The Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners of Ontario
Cerumen Removal Management Certification Policy
1.0 Scope of Practice & Terms of Reference
The removal of cerumen from the external ear canal is within the scope of practice of Hearing Instrument Specialists (H.I.S.) and Hearing Instrument Dispensers (H.I.D.) pursuant to AHIP’s Article III, Sections 3.1.1 and 3.1.2. The By-Laws provide that the H.I.S. and the H.I.D. whose practice includes the removal of cerumen from the external ear canal must have successfully completed the educational requirements as determined by AHIP for the removal of cerumen from time to time.
The terms of reference for the Education Committee are set out in the By-Laws, Article IX, Section 9.1.2 Subsection (ii) which includes the following purpose: “To establish and maintain policies, procedures and guidelines for continuing education requirements.”
Members must complete a Cerumen Removal Management Certification Program accredited by the AHIP Board of Directors which meets the required educational principles as outlined in Appendix A to this policy.
The certification process outlined in this policy are the minimum acceptable level of standards with respect to cerumen removal training.
Members must practice within the limits of their competence as determined by their education, training, and professional experience.
Full H.I.D. or H.I.S. AHIP members in good standing are eligible to complete the Cerumen Removal Management Certification Program as outlined in this policy.
The practice of cerumen removal is optional for both H.I.D. and H.I.S. members.
4.0 Qualifications of Monitor and Restrictions
The clinical experience portion of the certification must be monitored by a qualified monitor who meets the following requirements:
- The monitor is a Hearing Instrument Specialist (H.I.S.) or a Hearing Instrument Dispenser (H.I.D.) who is an AHIP member in good standing; and/or an Audiologist, who is a CASLPO member in good standing and must have a minimum of two (2) consecutive years of experience.
- A monitor can monitor no more than two (2) cerumen applicants at any given time.
- In the case of a H.I.S. or H.I.D. monitor, has been certified in cerumen management for at least two (2) years and has provided proof of AHIP approved certification.
- In the case of an Audiologist monitor, must have practiced cerumen management for at least two (2) years and follow the CASLPO Standards for Cerumen Management, October 2018.1.
The AHIP Cerumen Removal Management Certification Program is a two-step process.
The member completes and provides, to the AHIP office, proof of successful completion of the Cerumen Management Training in the form of an online course provided by Pacific Audiology Group (https://pacificaudiologygroup.com/earwax-removal-training/) .
The member successfully completes a set of criteria and a specific amount of cerumen extractions under the supervision of an eligible monitor.
Important Deadline – step two must be completed within one (1) year of the completion date of the online course, or the applicant will need to complete step one again.
- Once the AHIP office receives proof from a member of successful completion of the Pacific Audiology Group on-line course, the member will be sent the AHIP Cerumen Removal Certificate Program Application.
The application must be fully completed by both the applicant and the monitor, and sent to the AHIP office via mail, fax, or e-mail.
- Upon verification by the AHIP office that the applicant is a Full H.I.D. or H.I.S. member of AHIP and that the qualifications of the monitor comply with section 4.0 of this policy, the applicant and the monitor will be sent a letter outlining acceptance. Attached to the applicant’s acceptance letter will be the Criteria and Extractions Log Form.
- Upon the members’ successful completion of the listed criteria and required extractions, the monitor and applicant will sign and date the Criteria and Extractions Log Form and send the original to the AHIP office via mail or courier.
- The Chair of Education will contact the monitor and interview them in relation to the criteria, extractions performed and the competency of the applicant. The Chair may utilize a series of questions to the monitor and/or member to assist in the assessment.
- When successful verification is determined, the Chair of Education will sign and date the Criteria and Extractions Log Form as complete and send to the AHIP office.
- Upon receipt of this verification from the Chair, the AHIP office will produce the AHIP Cerumen Removal Management Certificate of completion. The certificate(s) will be signed and dated by the President and Chair of Education, then sent to the applicant/member for display and insurance purposes.
AHIP members who perform cerumen removal must obtain Professional Liability Insurance covering cerumen removal. To obtain this additional coverage, members must provide a copy of their AHIP certificate as proof of successful completion of this AHIP approved program.
1. College of Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists of Ontario, “Practice Standards for Cerumen Management,” October 2018
Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners of Ontario
Continuing Education Units Policy
In order to maintain membership in the Association, a minimum of 12 hours of approved continuing education units (CEUs) must be obtained per calendar year. The member is required to submit to the Association evidence of obtaining approved CEUs. The Board of Directors may approve exceptions in cases of illness or other incapacity.
1.0 No more than six (6) of the twelve (12) CEUs may be obtained from any one manufacturer of hearing aids.
2.0 It is the responsibility of the individual member to notify and present proof to the Association that the minimum CEUs has been obtained for that year.
