Audiologists complete extensive education and training that qualify them to treat hearing loss with hearing aids and hearing assistive technology under a single audiology license. The Academy believes that audiologists should not be required to take an additional exam to acquire a dispensing license, as this is duplicative of requirements currently included in the audiology license, and does not serve to increase consumer protection. View the Academy’s public policy resolution on single licensure status (PDF).
Requiring audiologists to hold separate licenses in order to dispense hearing aids also presents a confusing message to consumers. An audiologist’s level of education, and subsequently their scope of practice, is much more expansive than that of hearing aid dealers or dispensers. Audiologists hold Master’s or Doctoral Degrees in audiology, completing university training programs, which provide for rigorous theoretical and clinical education on hearing aids and hearing assistive technologies.
Additionally, audiologists acquire appropriate state licensure that reflects their scope of practice; including diagnostic and treatment services for persons with hearing and balance disorders. Audiologists are regulated by licensure or registration in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In most states, audiologists are currently able to dispense hearing aids and hearing assistive technology under their audiology license.
Recent legislation in both California and Oregon addressing dual licensure for audiologists has reinforced the need to promote single licensure status in every state. The Academy sent a letter of support on behalf of both the California Academy of Audiology (PDF) and the Oregon Academy of Audiology (PDF) and offers its support to other states addressing single licensure status.