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Niche Jobs - Privacy Policy

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We last updated this Privacy Policy on 13.04.18.

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As said, our cookies are used to improve your experience of our site.

We don't follow or track your own personal movements on the site. It provides us with information that isn't personally identifiable. And it also allows us to make your experience of the site better. For instance, when you hit Apply and have to register, you might want to land back on the page you started on.

Remember that you may be able to set your cookie preferences via your browser. But be aware that many sites may not work properly, or as easily, once you do this.

To find out more read our Cookies Policy.

How we may use your Personal Information

With your agreement, we may use your personal information:

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  • comply with our legal obligations
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Our legal basis for using your information

The law only allows us to use your personal information in certain limited circumstances. We have listed these below and what information they allow us to process.

1. With your consent

With your agreement we may:

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  • provide your details to an employer where you have told us you wish to apply for a specific position
  • provide your details to employers looking for candidates like you
  • to pass on to recruitment agencies who are seeking to fill positions that you have indicated to us that you are interested in and you have given us permission to do this

2. When we have a contract with you

We may use your information to comply with a contract that we have entered into with you:

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3. Where it is necessary for our legitimate interests

We may provide you with marketing information about our own products and services similar to those that you have purchased or enquired about (unless you tell us to stop).

4. To comply with a legal obligation

We do this when we have to comply with legislation such as tax laws.

Our Marketing

We may provide you with information about products, services, special offers, and other news where we feel these may interest you.

Depending on what contact information you have given to us, we may contact you by email or post. We will only do this where you have consented to receiving such information from us.

You can opt out of such marketing at any time and If you wish to do so, please email us at

Working with other organisations

Employers and Recruitment Agencies

With your consent we will make available your 'CV Profile' with hiring employers and recruitment agencies. If you want to see the current list of employers and recruitment agencies, please see here.

When you submit your information you are given a choice as to whether you want your details to be visible to companies advertising on our website, our options are:

  • By selecting hiring organisations to contact you we will allow employers and recruitment agencies to view your CV Profile if they are looking for candidates for positions that you have indicated to us that you are interested in.
  • By selecting to 'Hide' this option your information will only be visible to the company whose job you have applied for and yourself and the staff of Niche Jobs Ltd for administrative purposes.

We are not a recruitment agency and we provide our website and services to you free of charge to allow a simple and easy way to access your future job. As such we do not have any control over how an employer or recruitment agency deals with your information once they have downloaded it from our database and they make their own decisions as to what to do with your personal information. We do ensure that any organisation who accesses your information has signed up to terms and conditions requiring that they deal with your information safely and securely and that they comply with the General Data Protection Regulation and any subsequent UK legislation.

If you have indicated to us that you wish to apply for jobs overseas, then we may provide your information to organisations who are not subject to the same data protection legislation that we have in force in the UK. In these cases, we only deal with organisations who have agreed to deal with your information in line with GDPR and UK legislation.

Other third parties

In order to provide your account and our website we may have to allow our trusted partners to have access to your personal information. These organisations include:

  • Our business partners, suppliers and sub-contractors for the performance of any contract we enter into with them or you
  • Our website developers who need to see your information in order to keep our website up and running

We work with the following organisations:

What laws we may have to comply with

We may have to disclose your personal information to third parties:

  • If we sell our business in which case the personal information that we hold will be part of the transferred assets
  • If we are required by law, or in order to enforce or apply our terms of use. This includes exchanging information with other organisations for the purposes of fraud protection and credit risk reduction

Third Party Privacy Policies

Our site may contain links to websites owned by other organisations. If you follow a link to another website, these websites they will have their own privacy policy.  We suggest that you check the policies of any other websites before giving them your personal information as we cannot accept responsibility for any other website.

Where we keep your Personal Information

Storage of Personal Information

We are committed to ensuring that our suppliers have appropriate technical, administrative and physical procedures in place to ensure that your information is protected against loss or misuse. All personal information you provide to us is stored on our secure servers or on secure servers operated by a third party located in the EEA.

