execution of the task.

Level 3: Competent
Speech therapists form independent, creative and innovative opinions on speech therapy issues and problems based on scientific, professional, ethical and social input. They identify complex practical issues in a changing environment, carry out independent and practice-based research and report on the results. Speech therapists contribute solutions and proposals for changes that help to improve the quality of professional practice. In doing so, speech therapists are responsible for the end result.