AudiologyFAQ: Hearing

How can I find an Audiologist?

Check out our Find a Professional page for audiologists in public and private practice. You will find names and contact information for private practitioners and information about areas of expertise.

What is the difference between an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist (ENT), an audiologist and a hearing instrument practitioner/dealer?

An Ear, Nose and Throat specialist (ENT) or otolaryngologist is a medical doctor who treats and diagnoses diseases of the ear, nose and throat. ENTs will typically complete a four-year university undergraduate degree, followed by a four-year medical degree and a four or five year specialty residency program. In Canada, ENTs do not dispense or prescribe hearing aids, although they may recommend them.

Audiologists are healthcare professionals who are trained in communication disorders, including the physiology of speech and hearing organs, physics of sound, hearing loss, hearing loss prevention, aural rehabilitation, and treatment of hearing loss. Audiologists will typically complete a four-year university undergraduate degree, followed by a two- or three-year master’s (graduate) degree. ‘Dispensing’ audiologists will have further specialized training in fitting and dispensing hearing aids.

Hearing instrument specialists (also called hearing aid dispensers, practitioners or dealers) have training in hearing testing, hearing aid fitting and servicing. The training required to be a hearing aid dispenser is two years post secondary training, usually done online, and then passing a licensing test. Only those individuals licensed with the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC are legally allowed to dispense hearing aids in the province of British Columbia. In order to obtain licensing, individuals must pass a comprehensive oral and written examination, as well as complete a set number of supervised hours under the training of a licensed dispenser. To check the status of any license, or to lodge a complaint, you may contact the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professions of BC at 604.568.1568. The proper fitting of hearing aids requires careful evaluation and testing, followed by post-fitting care and adjustments. Purchasing hearing aids by mail or over-the-counter bypasses all of these important processes and is certain to lead to an unsatisfactory solution to your hearing problem.

For more information on the difference between an audiologist and hearing instrument practitioner, visit SAC.

What is the charge for private audiology services?

As rates for services vary, please check the bill rates and billing process with the audiologist before booking an appointment.

What services are billed?

It is important to find out exactly what you will be asked to pay for. Take the time to ask for specific costs so there are no surprises once services are started.

Please note that in order to practice in BC all registrants have to meet the standards of the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC. There are documentation standards that are required of the audiologist.

Is there funding for private audiology services?

Please check our funding page for more information.

Can you recommend an audiologist?

We will not recommend a specific audiologist; however, our online Find a Professional tool can help you find private clinics in your area.

How do I know that a professional is in fact an audiologist?

In order to practice in BC, an audiologist has to be a registrant with the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC (CSHHPBC). Check the registry to insure that the individual is listed.

For your protection, we recommend that you contact the College if an unqualified person is posing as an audiologist.

What do I do if I am unhappy about professional services?

BCASLPA is a member-driven association; we do not respond to concerns or complaints from consumers. If you have a concern, the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC protects the public and will listen to your concerns.

Please contact them at:
College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC
410 – 999 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K5
email info@cshhpbc.org
tel 604.568.1568
fax 604.568.1566

What are all the letters after the audiologists names?

Audiologists will list their university degree, typically MSc (Master of Science) or MA (Master of Arts) depending on the University program. If the professional has a doctorate in Audiology, they will list Au.D. In most cases, professionals only list their highest degree.

RAUD (Registered Audiologist) means that the person is registered with College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC and is licensed to practice in BC. The audiologist may have completed additional professional training to become certified in certain specialty areas. They will note this at the end of their title, for example “Certified in Cochlear Implant Management”.

Aud(C) or Certified in Audiology by SAC means that the professional is a certified member of our national association, Speech-Language and Audiology Canada.

CCC-Aud means that the professional is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the national credentialing association in the United States, and has met the requirements for certification in Audiology.

RHIP means Registered Hearing Instrument Practitioner. This person has met the requirements for registration with the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC.