In 1987, the European Commission in Brussels passed a directive assuring mutual recognition for university–level diplomas (3 years). Some professional sectors, for example in the medical field, already had such directives enabling professional migration between the 12 European Economic Conference (EEC) member countries. SLTs did not. At the initiative of the Fédération Nationale des Orthophonistes (France), the idea rose: «what if we created a European committee for speech and language therapists, to discuss all of this, to get to know each other and facilitate professional and scientific exchange! ». On the 6th March 1988, 9 out of 12 countries from the EEC founded CPLOL in Paris, during the French national Congress themed «nouvelles frontières» («new borders»).
The representatives building the new committee were first involved in the project for mutual recognition, which became effective in 1991. This was the first of many projects following the main goals of the organisation: promote the profession, the harmonization of standards, and the collaboration between SLT associations at an international level to increase understanding about SLT practice, research and education and to raise aware-ness for our profession in the public, among politicians, other professionals and institutions across Europe.
With great commitment and passion CPLOL delegates follow the objectives and work together on diverse projects relating to SLT practice and education, which include the SLT role in working with multicultural populations and with refugees, SLT pre–registration education standards and issues relating to tele practice. The growth of our organization shows the benefit of unifying the professionals globally and making information, knowledge and strengths available through a common platform. CPLOL has continuously promoted its point of view and remained a solid institution representative of all its members and sensitive to the specificity of each, with clear aims towards the harmonisation of the profession in all its aspects.
I am proud to have been selected to represent all SLTs in Europe and to have the opportunity to be CPLOL’s ambassador speaking on behalf of the SLT community. These 30 years of activity and commitment has made a difference in the development of the profession) – our sincere thanks to all those who have contributed to this incredible adventure.