Audiologists are hearing care professionals who’s practice focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of auditory and balance disorders. In order to achieve a license to practise, audiologists must undergo a minimum of eight years of education and a doctorate degree in audiology (AuD). However, there are many practitioners who have chosen to take their profession to the next level by earning additional accreditations in specific branches of audiology or as general evidence of excellence in their field.

Understanding accreditations

While accreditations are not a guarantee that you will receive good service, or that your chosen audiologist is necessarily the best fit for you, they are certainly a good indicator that your potential hearing care provider has achieved a high level of proficiency in their discipline.

So, let’s take a look at some additional accreditations that you can look out for on your hunt for an audiologist:

  • The ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A): This is awarded by the American Speech-Language-Hearing-Association (ASHA). Audiologists who earn this accreditation must have achieved a graduate degree, 1600 hours of supervised clinical practice and passage of a national examination. In order to retain their CCC-A, audiologists must complete a minimum of 30 hours of further education every three years.
  • Board Certified in Audiology (BCA): This is awarded by the American Board of Audiology. In order to achieve this certification, audiologists must have a doctoral degree in audiology and have completed at least 2000 hours of supervised professional practice. To renew their certificate, professionals must complete at least 60 hours of additional education every three years.
  • Cochlear Implant Speciality Certification (CISC): This is awarded by the American Board of Audiology and demonstrates that a practitioner has reached the highest level of expertise in every aspect of cochlear implant knowledge, including: surgery, device operation and rehabilitation. Candidates must pass an extensive examination.
  • Paediatric Audiology Speciality Certification (PASC): This is awarded by the American Board of Audiology and demonstrates that an audiologist has achieved the highest level of knowledge in paediatric audiology. Professionals holding this certification are likely to be the best option to treat children with impaired hearing or audio disorders. Candidates must pass an extensive examination.

Finding an audiologist

There are a number of ways you can seek out an accredited audiologist. A good place to start is by asking for a referral from your general physician or for recommendations from other people. Once you have the names and locations of your potential care providers, you can check out their websites for testimonials and any additional certifications they may have achieved.

There are also several of websites which allow you to search for licensed audiologists in your area by entering your town or zip code. The American Board of Audiology’s website and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s website are two particularly useful examples as they list each practitioner’s accreditations in their directory, which can save you a lot of time!