All third parties who provide services or software to us are required to sign a contract requiring them to have appropriate technical, administrative and physical procedures in place to ensure that your information is protected against loss or misuse.

Retention of information

We will store your CV Profile (name, email, employment history etc) for as long as you wish us to.

At any time you can login to add to it, edit it or remove it completely.

After a year of first registering a process will start to regularly remind you that you are storing your file with us.

As soon as there has been a period of 12 months since you last logged in we will:

  • a. automatically 'Hide' your CV Profile (even if you originally consented to it)
  • b. email you*
  • c. make it clear how you can add to your CV Profile (to add new qualifications, update your recent employment records etc), edit your details or remove everything completely
  • * if your email no longer receives we'll delete your records since you won't be able to log in to do it yourself or receive our notices that it needs updating

Plus, we will email you 6 months after you last logged in to remind you to hide your CV Profile if it is still visible.

And we will stay in touch to remind you that you are using the site to store your CV Profile for future easy use throughout your entire career.

If we do not have hear from you (if you do not login), we will delete your account after 5 years.


If you chose to send us information via email, we cannot guarantee the security of this information until it is delivered to us.

Your rights

Access to your information

You have the right to access information that we hold about you. If you wish to receive a copy of the information that we hold, please contact at [Data queries Email] or write to us at the address above

Changing or deleting your information

You can ask us at any time to change, amend or delete the information that we hold about you or ask us not to contact you with any further marketing information. You can also ask us to restrict the information that we process about you.

You can request that we change, amend, delete your information or restrict our processing by emailing us at

You can also login to see all the information you have given us about your career profile to do the above yourself, at any time.

Right to prevent Automated decision making

You have a right to ask us to stop any automated decision making. We do not intentionally carry out such activities, but if you do have any questions or concerns we would be happy to discuss them with you and you can contact us at

Transferring Personal Information

You have the right to request that your personal information is transferred by us to another organisation (this is called "data portability"). Please contact us at with the details of what you would like us to do and we will try our best to comply with your request. If may not be technically feasible, but we will work with you to try and find a solution.


If you make a request to us under this Privacy Policy and you are unhappy with the response, you can ask for the request to be reviewed under our internal complaints procedure. Our internal complaints procedure allows your request to be reviewed by Managing Director who will do their best to try and resolve the issue.

If you have been through the internal complaints procedure and are still not happy with the result, then you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office. They can be contacted as follows:


Telephone: 03031231113


Information Commissioners Office
Wycliffe House, Water Lane
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Changes to our Privacy Policy

We review our Privacy Policy on a frequent basis to check that it accurately reflects how we deal with your information and may amend it if necessary. You should check this page regularly to see the most up to date information.

How to Contact us

We welcome questions, comments and requests regarding this Privacy Policy which can be sent to

  • 02 August 2018
  • 17 min read

How I Made Speech Therapy My Career

  • Kate Gass
    Speech Therapist

For all ages, I have seen how effective speech and language intervention impacts positively on a person’s quality of life, and it is this which makes speech therapy such a rich and rewarding role

"Communication is fundamental to who we are, but it doesn’t just include speech"

Speech and language therapy offers a rewarding and varied career. If working with adults it tends to follow a more medical model. With children, a more educational model. It offers diverse opportunities to work with a wide range of people with speech language and swallowing difficulties.

Communication is fundamental to who we are, but it doesn’t just include speech.

This was brought home to me on my first ever placement as a student Speech And Language Therapist when I was introduced to a lady in her 60’s post stroke. She had a handful of words she could say e.g. yes, no, thank you, maybe.

However, she was one of the most communicative people I have ever met. She would use her voice to convey emotion, humour and sarcasm.

She used gesture and facial expression to express preferences. She showed me photos, objects and pictures.

Using this “Total Communication” approach meant that we had many long conversations where we discussed her life and experiences with little or no speech.

