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ABA Board & Specialty Certification: 2008

ABA Board & Specialty Certification: 2008

July 28, 2008 In the News

By Bettie Borton, AuD; James W. Hall III, PhD; Sara Blair Lake, JD; Amy Miedema; and Douglas L. Beck AuD

The American Board of Audiology® (ABA) was organized in 1997 and commenced conferring certification in January 1999. The ABA is an autonomous organization dedicated to enhancing the profession of audiology by promoting a high level of professional development and ethical practice.

The ABA is governed by a Board of Governors. The 2008 governors are

  • Bettie C. Borton AuD, ABA Chair
  • James Beauchamp, AuD, ABA First Vice Chair
  • James W. Hall III, PhD, ABA Second Vice Chair
  • Bruce M. Edwards, AuD, Immediate Past Chair & Ex Officio Member
  • Alison Grimes, AuD, Academy Liaison
  • Beth Longnecker, AuD
  • Jill Meltzer, AuD
  • Angela Morris, AuD
  • Ellis Rosenberg, MBA, Public Representative
  • Steven D. Sederholm, AuD
  • Sara Blair Lake, JD, CAE, Managing Director & Ex Officio Member

Board Certified in Audiology
To be "Board Certified in Audiology" is voluntary and is not dependent on membership in any professional association. State Licensure is granted by your state and your state issued license allows you to practice as an audiologist. ABA certification does not replace your license. ABA certification represents a commitment to excellence through lifelong learning.

There are approximately 1,500 audiologists who are “Board Certified in Audiology,” with many more applications in process. The ABA is experiencing an extremely high level of interest in the program and the certification process currently takes several months. The following states specifically recognize ABA Board Certification in Audiology for the purpose of expedited licensure: Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Virginia, and Washington. ABA is working with other states, too, and they will be announced as soon as possible.

Earning the ABA Certification
To be "Board Certified an Audiology" audiologists need to complete the online application. The application process verifies successful completion of doctoral study in audiology from a regionally accredited university and verifies the degree has been officially conferred. Applicants must have achieved a score of 600 or higher on the national examination in audiology and must demonstrate completion of a minimum of 2,000 hours of mentored professional practice in a two-year period. The mentor must be a state licensed or ABA certified audiologist. ABA Certification is valid for three years, after which the certificant may seek recertification premised primarily on continuing professional education.

Maintaining ABA Certification
Click here to review the recertification details and protocols.

Effective January 1, 2008, ABA certificants seeking recertification must have obtained 6.0 continuing education hours (60 clock hours) during their three-year certification period. Of the 60 clock hours, forty-five (45) can be standard (Tier 2) continuing education hours. Fifteen (15) must be Tier 1 continuing education hours. Click here for a description of the content and process of Tier 1 CEU. Additionally, three (3) clock hours must address professional ethics, at either level (Tier 1 or Tier 2).

Specialty Certification
Specialty certification is not the same as board certification. The purpose of specialty certification is to:

  • Identify the essential knowledge in the specialty to promote better patient outcomes;
  • Demonstrate professional experience to employers and help identify professionals who are qualified to fill a specialized position;
  • Provide consumers with a method of identifying audiologists with expertise in a specialized practice area; and
  • Promote professional advancement and recognition.

Currently, a specialty certification in cochlear implants (CI) in available through the ABA and a specialty certification in pediatric audiology is in development. Requirements for the CI specialty certification include practice experience with cochlear implant patients and successful completion of an objective examination created by a professional examination consultant and a committee of subject matter experts. To date, 60 audiologists hold the ABA’s cochlear implant specialty certification. The examination is typically offered following the AudiologyNOW!® and after major cochlear implant conventions.

Click here to find application materials for specialty certification.

For more information on these topics, please contact the American Board of Audiology at or visit

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