By the Division of Professional Licensure



Does an Audiologist need to be licensed as a Hearing Instrument Specialist?

No, they are already able to dispense hearing instruments.

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How do I locate the Board of Hearing Instrument Specialists?

The Web address for the Board is www.mass.gov/dpl/boards/he/. The telephone number is (617) 727-4459.

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Where should I send the application and who do I make the check out to?

The applications should be sent to:

Board of Registration of Hearing Instrument Specialists
1000 Washington Street
Suite 710
Boston, MA 02118-6100

Checks should be made payable to:

The Commonwealth of MA

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What are the qualifications to become a Hearing Instrument Specialist?

Please see 265 CMR 3.01 on the Board's "Statutes and Regulations" page for the qualifications. Please see the Licensure Information Sheet on the Board's "Applications and Forms" page for the application procedures.  Note that the info sheet is also attached to the Application form.

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What does the apprenticeship consist of?

The apprenticeship consists of working under the direction of a licensed hearing instrument specialist for one year. (a) During the apprenticeship period, the apprentice shall be required to have at least 150 hours of directly supervised practice that shall include the following:

(i.) 25 hours of pure tone air conduction, bone conduction, and speech audiometry, recorded and/or live voice;

(ii.) 25 hours of hearing instrument evaluations post fitting;

(iii.) 20 hours of instrument fittings with actual clients;

(iv.) 10 hours of earmold orientation types, uses, and terminology;

(v.) 15 hours of earmold impressions and otoscopic examinations of the ear;

(vi.) 15 hours of troubleshooting of defective hearing instruments;

(vii.) 20 hours of case history with actual clients;

(viii.) Ten (10) hours of Massachusetts general laws and regulations governing the licensing of persons fitting and dispensing hearing instruments and federal Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission regulations relating to the fitting and dispensing of hearing instruments; and

(ix.). Ten (10) hours of supplemental work in one or more of the above areas.

(b) The specific required hours of practical instruction as set out in 265 CMR 5.03 (3) is to be provided by the apprentice’s supervisor or a designee of the supervisor. If any training is provided, a designee of the supervisor must license such designee licensed in the Commonwealth as a hearing instrument specialist or audiologist and the Board, as needed may request a copy of such license.

(c) The time spent by apprentices in related instruction during the regular workday is to be classified as hours of work, and apprentices are to receive their normal hourly compensation for this time. Such hours will be counted as part of the term of the apprenticeship. Time spent by apprentices in related instruction at local educational institutions outside the regular work hours is not be classified as hours of work , and the employer is not required to pay the apprentice their normal hourly compensation for this time.

(d) Prior to applying for licensure, an apprentice must submit in writing to the Board certification from his or her supervisor that the entire specific required hours of practical training has been successfully completed.

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What are the qualifications to be an apprentice?

Apprentices must be at least eighteen years of age, hold a high school diploma or GED, be employed by a licensed hearing instrument specialist, and be registered with the Board. Contact the Hearing Instrument Specialist Board to obtain an application at (617) 727-5339.

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How do I obtain information about the International Hearing Society home study course?

The International Hearing Society provides information online at: http://www.ihsinfo.org . You may also wish to contact the organization by calling (734) 522-7200.

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When does a Hearing Instrument Specialist renew his/her license?

The renewal period occurs biennially on April 1 of the odd year.

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What does the continuing education program consist of?

The program consists of a formal presentation such as a lecture or interactive session with specified learning objectives sponsored by Board-recognized entities at which registrants can earn contact hours.

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How many contact hours are required?

Twenty hours of continuing education are required per renewal cycle.

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What are acceptable continuing education activities?

Acceptable continuing education activities include:

(a) Published books, chapters of published books and/or articles in refereed journals related to the science or practice of the dispensing of hearing instruments or the science of hearing aids may be submitted for not more than 10 of the total 20 contact hours of continuing education activities required per continuing education period. A maximum of three hours may be credited per book chapter or article.

(b) Instructors of courses, workshops, or seminars may be credited one contact hour for each continuing education hour of the activity taught by the instructor, up to a maximum of 10 of the required 20 hours of continuing education activity required per continuing education period.

(c) Any one academic course related to the contemporary practice of dispensing hearing instruments or the science of hearing aids may be submitted for not more than 10 of the 20 required hours of continuing education activity required per continuing education period.

(d) Independent studies related to the science or practice of the dispensing of hearing instruments or the science of hearing aids approved by the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the Massachusetts Hearing Society or the Massachusetts Speech, Language and Hearing Association may be submitted for not more than 10 of the 20 required hours of continuing education activity required per continuing education period

(3) Only those continuing education activities, which are completed during the required continuing education period (24 months prior to each renewal date), will be acceptable as qualifying continuing education activities for that period.

(4) All continuing education activities other than Board-approved continuing education programs set forth in 265 CMR 5.02 are subject to approval by the Board.

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How does the Board verify that a licensee upheld his/her continuing education obligation?

According to 265 CMR 5.02 Verification/Approval of Registrant’s Continuing Education Activities:

At the time of license renewal, each registrant is required to submit to the Board a signed statement on a form provided by the Board attesting under the pains and penalty of perjury to satisfaction of the continuing education requirements.

(2) For each continuing education contact hour earned by participation in a continuing education program, a registrant must be able to provide documentation of the following:

(a) The title of the program or course;

(b) The number of hours spent in the program or course;

(c) institution or sponsoring agency; and

(d) the number of hours the registrant spent teaching or participating in the independent study.

(5) The Board may review and/or randomly audit the documentation of any registrant’s continuing education requirements and may request the documentation described in 265 CMR 5.02 (1) - (4) for two prior licensure renewal/continuing education periods. The Board shall determine whether the activity/program documentation submitted meets all criteria for continuing education as specified in 265 CMR 5.00.

(6) The Board may reject continuing education activities, which do not meet the requirements of 265 CMR 5.00, in part or in whole.

(7) The Board may reject any incomplete or inaccurate documentation of continuing education in part or in whole.

(8) The Board may determine requirements to be fulfilled in order to allow a registrant who has not met the continuing education requirement to renew his/her license.

(9) Failure to complete or provide required documentation of completion of continuing education requirements might result in non-renewal of a license or disciplinary action.

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How long can I expect to receive a warranty on my hearing instrument equipment?

Most manufacturers offer a one to two or three year repair warranty. (Loss and damage is usually covered for one year). However, you should check with the licensee when you receive your equipment.

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If I cancel my order do I have to pay for my fitting?

Pursuant to 265 CMR 6.04 (2):

If a purchaser cancels or rescinds a sale within the terms of this subsection; the seller shall be entitled to retain the charges for the ear molds, service provided to fit the hearing aid, any repairs, remake or adjustments performed that is not contained with in any other warranty of sale or service, not to exceed 20 percent of the purchase charge. Any charges retained shall be explained in writing to the purchaser.

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Is a licensee required to perform hearing tests?

A. Yes.

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