Since meeting that lady, I have worked as a speech and language therapist (SLT) with people with a range of communication difficulties; From children with speech and/ or language difficulties, to adults with acquired communication difficulties.

For all ages, I have seen how effective speech and language intervention impacts positively on a person’s quality of life, and it is this which makes speech therapy such a rich and rewarding role.

Qualifying as a speech therapist

Qualification as a speech and language therapist requires completion of a degree recognised by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and Health Care and Professionals Council (HCPC).

You will need to be registered with both bodies, and will also need a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

When did you decide on a speech therapy career?

Whilst I had an idea that I wanted to be a speech and language therapist from the age of 14, my initial reasons for this were perhaps not the most noble.

I had an aunt who was a speech therapist in a busy acute hospital. She was dignified, poised and cool and I wanted to be like her!

I drifted through school feeling like I didn’t really have a vocation. I knew I liked being around people and was someone who could communicate well with people of different backgrounds, ages and abilities.

I did my work experience in a nursery which I enjoyed, so I completed a qualification in nursery nursing and worked in an out of school club where I became manager for a short time.

I enjoyed working with the children at the after-school club, but knew it wasn’t quite the area I wanted to be in. After two years at the after-school club, I thought again about speech therapy as a career.

Did I need to study and qualify as a SLT?

I left college with no A-Levels. Once again, I thought about speech therapy, but felt my lack of qualifications would be too much of a barrier.

I also knew that the local university didn’t offer a speech therapy degree, and relocating wasn’t an option for me at that time.

I made an appointment with my local careers guidance centre to talk through options and ideas.

I discovered that my local university wasn’t offering speech therapy currently, but that it was planning too in the following year.

However, I still had the challenge of meeting the entry requirements for speech therapy.

The careers advisor told me about an access course (Access to Natural Sciences) that could be done part time over two years in the evenings.

If I completed this, AND gained a Distinction overall for this course, then I would meet the entry requirements for the speech therapy degree course.

This is what I did, and was offered a place as a mature student on the Speech and language therapy course to start in September 2006. I graduated as a fully qualified speech therapist in July 2009.

What is a speech therapy course?

Speech and language therapy degree courses are structured differently depending on which university you attend.

For example, some put more emphasis on course work rather than exams, and vice versa.

All courses combine academic study with practical experience. As well as modules on specific clinical areas, courses will include modules in relevant areas including:

• Anatomy/ Physiology/ Neurology

• Audiology

• Phonetics

• Linguistics

• Child Development

• Learning Disabilities

• Psychology

• Counselling

• Senescence

• Research skills and Professional development

Practical elements of a course include placements where students will get the chance to develop their clinical and professional skills.

Speech therapists work in a range of settings, so placements will vary accordingly but include hospitals, nurseries, schools (both mainstream and schools for children with special needs), or visiting clients in their own homes, and care homes.

Speech therapy brings together a range of disciplines, skills and knowledge, one of the reasons it is such an interesting subject to study.

It also means that it attracts people of all ages with a wealth of different backgrounds, knowledge and qualifications.

I returned to study as a mature student and a mum of two, but I trained alongside people of 18 years to 50+.

Some of my cohort had just left school and finished their A levels, so this was their first degree. Some already had first degrees.

My cohort came from a range of backgrounds; youth worker, business manager, shop assistant.

One of them had even given up a successful career as a defence lawyer to retrain as a speech and language therapist.

You can train to be a speech therapist at universities across the country and courses generally last for between 3-4 years.

It is possible to do a 2-year postgraduate course in some places if you already have a relevant degree.

Where can I study to become a SLT?

There are currently 16 universities offering speech therapy courses recognised by the RCSLT.

As from 2018, The University of Essex is planning to offer a 3-year speech therapy degree course (currently pending HCPC approval) bringing the total up to 17. All courses combine academic study with practical experience.

