Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
Board for Hearing Aid Specialists and Opticians
Hearing Aid Specialists Regulations [18 VAC 80 ‑ 20]
Action Amendments to Board for Hearing Aid Specialists Regulations 2012
Comment Period Ended on 3/14/2012
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3/9/12  2:20 pm
Commenter: Theresa H. Bartlett, Au.D., Virginia Hearing Consultants, LLC

Audiologists taking the Hearing Aid Examination

It has never made any sense to me why Audiologists are required to take a hearing aid examination.  As an Audiologist, I am required to hold an undergraduate and graduate degree in Audiology.  As of this year, all Audiologists graduating from programs will hold a Doctorate Level Degree, which at this time I currently hold myself.  The level of education is not matched by that of the Hearing Instruments Specialists community.  The training and the background found within the Audiology community and institutions far exceeds that of the Hearing Aid Specialist community.

This exact discussion is becoming a point of contention in several states.  I believe that North Carolina just passed legislation that Doctorate Level Audiologists do not need to take the examination.  This makes a lot sense all things considered.  The question arises as to whether or not this change in policy could affect the safety of the public.  In no way would this change in policy affect the public.  Audiologists will not change their evaluation or referral process in any way just because they are no longer required to take a hearing aid examination.

CommentID: 23465