LIVONIA, MICHIGAN – The International Hearing Society (IHS) announced that it has received Certification of the new National Guidelines for Apprenticeship Standards for the Hearing Aid Specialist occupation from the US Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Apprenticeship.
According to IHS, the newly registered apprenticeship program will provide a path for standardized training for Hearing Aid Specialists in the US; provide career matching services to ease the burden on employers to find qualified candidates; and will also help employers (through additional incentives) to utilize the DOL registered apprenticeship system.
Competency Based Program
The two year, competency-based, apprenticeship program enables Hearing Aid Specialist candidates to complete the program in less than two years if they have proven readiness as certified by their supervisor.
Once the program is completed, the apprentice will receive a certificate of training from the DOL. The DOL certification is recognized nationwide and often globally as well.
“As a Society created over 60 years ago to ensure high-level educational standards for hearing aid dispensing professionals, IHS is incredibly honored to be awarded this prestigious certification from the DOL for the Hearing Aid Specialist Registered Apprenticeship”
–Kathleen Mennillo, MBA, IHS Executive Director
Promoting excellence in training and education for Hearing Aid Specialists has been among IHS’ highest priorities and considerable staff and volunteer time has been dedicated to working with the DOL to build a quality program.
In the coming weeks, IHS members will receive information on how to utilize the DOL registered apprenticeship system to train new apprentices, among other details about the number of benefits the program offers.
IHS will begin rolling out an implementation plan which includes working with each state to provide instructions on adopting the program.
While IHS would like to see a uniform standard of licensing laws across the US for Hearing Aid Specialists, they note that this would likely take several years to achieve, despite the new federal recognition of the apprenticeship program standards.
Early on in the process, IHS plans to work directly with a handful of states to help them clearly understand the process and learn and test the new system. Once there is a clear understanding, the Society plans to encourage all potential employers and states to recognize and utilize the program.