3.0 To obtain approval, all providers of continuing education hours must submit a completed CEU Application Form, 30 days in advance of the training session to the Chair of Continuing Education (via the AHIP Office). Closed Sessions as defined in 4.0 will be considered for up to two (2) hours of the twelve (12) CEUs. The Board of Directors may approve a specified number of hours upon recommendation of the Chair of Continuing Education. The Board holds the unconditional right to approve or deny any submissions.
4.0 Closed Sessions are defined as sales representatives’ visits or in-office training as well as company only sessions.
5.0 Members attending training seminars need not request prior approval if the provider has already requested and obtained that approval.
6.0 If a member wishes to attend a training course that has not had prior approval by the Association, the member must submit his/her request to the Chair of Continuing Education (via the AHIP office) 30 days in advance of the training session. This submission must be done in writing and include the name, address, telephone number and website (if available) of the provider, course syllabus, identify the number of hours requested and the dates. If the member does not submit for approval before the event occurs the hours will not be considered for CEU approval.
7.0 Members attending Association approved seminars within the 30 days moratorium period before the AHIP Symposium will be credited with the approved CEU hours only if they attend the Symposium. Otherwise, there will be no accreditation during the moratorium period.
8.0 Members in attendance of a “full membership” meeting such as the AHIP Annual General Meeting, Semi-Annual or Special Meeting will be allowed to obtain a maximum 2 hours of CEUs regarding each such meeting.
9.0 A member attending the same seminar twice will be awarded CEU hours for only one seminar.
10.0 A maximum of 2 CEU hours regarding H.I.S. student mentoring per calendar year (regardless of number of students) may be obtained by any AHIP member who takes one or more clinical placement student. A completed CEU Mentoring Student Application must be submitted by the Member.
11.0 Faculty members of any of the recognized Colleges are allowed to obtain a maximum of 2 CEU hours per calendar year for teaching. A completed CEUs Teaching Application must be submitted by the Member.
12.0 Audiology OnLine, AHIP approved seminars, will be accepted upon successful completion & submission of certificate to AHIP.
13.0 Any member who has not completed the educational requirements as determined by the Education Committee and approved by the Board of Directors will have his or her membership automatically suspended on February 1st.
Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners of Ontario
Hearing Instrument Specialist (H.I.S.) Internship Program
1.0 Background and Scope of Practice
The requirement of Internship and the Licensing Exam for Hearing Instrument Specialists is outlined within in the Association’s By-Laws, Article III, Section 3.1.1. Hearing Instrument Specialist (H.I.S.) as follows:
“Those who have met the educational requirements leading to a provincial certificate or diploma in the field of audiometric evaluation and hearing instrument provision and have successfully completed the International Licensing Examination (ILE) effective July 1, 2007 and who abide by the Code of Professional Conduct. The applicant must furnish a copy of their certificate or diploma. The applicant shall have successfully completed one thousand (1,000) hours of Internship as established in policy and governed by the Association.
The Hearing Instrument Specialist (H.I.S.) shall be certified in the practice of testing hearing, selection, fitting, counseling, and dispensing of hearing instruments and associated devices, and the removal of cerumen from the external ear canal where a member’s practice includes it.”
2.0 Internship Policy
The terms of reference for the Education Committee are outlined within the Association’s By-Laws, Article XI “Mandatory Committees” Section 9.1.2. Sub-section (iii) which states: “To establish and maintain policies and procedures for the Hearing Instrument Specialist (H.I.S.) Internship program.”
3.0 Qualifications of Monitor and Restrictions
This clinical experience must be monitored by a Hearing Instrument Specialist (H.I.S.) who is an AHIP member in good standing; and/or an Audiologist, Reg. CASLPO member in good standing.
The above noted Monitors must also have a minimum of two consecutive years’ experience as a Hearing Instrument Specialist or an Audiologist and can monitor no more than two (2) interns at any given time.
4.0 Definition of Supervision
4.1 Close Supervision (300 hours)
During the first 300 supervised hours, the Monitor must be on site 100% of the time with the Intern. The Monitor must co-sign all written reports, audiograms, and verification measures. The Intern may not provide care to patients in the Monitors absence from the clinic.
4.2 General Supervision (700 hours)
During the final 700 hours, the Monitor will provide general supervision, monitoring the actions performed by the Intern, co-signs all written reports, audiograms, and verification measures. The Monitor will be available for case discussions and will review case files at least weekly. The Intern may provide services to clients on occasions when the Monitor is not in the clinic provided:
- the Intern previously demonstrated appropriate skill in the service to be provided.
