The University of Southampton
Engineering and the EnvironmentPostgraduate study

Hearing aid aptitude distance learning

The Hearing Aid Aptitude Test distance learning programme is designed to meet the needs of suitably qualified Audiology practitioners wishing to apply to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Hearing Aid Dispenser (HAD). 

Programme overview

Entry requirements

Course Content

Learning and Assessment

The Hearing Aid Aptitude Test distance learning programme is designed to meet the needs of suitably qualified Audiology practitioners wishing to apply to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Hearing Aid Dispenser (HAD). 

Hearing Aid Dispensers work in private practice to assess, fit and provide aftercare for hearing aids. It is a challenging and rewarding profession that requires a combination of scientific knowledge and patient handling skills. Hearing aid technology is an exciting and rapidly changing area.  Hearing Aid Dispensers are required to be skilled at identifying and utilizing the latest technology to meet the needs of their clients.

Hearing Aid Dispensers may work independently or for commercial businesses ranging in size. Depending on the nature of the company there may be opportunities for a Hearing Aid Dispenser to develop business and management skills.  The private sector is a rapidly expanding market offering practitioners rapid career progression opportunities.

The Hearing Aid Aptitude Test distance learning programme comprises one web based module which can be accessed remotely.  The module consists of 6 sub sections and contains all the programme teaching and learning resources.   Assessment is via an in-house multiple choice exam paper.

Accreditation

This programme is approved by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).  Successful completion of the programme confers eligibility to apply to the HCPC to register as a Hearing Aid Dispenser, which is a legal requirement in order to sell hearing aids privately.

The Institute of Sound and Vibration Research has an international reputation for teaching and research training. We currently run The BSc Healthcare Science (Audiology) degree programme and MSc Audiology programme. We currently have around 100 PhD students, with approx. 25 in audiology and related areas. Projects are funded by a range of UK and EU research councils, governments throughout the world and the UK National Health Service, to name but a few. Research projects are often cross-disciplinary and multi-centre.

Programme Structure

The next Hearing Aid Aptitude Test distance learning programme will commence on the 26th June 2017 with the assessment taking place 6 weeks after the start of the programme on the 7th August 2017. Applicants are able to register onto the programme at any time during the first 3 weeks of the programme.

It is mandatory that students access all the recorded teaching material. This will be monitored through Blackboard and students that have not accessed the teaching material will not be eligible to sit the assessment until they have met the requirement. The programme will run a minimum of twice a year, usually commencing in January and June, depending on demand.

 

Hearing Aid fitting
Hearing Aid fitting

We are currently only able to consider applications from candidates with non UK qualifications if the candidate has appropriate UK experience of hearing aid provision.

All applicants must have GCSE English Language and Mathematics at Grade C or above (or equivalent); or an IELTS score of 7 (IELTS 7 overall, with at least 6.5 in each area).

All applicants must have a recognised Audiology qualification which can include the following: 

  • BSc Audiology/BSc Healthcare Science (Audiology) including successful completion of the practice placement Individual Record of Clinical Practice (IRCP). 
  • MSc Audiology including successful completion of the practice placement IRCP or the British Academy of Audiologists (BAA) Certificate of Audiological Competence (CAC) or Higher training Scheme (HTS). 

Applicants with a recognised Audiology qualification without completion of the IRCP, CAC or HTS may include the following: 

  • BTEC/NVQ MPPM + BAAT Parts I & II
  • MSc Audiology (with no placement)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Audiology 

In this instance the applicant must provide a CV which should include a description of duties held in current and previous posts.  The applicant's current employer must complete the employer clinical reference document provided outlining whether the competencies required by the IRCP are met by the applicants current roles, responsibilities and duties. 

Equivalent Qualifications to those listed above will be considered on a case by case basis by a panel of reviewers including the programme lead and the ISVR director of Audiology programmes.  Applicants with equivalent qualifications will be required to submit a portfolio of evidence detailing their level of qualifications, details of the programme completed including programme and module profiles and details of practice placement completed.  If the applicant has been employed as an Audiologist they must provide a CV which should include a description of duties held in current and previous posts.  The applicant's current or previous employer must complete the reference document provided outlining whether the competencies required by the IRCP are met by the applicants current roles, responsibilities and duties.

