Hearing Aid Dispensers: Qualifications for Licensure

Qualifications for Full License:

To qualify for a full license in Hearing Aid Dispensing, an applicant must:

  • Be of good moral character;
  • Be a graduate of an accredited 2-year post secondary program with a diploma or degree;
  • Prior to taking the State Licensing Examination, provide proof of successful completion of the International Hearing Society Curriculum entitled “Distance Learning for Professionals in Hearing Health Sciences” or an equivalent course approved by the Board; and
  • Have passed the written, practical and law examinations given by the Board.

If licensed in another state:

The Board may waive the examination requirements for an applicant who holds a current license to dispense hearing aids in another state if :

  • The applicant meets the other Maryland qualifications for licensure as a Hearing Aid Dispenser;
  • The requirements in the other state are the same or higher than those in Maryland;
  • The Board uses the IHS International Licensing Examination as the written examination for licensure. In order to qualify for a waiver of the written examination, the applicant shall have passed the IHS examination in another state; and
  • The practical examination is developed and administered by the Board. The Board will evaluate a practical examination given in another state to see if the applicant qualifies for waiver of the practical examination.

If the other state does not have a continuing education requirement equivalent to Maryland's (30 hours of continuing education in two years), the applicant shall complete the number of hours of continuing education as determined by the Board, not to exceed 20 hours. Note: the continuing education requirement to renew a license that expires January 31, 2015 has been increased to 30 hours.


Qualifications for Limited License

A limited license from the Board is required in order to practice under supervision in Maryland. The application must be approved by the Board before beginning the supervised practice.

To qualify for a limited license in Hearing Aid Dispensing, an applicant must:

  • Be of good moral character;
  • Submit to the Board the required fee, application, and documentation; and
  • Provide hearing aid services only while being trained under the supervision of a fully licensed hearing aid dispenser or fully licensed audiologist.
  • A limited licensee shall engage in the practice of fitting and dispensing hearing aids for 20 consecutive days under the direct and continuous supervision of the licensed hearing aid dispenser or licensed audiologist. The supervisor shall provide direct supervision subsequently for a minimum of 20 hours per month.

An applicant for a limited license in Hearing Aid Dispensing that does not meet the requirement of having graduated from an accredited 2-year post secondary program with a diploma or degree must do so prior to transferring from a limited license to a full license provided all other requirements have been met.


Supervision of Hearing Aid Dispenser Limited Licensee

The supervisor of a Hearing Aid Dispenser Limited Licensee shall:

  • Hold a current full license as a Hearing Aid Dispenser or Audiologist,
  • Be actively involved in the dispensing of hearing aids,
  • Have been in practice for a minimum of 2 years after passing the Board examination,
  • Supervise not more than 3 limited licensees at one time, and
  • Not have been formally disciplined by the Board within the previous 5 years.

The supervisor shall include training in the areas covered in the Board's written and practical examinations. The supervisor shall maintain documentation of supervision and training and shall submit the documentation to the Board upon request. The supervisor may terminate the supervisory responsibility by discharging the limited licensee and returning the license to the Board with a letter of explanation. A supervisor of a limited licensee shall assume full responsibility for the ethical conduct of the limited licensee.

A Hearing Aid Dispenser Limited License is valid for one year and may be renewed for one additional year if the limited licensee does not pass the examination or does not take the examination for a reason acceptable to the Board. A limited licensee may not provide hearing aid services under a limited license for more than 2 years. If a limited licensee fails to receive a full license within 2 years after the initial limited license was issued, the individual shall wait a minimum of 1 year before the individual may apply for another limited license. However, if the individual should qualify for a full license in hearing aid dispensing the individual may apply for that license at any time.