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Overview of the role

Working independently to test people's hearing, advising on hearing care and where necessary supplying and fitting hearing aids and other communication devices

Hearing aid dispenser

Details of standard

Occupation summary

A Hearing Aid Dispenser (HAD) is someone who works independently to test people's hearing, advise on hearing care and where necessary supplies and fits hearing aids and other communication devices. Hearing Aid Dispensers are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (www.hcpc-uk.org). This role requires strict adherence to professional standards which includes the need to maintain accurate records and identify the need for onward referral for a medical opinion. Hearing aid dispensers can work in a variety of settings including the NHS, private practice, retail, in employed or self-employed positions. The role is typically performed in either a clinical, community or domiciliary setting. In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with the general public through scheduled appointments, other healthcare professionals and colleagues within their organisation. A Hearing aid dispenser will generally act alone and is responsible for seeing adults, including vulnerable members of the community, who have various stages of hearing difficulty or ear health issues, providing a range of services designed to support communication and participation in everyday life.

Typical job titles include:

Audiologist Hearing aid audiologist Hearing aid dispenser Hearing specialist

Entry requirements

English Language to level 7 competence Maths and English Language Education to equivalent of GCSE standard


Occupation duties

Duty

KSBs

Duty 1 Act in accordance with the ethics, values and legal boundaries of the profession; practicing safely and effectively within the Hearing Aid Dispenser scope of practice as required for continued registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

K1 K2

S1 S2 S3

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 2 Create and maintain an ongoing portfolio of continuing professional development that uses professional and personal reflection, and research, to systematically demonstrate the ongoing implementation of critical learning that maintains, enhances or extends the scope of personal professional practice..

K3 K4 K5

S4 S5

B3

Duty 3 Hold a structured conversation with a service user in order to obtain and record a holistic and robust case history of the service user's hearing, informed consent and other relevant information, and to use this information in decision making and onward referral.

K2 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10

S6 S7

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 4 Examine Ears by conducting otoscopic and physical examination of the ear to establish ear health, any concerns or advisable conditions and explain the results to the end user.

K11 K12 K13 K14 K15

S7 S8 S9 S10 S11

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 5 Advice and provide guidance on ear wax management including methods of removal. Perform safe wax removal in line with evidence based practice and identify when onward referral is required in line with available professional or regulatory guidelines.

K16 K17 K18 K19

S3 S12 S13 S14

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 6 Test Hearing by performing Pure Tone Audiometry; Air & Bone conduction with masking as appropriate, analyse the results and explain them to end users, their families and carers.

K20 K21 K22 K23 K24 K25 K26

S6 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 7 Provide a range of hearing instruments, accessories and other devices including those offered for retail sale.

K27 K28 K29 K30 K31 K32 K33 K34

S6 S20 S21 S22

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 8 Conduct an appropriate fitting appointment in which the hearing aid dispenser will fit and programme the most appropriate hearing technology and devices from a diverse range, to suit clinical, physical, lifestyle and financial needs of the service user. To train the service user in the use and maintenance of the product to ensure effective rehabilitation and customer satisfaction.

K6 K10 K11 K12 K13 K22 K35 K36 K37 K38

S6 S7 S8 S9 S23 S24

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 9 Construct and implement a patient centred individual management plan which will support the patient with their hearing needs recognizing where assistive listening devices can be used to support the patient and making recommendations on the provision and use of assistive listening devices. Support the patient in their rehabilitation process adding any newly identified needs to the individual management plan as appropriate and counselling the patient regarding expectations.

K39 K40 K41 K42 K43 K44

S6 S25 S26 S27 S28

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 10 Deliver individually tailored post fitting support to optimise the outcomes for the end user.

K41 K45 K46 K47 K48

S6 S26 S29 S30 S31 S32

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 11 Clean, service and maintain hearing systems, accessories and devices and provide a level of triage to identify faults, conduct simple repairs and where necessary escalate to manufacturers and other specialist agencies.

K32 K41 K49 K50 K51

S33 S34

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 12 Perform reassessments of hearing, analysing results and identification of the need to further fit and/or counsel end users and their families and carers.

K9 K11 K12 K13 K20 K21 K22 K23 K24 K25 K26 K36 K43 K52

S8 S9 S10 S11 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19 S35 S36 S37

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 13 Make Ear impressions safely and competently to be able to use ear impressions for a variety of products from which bespoke aural devices can be manufactured.

K11 K53 K54 K55

S8 S9 S38 S39 S40 S41 S42 S43

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 14 Structure their work, prioritising appointments and managing a diverse caseload to ensure that end users receive the appropriate levels of care and support.

