Anyone dispensing/selling hearing aids to consumers in the State of Alabama must hold a valid AL HIDB Permit or License with an affixed current seal in one of the following areas:
- HEARING AID APPRENTICE
(Holds an AL State Apprentice Permit under Sponsorship and Supervision of an AL NBC-HIS Dispenser)
A person who has passed the IHS Distance Learning Course, and can train and dispense under the direct, on-site supervision by an assigned Licensed Hearing Aid Dispenser and/or Specialist.
An Apprentice MAY NOT perform: Hearing Tests, Hearing Screenings,Hearing Aid Fittings, Tympanometry, Real Ear Measurements or any form of Dispensing to include Selling without the direct and immediate presence of their Supervising Dispenser or Specialist.
- LICENSED HEARING AID SPECIALIST
(Holds an AL State Specialist License under Sponsorship of an AL NBC-HIS Dispenser)
A person who has met the Apprentice requirements as well as having passed the AL State Practical Exam, AL State Laws & Rules Exam and IHS Alabama Written Exam. A licensed Hearing Aid Specialist may operate independently to own and/or operate a hearing aid dispensing office as long as they have a sponsoring Alabama BC-HIS Dispenser.
- AL NBC-HIS DISPENSER (LHAS, BC-HIS)
(Nationally Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences – NBC-HIS and AL State Licensed and/or Audiologist)
A person who has passed the National Board for Certification Written exam and has earned the title (BCHIS) Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist as well as having passed the AL Practical and State Laws exams. Or, any Audiologist who has Applied for AL HIDB Licensure. (Out-of-State Reciprocity dependent upon having passed the NBC-HIS exam within the previous 12 months.)
The exam is typically given 3 times per year: January, May & September.
Apprentice Permit Fee –$125
Hearing Aid Specialist Examination Fee – $200
Initial Application Fee– $250
The state board requires ten (10) continuing education units (CEU’S or hours) each year at license renewal. In any two (2) consecutive years (20 hour cycles), six (6) directed CEU’S must be completed.
These (6) directed hours must include: two (2) hours in medical, two (2) hours in patient care/management, and two (2) hours in Alabama state laws & ethics. The remaining fourteen (14) required non-directed CEU hours (in a 20 hour cycle) may be taken in class or online as long as they are IHS approved.
The applicant needs to submit the following documents as well –
- Proof of High School Graduation or GED
- Proof of Completion of IHS Distance Learning Program
- Work History & Education Form
- Verification of Licensure Form – if currently/previously licensed in another state
All applicants must register and pass the Hearing Instrument Dealers Board practical and state law exams before the board can notify the International Hearing Society (IHS) of the applicant’s eligibility to sit for the computer-based written portion of the examination. The applicant is then responsible for registering with IHS and paying the required examination fees to them. This exam may be taken at any approved IHS examination location.
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