- the Monitor is available for consultation via telephone or electronic means, and
- the Monitor is otherwise present in the clinic at least 60% of the time the Intern is providing clinical services.
5.0 Internship Criteria
Upon successful completion of a recognized Hearing Instrument Specialist (H.I.S.) Program, to obtain H.I.S. status the H.I.D. member must:
- Obtain and successfully complete a minimum 1,000 hours of supervised, clinical experience within 36 months of graduation.
- Successfully complete and submit the AHIP Work Plan (Appendix B).
6.0 Enrollment Process
6.1 Full H.I.D. Members can obtain an Application for Internship Enrollment (Appendix A) from the office of the Association or via the website.
The Application must be fully completed by both the Intern and the Monitor, and the original application submitted to the office of the Association.
Note: As an Intern, you must inform the Association and have another application completed and approved in advance of any proposed change of Monitor or work location.
6.2 Upon verification that the Intern and Monitor comply with Section 3.0 of this policy the Intern will be sent:
- A letter outlining acceptance and the date at which the Internship can commence.
- A Work Plan Declaration (Appendix B) to be immediately signed and dated by both the Intern and the Monitor.
- Monthly Log Forms
- Logs must be received or postmarked before the 15th of the following month at the AHIP office.
- Logs are to be properly completed with dates, signatures, and initials to be counted.
7.0 Confirmation Process
At the end of 300 hours of the internship process, the Chair of Internship will contact both the Intern and the Monitor to inquire how the process is proceeding and ask if either require any assistance or advice.
Upon completion and submission to the AHIP office of 1000 hours and the Work Plan Declaration, this information will be forwarded to the Chair of Internship for review. The Chair will contact the Monitor(s) and interview them in relation to each section of the Work Plan Declaration in relation to the competency of the Intern.
The Chair may also utilize a series of questions to the Monitor and/or Intern to assist in his/her assessment.
Based on the assessment of the Chair of Internship:
- If successful, and the Intern has passed the ILE exam, the Intern will be motioned as successfully completing the AHIP Internship Program. If passed a letter advising the Intern, he/she has successfully completed the AHIP Internship Program and obtained full H.I.S. status, will be sent and the Monitor copied.
- If the ILE exam is outstanding, the file will be held at the AHIP office until the exam is successfully passed. Once the exam is passed, the Intern will be motioned at the next available Board of Directors meeting. If passed a letter advising the Intern, he/she has successfully completed the AHIP Internship Program and obtained full H.I.S status, will be sent and the Monitor copied.
- If not successful, the Intern and Monitor will be sent a letter advising that the Intern has not successfully completed the HIS Internship Program. The Chair will offer advice on what would be required to achieve a favorable outcome and upon completion the Intern will be re-assessed at a later date.
Out of Province Internship Requirements
Enrollment in the H.I.S. Internship program is accepted pending full membership with AHIP and proof that Monitor(s) are either qualified Hearing Instrument Specialists or Audiologists under the requirements of the prospective province and comply with Section 3.0 (Criteria) of this policy. All Internship criteria and processes as outlined in this policy will apply.
International Licensing Exam (ILE) Criteria and Process
Upon successful completion of an AHIP provincially recognized college or university program, the H.I.D. member must, in addition to successfully completing the AHIP Internship Program also successfully pass the International Licensing Exam, if he/she wishes to pursue H.I.S. status.
The written examination was developed by the International Hearing Society (IHS). It is an objective, practicum based multiple choice examination comprised of five scales which are based on the five core areas of competency.
Upon H.I.D. membership status, the AHIP office provides the members’ name and e-mail address to IHS who will then contact the member via email to create an account and arrange for the web-based examination. The member must pay IHS directly for the cost of the written exam. The member will be notified of their results by the AHIP office within 7-10 days of the examination date. There are several testing centres in Ontario to take the IHS written examination.
Members may choose to sit for the ILE written examination at any time upon full H.I.D. status. It is recommended that members obtain practical based experience before attempting the exam. If the member does not pass the written examination on his/her first attempt, they can rewrite the exam. Currently there is no limit to the number of attempts.
Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners of Ontario; 2021AHIP Survey “Hearing Instrument Specialist Students/Graduates”. November 2021.
College of Denturists of British Columbia www.cd.bs.ca./site/registrations/intern. November 11, 2021.
College of Opticians of Ontario; Registration Policy – “Student and Intern Supervision.” July 27, 2020.
College of Hearing Aid Practitioners of Alberta; “Supervising Declaration for Hearing Aid Practitioner Educational Student/Intern member.” January 2019.
College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC; “Guideline – HIP Intern Practicum Training.” June 15, 2018.
Note: This policy replaces “Hearing Instrument Specialist (H.I.S.) Internship Program” dated May 5, 2020.