Audiologists have credentialing needs that are related to a variety of factors.
New graduates with little experience outside of their foundational training need a state license and a resume that reflects a readiness for professional practice. An independent verification of credentials by a third party, such as a professional organization, is helpful for new graduates as further validation of practice-readiness.
Licensed professionals with expertise in specialty focus areas may gain additional credibility if they hold a certificate documenting specialty training. If you are an audiologist who seeks to establish and hold yourself to the highest standards, a board-certification credential is right for you!
Board Certified in Audiology®
The Board Certified in Audiology credential is recognized by professional and lay communities as a mark of distinction. Board certification is often a de facto requirement for practice, due to hospital or medical group requirements.
In audiology, the board certification is a rigorous credential verification process with higher standards than those required by state license boards or other membership organizations. Many states and employers recognize the board certification as an effective and independent verification of credentials.
Specialty certifications, such as the Pediatric Audiology Specialty Certification® (PASC) offered by the ABA, indicate that the holder has practiced for a specified minimum number of years in the profession, acquired advanced skills in the specialty area, and passed a rigorous examination.
The specialty certification testifies to an audiologist’s expertise in the specialty area. This certification demonstrates to colleagues, health-care providers, patients, and employers that the audiologist has acquired a high level of knowledge in the specialty area and may be considered a top choice as a care provider.
The ABA and the American Academy of Audiology routinely evaluate the offerings of specialty certifications to ensure that there is sufficient membership interest in each offering and a sufficient number of certificants to provide input for exam updates and validation.
The ABA offers focused training programs to earn status as a Certificate Holder in Tinnitus Management (CH-TM) and as an Audiology Preceptor (CH-AP). The certificate offerings were created in response to a need for training that could go beyond continuing education courses or graduate training. These courses have proven to be very popular with members of the profession seeking to improve their knowledge base and skills.
Most of us will need a state license to enjoy the title of audiologist.
Even government employees must be licensed somewhere, if not in the state where they practice.
License portability is an issue for practitioners who decide to move from one state to another. State rules for licensure are not all the same, but generally require a degree from an accredited institution, a passing score on the Praxis or “national exam,” and specific hours of supervised practice.
Mid- or later career audiologists may have difficulty tracking down documentation if seeking licensure in another state, or if required by a new employer, or when credentialing as a provider for a third-party payer. Board certification offers a significant value for these purposes, especially now that the Board Certified in Audiology credential verification has gained wide recognition.
The Value of Credentials
Board certification, certificates, and specialty certifications are voluntary and available at our discretion as professionals.
The value in acquiring and maintaining credentials and verification is individual. Some institutions, such as the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense, may recognize credentialed individuals for their accomplishment. Some audiologists are simply satisfied with an internal feeling of reward and a sense of accomplishment after earning a certification.
Each of the certifications offered by the ABA represent additional effort and financial investment. Our individual sense of value may be a reflection of our commitment to the profession and our commitment to gain the skills and knowledge needed to provide that extra edge that our patients appreciate.
If you are interested in learning more about credentialing, licensing, certificates, and certifications, check out the American Board of Audiology website.