K56 K57

S44

B2 B3 B4


KSBs

Knowledge

K1: You must know and understand The Health and Care professions Council standards of proficiency and code of ethics for the Hearing Aid Dispenser role, including the requirements to obtain informed consent. Back to Duty

K2: You must know and understand the regulatory and professional body requirements for Data Protection, Diversity, Safeguarding and other legislation relevant to the role. Back to Duty

K3: Know and Understand the Health and Care Professions Council 'Standards for Continuous Professional Development and how to reflect on own practice to maintain knowledge, skills and behaviours required for current and future practice. Back to Duty

K4: Know the different types of learning and activity that contribute to continuing professional development and how to access and evaluate both structured and unstructured learning opportunities. Back to Duty

K5: Know how to share information, findings and ideas through a range of media and to different audiences to allow the implementation of learnings to the benefit of the service user. Back to Duty

K6: Know and understand how to use effective communication to explore aural health and hearing related matter with service users, their families and the wider care team. Back to Duty

K7: Know and understand the indicators and responses that signal the need for further questioning or onward referral. Back to Duty

K8: To know how to document case history findings, within your employers operating system and the process for onward referral. (D3:K3) Back to Duty

K9: To understand the role that family members and other communication partners have when conducting a case history,and the importance of their participation. Back to Duty

K10: To understand the professional and regulatory requirements for full, accurate and contemporaneous notes in compiling and maintaining case histories. Back to Duty

K11: To know and understand the anatomical and physiological workings of the ear and associated systems to a level sufficient to converse with end users and other members of the profession. Back to Duty

K12: To know and understand the pathology of the ear and associated systems to a level sufficient to converse with end users and other members of the profession. Back to Duty

K13: To know and understand the effects that medical and pharmacological treatments can have on hearing health to a level sufficient to discuss with end users and other members of the profession. Back to Duty

K14: To know and understand the British Society of Audiology (BSA) recommended procedure for conducting otoscopy. Back to Duty

K15: To know and understand the choice of instruments and methods available with which to conduct otoscopy together with the associated advantages and disadvantages of each. Back to Duty

K16: Know and understand what ear wax is and how is it made. Back to Duty

K17: Know and understand the advantages and disadvantages of different ear wax removal procedures. Back to Duty

K18: Know and understand when to cease or change the procedure in line with professional scope of practice. Back to Duty

K19: Know and understand the organisations escalation procedure including onward referral pathways where relevant. Back to Duty

K20: To know and understand the choice of instruments and methods available with which to conduct pure tone audiometry together with the knowledge of the associated advantages and disadvantages of each. Back to Duty

K21: To know and understand the requirements for equipment calibration and daily checks. Back to Duty

K22: To know and understand the difference between; conductive, sensory-neural and mixed hearing loss and how various pathologies result in different types of loss. Back to Duty

K23: To know and understand the correct symbols and notation to use for plotting audiomteric results. Back to Duty

K24: To know and understand the requirements for a suitable testing environment and the effects that ambient noise can have on the results. Back to Duty

K25: To know and understand the role of Pre-test patient history questions, and the impact of the answers given on the choice of testing technique used. Back to Duty

K26: To know and understand how to interpret audiometric measurement results and what actions to take. Back to Duty

K27: Know and understand how to match the specific features and advantages of the employers range of products to the specific hearing and lifestyle needs of the end user in a way that provides them with benefit. Back to Duty

K28: Know and understand the financial implications of purchasing hearing instruments and how any available payment plans work. Back to Duty

K29: Know and understand the arrangements and considerations of manufacturers warranty and additional insurance. Back to Duty

K30: Know and understand the relevant consumer legislation; including statutory regulation and organisational additions in relation to retail sales. Back to Duty

K31: Know and understand the impact of mental health and cognitive ability on decision making and informed choice. Back to Duty

K32: Know understand how hearing instruments work and how changes in technology and the market impact on benefits to service users. Back to Duty

K33: Know and understand how hearing instruments and assistive listening devices are promoted, advertised and market in the UK, including the relevant advertising standards. Back to Duty

K34: Know and understand how revenue, cost of sale and other costs affect profitability in relation to the retail sale of hearing instruments and assistive listening devices. Back to Duty

K35: To know and understand fitting formulae objectives and the impact of these on the fitting approach taken. Back to Duty

K36: To know about the styles, features and specifications of Hearing Instrument and assistive technologies and understand their impact on the fitting objective. Back to Duty