All applicants who have completed their recognised qualification in Audiology more than 6 months prior to applying for the HAAT programme will additionally require evidence of CPD.   Acceptable evidence includes copies of attendance certificates to events (including evidence of online learning) which offer CPD points, evidence of service development or research activities, teaching, training, presenting or publication, roles within professional organisations.

Returners to practice

In addition to the requirements listed above, applicants who are returning to work should adhere to the guidance document produced by the HCPC http://www.hcpc-uk.org/registrants/readmission/

Returners to practice who have been out of practice for more than two years are required  to undertake a period of updating skills and knowledge in order to be eligible to apply for the programme. The extent of the training required is determined by the length of time out of practice.

0-2 years  - no requirement

2-5 years - Minimum requirement of 30 Days of updating skills and knowledge

5 years and over - Minimum requirement of 60 days of updating skills and knowledge

The updating period can comprise a combination of supervised practice, formal study such as an update and refresher course in Adult auditory rehabilitation, and private study. No more than half the updating period can be achieved through private study.  The updating period must take place within 12 months of applying to the programme.  Applicants will be required to provide a summary of the activities undertaken including the number of days spent on each area.  It will need to be countersigned by a registered Clinical Scientist (Audiology) or Hearing Aid Dispenser in order to confirm that the information is correct. 

Criminal record and occupational health checks

You must provide a copy of a current (within 3 years) Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate. If you do not have a current DBS certificate we can assist you in applying. Please contact Cat Coleman at visitingstudents.fee@soton.ac.uk . In addition you are required to submit a completed health declaration and a criminal certificate declaration.

Selection process:

Intake: 25 

To Apply

Use the Flow Chart to identify which Application Pack you need to complete in order to apply for the Hearing Aid Aptitude Test. The fee for the course and assessment is £350.00.

Payment can be made via the online store. Alumni of the University of Southampton and clinical placement centre staff are eligible for a 10% discount

Useful downloads

 

The course covers all the components required to meet the eligibility criteria to apply for registration as a Hearing Aid Dispenser (HAD) with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).  It aims to give you the background knowledge and a detailed understanding of the skills and requirements of a practising HAD including.

The programme comprises the following 6 sub sections: 

1. Professional registration and regulation and the role of professional bodies/societies 

2. Consumer protection and marketing 

3. Business planning 

4. Quality control and Audit 

5. Health and Safety and Safeguarding

6. Hearing aid technology update

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching and learning material is accessible remotely via Blackboard, a web based online learning platform that can be accessed from any computer linked to the internet or from any internet enabled device.  Each of the 6 sub sections will include a recorded lecture which allows the students to pause, search, review and add notes to each lecture based on their individual learning needs.  It will also include power point slides and additional material via web links, pdf and other formats.  Support is available from the programme lead, programme administrator and each of the sub section presenters via telephone, email, online discussion board or in person by prior arrangement. 

Assessment methods

The Hearing Aid Aptitude Test distance learning programme will commence on Monday 12th January 2015 with the assessment taking place 6 weeks after the start of the programme on Monday 23rd February 2015.  The programme is assessed via a 90 minute multiple choice exam paper which will examine all sub sections of the module.  The assessment has a pass mark of 70%.  The programme does not confer aegrotat awards.  In exceptional circumstances it may be possible to defer the assessment.  In this instance the assessment must be taken within 6 months of the date of acceptance onto the programme.  A single, automatic re-sit right is available to students within 2 months of the original exam attempt.  

When you attend the University of Southampton for your assessment you will also be asked to bring:

  • Photographic proof of ID
  • Audiology qualification certificates e.g. BSc Audiology, MSc, BAAT I &II, NVQ, BTEC (MPPM) etc. Clinical placement final report or alternative indicating successful completion of the clinical placement.
  • The original copy of your Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate (not required if you have allowed us to check your certificate online via the DBS update service).

Administration

We have a programme administrator and a programme lead who act as points of contact for day-to-day advice and information for students.

Admission Administrator: Cat Coleman VisitingStudents.FEE@soton.ac.uk

Programme lead

Mrs Emma Mackenzie

Email: ep@isvr.soton.ac.uk

Tel: 023 8059 2921

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