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The University of Southampton
EngineeringPostgraduate 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). 

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.


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 Hons Audiology/MSci Audiology degree programme and MSc Audiology programme.

Programme Structure

The next course commences on TBC 

The latest date applications will be accepted is TBC 

The compulsory in-person, on campus assessment will be TBC at the University of Southampton, Highfield Campus. 

The referral assessment will be TBC at the University of Southampton, Highfield Campus.


Hearing Aid fitting
Hearing Aid fitting

To be eligible for this course, all applicants must meet criterion 3, plus either criterion 1 or 2.

Criterion 1.
You must be registered as either:

  • A Clinical Physiologist (Audiology) with Registration Council for Clinical Physiologists (RCCP) or the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS).
  • A Healthcare Science Practitioner (Audiology) with the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS).
  • A Clinical Scientist (Audiology) with Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Criterion 2.

  • Equivalent programme accredited by the RCCP, AHCS or HCPC.

Criterion 3 (Mandatory).
You must provide evidence confirming that you have demonstrated the required clinical competencies covering a period of 1 month prior to application. Please see the Selection and Entry Criteria document for further details.

Equivalent Qualifications
We are currently only able to consider applications from candidates with non-UK qualifications if the candidate registration status already meets either Criterion 1 or 2.

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 must have GCSE English Language and Mathematics at Grade C or above (or equivalent); or an IELTS Academic test score of 7.0 overall, with at least 6.5 in each component.

Returners to practice
If you returning to work after a period of absence, you must also provide evidence that you have met HCPC's requirements for training; that evidence must be countersigned by a registered Clinical Scientist (Audiology) or Hearing Aid Dispenser.

Criminal record and occupational health checks
You must provide a copy of a current (within 3 years) Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate. In addition you are required to submit a completed health declaration and a criminal certificate declaration.

Selection process
Intake: 25

Course Fee
The fee for the course and assessment is £500. 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.

Application process

All applicants must submit the HAAT Application Form, Visiting Student Application Form and the required documents listed in the application checklist. All application paperwork must be submitted together at the time of application, before the start of the course, to

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 usually run in January and June each year with the assessment taking place 6 weeks after the start of the programme. 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 1 month 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).

Programme lead

Mrs Emma Mackenzie


Tel: 023 8059 2921

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