In 1989 a small group of therapists in private practice came together to form the Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice, originally known as ASTIIP. The main aim was to provide a port of call for private practitioners and to give them support and advice. At the same time it also provided a point of contact for members of the public who wanted to contact an independent therapist. At first all the administration was done by these founder members in their spare time. As the number of members and client enquiries increased ASLTIP has taken on some part time clerical help but the responsibility for policy decisions and liaison remains with the members of the Association who have joined the executive and policy group.
ASLTIP’s membership has been growing rapidly. The membership fees fund the clerical support which provides a clearing house for enquiries from the public but all members should be aware that there are no guarantees that they will receive referrals from this method and should arrange their own advertising and marketing. The Association is first and foremost a support organisation still run by members. All members of the executive receive a small honorarium, they and the policy group have their expenses paid and all give up a great deal of time to provide support and advice to the rest of the membership. Another extremely important function is to respond to various initiatives from RCSLT and other bodies when these initiatives affect therapists working independently. Examples of such initiatives are the Policy Review Forum on the relationship between therapists working in different environments, (NHS, charities, independently), the RCSLT accreditation procedure, HPC, various government documents on private health care.
So when you join the Association please consider giving some of your time to working for it. The executive and policy group is always grateful for new members and new ideas and the Association will only ever be as effective as the membership allow.
Last updated: July 18th, 2018