04/15/2015 06:37 EDT | Updated 06/26/2015 03:59 EDT

Nova Scotia's speech pathologists required to join new professional body

HALIFAX - The Nova Scotia government says more than 300 audiologists and speech-language pathologists in the province will soon be required to join a new, self-regulating, professional body.

Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine says legislation introduced Wednesday will ensure that licensed audiologists and speech pathologists maintain necessary qualifications and skills.

These professionals are already regulated in most other provinces.

Most of Nova Scotia's audiologists and speech pathologists are currently represented by the Speech and Hearing Association of Nova Scotia.

Once the legislation is passed, the association will be required to establish a separate, professional body called the College of Audiologists and Speech-language Pathologists.

Spokeswoman Patricia Cleave says the legislation will protect the public by preventing anyone who does not possess the necessary qualifications from practising.