What to expect as a SLT

SLT’s work in a variety of settings, and each role is different depending on the client group.

I have worked both for the NHS and in independent practice, and each role has brought its own rewards and challenges.

My first post was with adults working in the community. This meant that I was working in clinics in community hospitals, care homes and people’s own homes, assessing people’s communication needs and working with them to address these.

For some, this meant direct work on their speech and language. For others, therapy was more indirect, focussing on providing training that could be used by those around them.

This type of input included demonstrating strategies and skills which aimed to create opportunities for communication and support the patient in reaching their communicative potential.

For one gentleman, this meant showing pictures of food items so that he could make choices as to what meal he wanted to have. This post often involved education of others, e.g. recognising that patients may need lots of time to process information.

During conversation, even a 5 second pause can feel like a long time, but may provide a patient with enough time to process what has been said and give them the chance to formulate a response.

Keeping information short and simple, supported by writing key words or using pictures can also be useful.

Speech therapy also covers swallowing disorders (dysphagia). Some individuals may be able to understand and communicate well, but may have difficulty swallowing or feeding.

It should be noted that to carry out swallowing assessments, you need to be dysphagia trained which requires working through a set of competencies supervised by a senior speech therapist. Swallowing assessment is a large part of the work in an acute hospital.

As a community therapist working with children, the work is based in clinics, schools, nurseries and homes, and can be very different depending on the age and abilities of the child.

With children particularly, the distinction between speech and language is an important one.

Children may be referred by teachers due to concerns regarding their understanding or development of language, but this can sometimes create confusion because the child’s speech is perfectly fine.

Other roles may be in colleges and special schools for young people with learning disabilities, voice clinics, language units, rehabilitation clinics, and cleft palate services.

Within my role, the settings may have been different, but a common theme is the need to be an effective, collaborative team player.

This involves working not only with the patients themselves, but also their families, carers and the wider team of health professionals involved in patient’s care.

Is SLT a stressful job?

Speech therapy can be tremendously rewarding but it is not without its challenges, particularly in the current financial climate.

Working within the NHS meeting the demands of a busy caseload and ever increasing waiting lists is no mean feat.

There is a shortage of therapists but also a shortage of funding.

It is frustrating and demoralising to have neither time, nor the resources to provide the level of speech and language therapy that as a trained professional, you feel is required.

Managing the expectations and frustrations of others can require unending patience and understanding at times.

When there is a child who isn’t developing speech or language as would be expected, or an individual who has acquired communication or swallowing difficulties, it can be a stressful and anxious time not just for the person involved, but also for those around them.

There is no magic wand to fix things, and it can be a long and difficult road which may not always lead to the outcome hoped for by the patient and families.

At these times, it is important to listen carefully to those concerned and work closely with other members of the team to build up a comprehensive picture of the patient.

By ensuring good communication across the board, and working collaboratively, expectations can be managed and shared therapeutic goals and interventions can be agreed on.

What Qualifications do I need to be a SLT?

Entry requirements vary depending on the institution, but normally the requirements are 5 GCSE’s at grade A-C (including English, Maths and science) plus 3 A Levels at grades AAB-BBC and one of these needs to be in a science.

Alternatives to A Levels are also accepted for example, Scottish or Irish equivalents, access courses, HND etc.

To train and work as an SLT, you also need a completed DBS check. Health and medical history is looked at, and an up to date hepatitis B and tuberculosis (TB) vaccination is also required.

As with any course, if when applying you can show skills or experience that help you stand out, this is a bonus.

When I applied to my university course, I already had some experience of working with children in schools and nurseries that I could draw upon. I had also volunteered in a hospital for a short period so had a general idea of working in an acute setting with adults.

I happened to know someone working as a speech therapist in a hospital with adults; the “poised, dignified and cool” aunt.

I was lucky I could spend a day shadowing her to gain more specific experience.

I contacted my local speech therapy service, and this opened the opportunity to spend a morning shadowing a speech therapist in a language unit for children with speech and language difficulties.

