Joshua Huppert, AuD
Assistant Professor and Pediatric Audiologist | University of Miami Ear Institute, Miami, Florida
Unlike state licensure, the only necessary and sufficient credential needed to practice audiology in the United States, certification is voluntary. That is, should a practicing professional choose to pursue certification, he or she is going above and beyond those requirements determined by a state or federal agency that grants an individual a legal right to practice within his or her respective state(s).
When I was looking into certification, I knew I was limited to two possible options—the Certificate of Clinical Competency in Audiology (CCC-A) through the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) or Board Certification in Audiology through the ABA.
As a steward to the profession of audiology, I wanted to ensure that the organization through which I sought certification would adequately represent and embody the ideals and ambitions I had to elevate, and enhance the profession moving forward. Quite simply, I was unsure how ASHA could fulfill these aims when only 10 percent of its membership are audiologists. The ABA, however, being an organization whose representation is of, by, and for audiologists, does more closely align with my aims, and so, for me, the choice was a no-brainer.
Furthermore, the ABA’s Board Certification in Audiology designation requires a more rigorous continuing education structure that demonstrates an individual’s dedication to advancing his or her skills and knowledge as a practicing professional across notably more diverse topic areas (including professional ethics). I believe that structure exalts my credibility and sets me uniquely apart from my fellow colleagues and other professionals.
I’m proud to be board certified because I believe it is a step in the right direction to help raise the bar on standards of excellence across the profession, which will only ensure a brighter, more prosperous future for our profession and the patients we serve daily.
Hannah McLeod, AuD
Clinical Audiologist | The American Institute of Balance, Largo, Florida
Around this time last year, I took the first leap into my career—graduation. Although we spend years looking forward to that day, it feels more like a formality, as I already mastered how to mask for bone conduction and word recognition, how to coax an anxious patient into spinning 100 degrees per second in a rotary chair, and recognize that carrots are part of the parsley family. My days of homework assignments and carefully logging patient contact hours were behind me, and I had a new adventure ahead of me—a world of licensure, certifications, and continuing education.
My initial exposure to ABA and board certification was through my attendance at AAA conferences during graduate school. As a student, it was always a fun, yet hectic few days, with an overwhelming amount of information regarding my future choices affecting my career. At that time, I was not sure of the steps or qualifications for board certification, or how it could contribute to my career. Several of my colleagues are board certified, and it was their recommendation that I explore ABA further following graduation.
ABA’s mission is to “create, administer, and promote rigorous credentialing programs that elevate professional practice and advance patient care.” I chose to become board-certified to demonstrate my commitment to maintaining high standards of practice and continuing education to both my patients and colleagues. As part of a very interdisciplinary private practice, board certification is a recognizable standard that translates well with other health care providers. Board certification is also recognizable to patients and shows a commitment to exceeding minimum requirements for practicing as an audiologist.So, to all my fellow young professionals, I encourage you to explore the American Board of Audiology’s board certification, the benefits it can provide both you and your practice, and to discuss it with your colleagues. We are the future of our profession, and we owe it to our colleagues and our patients to be involved in our profession, continue our education, and hold ourselves to a high standard of practice.
How to Become Board Certified:
To earn the Board Certified in Audiology credential, first submit to the ABA staff a written application (www.boardofaudiology.org) that meets the requirements in each of four eligibility categories. Then, agree to uphold the ABA ethical standards and pay all appropriate fees.
- Category 1: Education
- Category 2: Licensure
- Category 3: Professional Experience
- Category 4: Employment History