K37: To know and understand how to structure and provide content for an Individual management plan (IMP). Back to Duty

K38: To know and understand validation measurers and protocols, and verification standards and protocols. Back to Duty

K39: To know and understand how to create, update and complete a patient centred individual management plan. Back to Duty

K40: To know and understand how the acclimatization and adaptation process effects the rehabilitation process and the steps taken to give the best outcomes to the patient. Back to Duty

K41: To know and understand how different hearing aids and assistive listening devices are maintained, used and controlled. Back to Duty

K42: To know and understand how to construct and complete an outcome questionnaire to validate hearing aid fitting. Back to Duty

K43: To know and understand the employers range of assistive listening devices and how they work. Back to Duty

K44: To know and understand the British Society of Audiology Practice Guidance on Rehabilitation. Back to Duty

K45: To understand the psychology of a person accepting a hearing loss, and hearing aids, and the impact of this on their family, friends and colleagues. Back to Duty

K46: Have knowledge and understanding of different rehabilitation and auditory training tools, their benefits and limitations. Back to Duty

K47: Have knowledge and understand of different communication strategies and differing approaches to improving listening abilities. Back to Duty

K48: To understand the long term average speech spectrum and the impact on intelligibility with various hearing losses and the amplification strategy used. Back to Duty

K49: Know and understand how to fault find and identify component failure. Back to Duty

K50: Know and understand which aspects of repair need to be returned to the manufacturer and the employers process for completing this. Back to Duty

K51: Know and understand the combinations of consumable parts and the products they work with for the employers designated product range. Back to Duty

K52: To understand the role of history and lifestyle questions and how this will differ from initial assessments. Back to Duty

K53: To know and understand the current version of British Society of Audiology Recommended Procedures for taking aural impressions including open jaw impressions. Back to Duty

K54: To know and understand the variety and the properties of different impression materials and otostops for suitability of different end products and patients. Back to Duty

K55: To know the contra-indications to taking impressions. Back to Duty

K56: Know and understand the principles of time management and prioritisation differentiating between Important and Urgent tasks to achieve an appropriate work life balance. Back to Duty

K57: Know and understand the criteria and measurers that will be used to judge the effectiveness and success of the HAD in their role. Back to Duty

Skills

S1: To be able to interpret, apply and evidence the practical application of all relevant Health and Care professions Council Standards into actions and behaviours. Back to Duty

S2: To be able to exercise a professional duty of care. Back to Duty

S3: To maintain objective, professional and comprehensive records that clearly evidences gaining informed consent, activities delivered and accurately reflects all discussions and supports the continuity of end user care. Back to Duty

S4: To be able to use a structured approach to building a Continuous Professional Development portfolio that meets regulatory requirements and follows Professional Body guidance. Back to Duty

S5: To be able to engage in reflective practice appropriate to the role. Back to Duty

S6: Effective communication skills; including questioning, active listening, observation and rapport with end users, carers, their families and the wider care team. Back to Duty

S7: To be able to confidently navigate and seamlessly use the employers selected patient/customer record system. Back to Duty

S8: Safely conduct otoscopy to British Society of Audiology standards and safely conduct physical ear examinations. Back to Duty

S9: Identify, report and advise on observed abnormalities for onward referral to another healthcare practitioner. Back to Duty

S10: Explain the results of the examination to the end user in a professional and empathetic manner advising on the most appropriate action to take and using the findings to inform the next stages of assessment. Back to Duty

S11: To respect physical and cultural barriers that may prevent the examination to be effectively conducted and make adjustments where practical and necessary. Back to Duty

S12: Conduct safe, effective and appropriate ear wax removal. Back to Duty

S13: To take a relevant case history and record findings, specific to wax management, including; the nature and position of wax and the relevant case history and contra indicators to influence the selected removal approach. Back to Duty

S14: To safely and effectively dispose of clinical waste. Back to Duty

S15: To be able to conduct air conduction and bone conduction audiometry to British Society of Audiology recommended procedure. Back to Duty

S16: To be able to interpret air conduction and bone conduction results to determine if masking rules apply and where necessary perform the masking procedure. Back to Duty

S17: To be able to interpret the results obtained and make onward referral or determine service user care plan actions. Back to Duty

S18: To be able to adapt testing procedure and explanations to suit different responses and avoid erroneous results, including where tinnitus is present. Back to Duty

S19: To be able to explain the audiogram, results and any identified hearing loss to the person being tested. Back to Duty

S20: To analyse audiometric results to select the most suitable technology to assist an end users hearing. Back to Duty

S21: To program and set up a hearing product in a way that provides the best experience for the end user, their families or carers. Back to Duty

S22: To communicate with end users and their families or carers in a way that motivates them to want to take action, while respecting their individuality and competence in making informed choice. Back to Duty

S23: The ability to evaluate service user feedback on amplification and how this will be incorporated into the fitting and Individual Management Plan. Back to Duty

S24: To be able to use objective outcome verification and outcome validation methods and interpret the results to determine appropriate amplification objective and strategy. Back to Duty

S25: To be able to construct and write up a individual management plan centred on patient needs with a joint decision making and goal setting approach. Back to Duty

S26: To be able to explain and demonstrate hearing aid maintenance and use to the service user. Back to Duty

S27: To be able to set up assistive listening devices. Back to Duty

S28: To be able to adjust or reprogram hearing aids as appropriate to the patient’s feedback provided at the rehabilitation appointment. Back to Duty

S29: To be able to use an array of hearing satisfaction outcome questionnaires. and objective verification methods. Back to Duty

S30: To be able to access and interpret hearing aid data from built in usage log systems. Back to Duty

S31: To be able to fine tune the programming of hearing aids to improve the end user experience. Back to Duty

S32: To be able to design a task orientated programme to support the improvement in communication skills of the end user and their support network. Back to Duty

S33: Be able to conduct a systematic fault find of a hearing instrument using visual and electronic tests. Back to Duty

S34: Perform hearing aid triage - Cleaning, maintaining and making simple repairs of hearing instruments. Back to Duty

S35: To communicate with end users resulting in identifying their end goals with relation to their current hearing aids and hearing needs. Back to Duty

S36: To be able update and record findings alongside reviewing any previous records to highlight any changes that may have occurred for the end user. Back to Duty

S37: To communicate with end users and their families and/or carers in a way that will allow them to make an informed joint decision about their management plan. Back to Duty

S38: To be able to explain the impression taking procedure to patient professionally and calmly. Back to Duty

S39: To be able to insert a variety of otostops at the correct position for the required product and to seal ear canal. Back to Duty

S40: To be able to take an impression compliant to British Society of Audiology recommended procedures using a variety of impression materials and syringes. Back to Duty

S41: To be able to identify when the impression is ready for removal and safely remove it without trauma to the ear. Back to Duty

S42: To be able to advise and escalate actions, calmly, if an issue arises during the impression taking or removal procedure. Back to Duty

S43: To be able to inspect, examine and review the completed impression to assess it's viability for the supplier to use to manufacture the desired product. Back to Duty

S44: Time management and prioritisation skills. Back to Duty

Behaviours

B1: Treat people with dignity, respecting individual's diversity, beliefs, culture, needs, values, privacy and preferences in an inclusive, person-centric approach that validates the Health and Care Professions Council's requirements for the role. Back to Duty

B2: Show respect and empathy for those you work with, have the courage to challenge areas of concern and work to evidence based best practice. Back to Duty

B3: Be adaptable, reflective, reliable and consistent, show discretion, resilience, self-awareness and demonstrate leadership. Back to Duty

B4: Be professional, confident, knowledgeable, caring, compassionate and sensitive to the needs and feelings of others, conscientious, honest and trustworthy. Back to Duty


Qualifications

English & Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Other mandatory qualifications

Foundation Degree in Hearing Aid Audiology, BSc healthcare science (audiology), Certificate or Diploma in Audiology, Award in Hearing Aid Dispensing Competence

Level: 5

Professional Recognition

This standard has professional recognition.

Body Level
Health and Care Professions Council Level 5 award
British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists 5


Additional details


Regulated Standard

This is a Regulated occupation.

Regulator Body:

Health and Care Professions Council

Training provider must be approved by regulator body

Occupational Level:

5

Duration (months):

24

Review

This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 5
Reference: ST0600
Version: 1.0
Approved for delivery: 15 March 2019
Route: Health and science
Typical duration to gateway: 24 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £12000
Regulated Standard:
This is a regulated occupation
Regulator Body:Health and Care Professions Council
Item 1 must be approved by regulator body
Trailblazer contact(s): dvri@hiddenhearing.co.uk
Employers involved in creating the standard: Hidden Hearing Ltd, Specsavers, The Hearing Care Centre Ltd, Chime Social Enterprise CIC, Sonetik UK Ltd, Scrivens Limited, Correct Hearing, Bloom Hearing Specialists, Amplifon U.K. Ltd, Boots Hearingcare, IOM Hearing Solutions, UK Hearing Care, Outside Clinic
LARS Code: 421

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