Even my minimal amount of experience meant I could show a good understanding of what speech and language therapy entailed, and therefore convey my passion for the role.

What kind of person makes a good SLT?

I once read a saying in a GP’s waiting room “I don’t care how much you know, I want to know how much you care”.

Whilst perhaps not strictly 100% accurate, we can all relate to the sentiment. Empathy, compassion and sensitivity are fundamental qualities in a therapist.

Whilst working in an acute hospital, I quickly got used to the pace and surroundings.

It’s easy to forget when working there every day that a hospital can be a bewildering and confusing place for many.

In the paediatric clinic room, speech and language issues that seem low level to even a relatively inexperienced therapist can be a cause for high parental concern.

The ability to keep an open mind, and be willing to make mistakes, that are reflected on and evaluated creates opportunities for learning that otherwise may be missed.

Good written and verbal communication, as well as effective organisational skills are required.

The ability to present information in an accessible way to those it is aimed at is especially important.

Phrases such as “phonological awareness” and “auditory discrimination” are bandied about regularly in a paediatric clinic, but to some people this may need some explaining.

For people where English is a second language interpreters may need to be enlisted. Some parents may have learning difficulties themselves, and this needs to be taken into consideration when presenting information.

Extra processing time may be required for some individuals, and information may need to be presented in other ways than just verbally or written down.

Thinking creatively to problem solve is a useful quality in a speech therapist.

An enthusiasm for the role will help gain the trust of those you are working with, and motivate others.

Ensuring continuing professional development (CPD) is key. The best therapists are the ones that recognise you never stop learning.

What experience will I need for my first SLT Job?

Speech and language therapists working within the NHS are paid according to the Agenda for Change pay scale.

Band 5 jobs are suitable for newly qualified therapists and starting salary is around £21K.

Focus on the skills and knowledge developed throughout the degree course and clinical placements.

Read the job description and person specification, and try to hit every one of the criteria.

Gain an understanding of the values of the organisation you are applying for, and think about how you incorporate these into your practice.

During the post, qualifying year therapists will need to work through the NQP competency framework.

This framework supports the development of skills and learning needed to move into full RCLST membership and needs to be signed off by a fully qualified member of both the RCSLT and the HCPC.

Part time or temporary posts can lead to more hours or permanent work, and are always worth considering.

Newly qualified speech therapists may look to working as an assistant or voluntary work.

These types of roles may offer valuable and relevant experience, but it is important to work within your remit.

These types of jobs will be more restrictive than a fully qualified speech therapy post.

Securing your first post is not always easy. Finding local Clinical Excellent Network (CEN) groups and working as an assistant or volunteering in a relevant area is a good way to develop skills and show enthusiasm to prospective employers. Further training in specific areas may also be useful.

The RCSLT website offers further information and support to newly qualified practitioners (NQPs).

What career options are there for experienced SLTs?

Experienced SLTs may choose to specialise in specific clinical areas. Supervision and management can become an increasing part of role as therapists become more senior.

Moving into teaching or research is another option for experienced therapists.

Service delivery is changing and increasingly therapists are working in independent practice.

The RCSLT recommends at least 2 years post qualifying experience before working in independent practice.

The Association of Speech and Language therapists in Independent Practice (ASLTIP) provides support and information for those who do so.

About the author

  • Kate Gass
    Speech Therapist

I qualified as a speech therapist in 2009 and have worked in speech therapy in the NHS and private sector since. I've enjoyed work in adult case load, paediatrics and learning disabilities. I'm currently in a specialist centre for young people with visual impairment.

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  • Kate Gass
    Speech Therapist

About the author

  • Kate Gass
    Speech Therapist

I qualified as a speech therapist in 2009 and have worked in speech therapy in the NHS and private sector since. I've enjoyed work in adult case load, paediatrics and learning disabilities. I'm currently in a specialist centre for young people with visual impairment.