Reasons to Become Certified

Certification by the American Board of Audiology verifies that an individual has successfully completed a course of graduate study in audiology from a regionally accredited university, and has earned a Master’s or Doctoral degree in audiology. Beginning in the year 2007, all applicants must have earned a Doctoral degree in audiology from a regionally accredited college or university.

A certificant must achieve a passing score on a national examination in audiology as required by the American Board of Audiology.

Audiologists certified by the ABA must also have demonstrated that they have completed a minimum of 2000 hours of mentored professional practice in a two-year period. The mentor must be a state licensed or ABA certified audiologist.

Certification is valid for a period of three years. Applicants for renewal must demonstrate that they have earned 60 hours of approved continuing education within the three-year period.

How does ABA certification differ from licensure or other forms of certification?

Licensure is granted by individual states, and is typically valid within that state alone. ABA certification is a voluntary, nationally recognized standard that is not tied to membership in any professional organization.

Why do I need another certification?

ABA certification is voluntary, and was developed to meet the needs of audiologists who asked for a national certification not tied to membership in any organization. ABA certification was developed by and designed exclusively for audiologists. The ABA credential demonstrates a commitment to a quest for excellence through lifelong learning.

Why is it important for me now?

This certification may be a preferred option for audiologists who are interested in demonstrating that they adhere to a higher standard of certification as evidenced by the greater number of hours of professional experience and the continuing education hours that are required by the ABA. Some may simply prefer to support a certification program that was designed by and for audiologists. It is a matter of personal choice.

How long will it take to process my application for Board Certification in Audiology?

The ABA processes applications in the order in which they are received. With all appropriate documentation received in a timely manner, the certification process currently takes on average 4-6 weeks. You will be contacted when your application has been reviewed in the event additional information is required.

Will employers and third-party payers know about ABA certification?

Many employers and third-party payers have been informed of the high standards required for ABA certification. In cases where an employer or agency does not have the information, the ABA will immediately provide detailed documentation upon request.

If I choose to not keep my ASHA certification, will ABA certification enable me to keep or obtain a state license?

Check with your state licensure board. States have individual requirements for licensure that are typically not tied to certification. ABA certification demonstrates that an individual has met or exceeded all current requirements for licensure or registration in audiology in all states in the U.S. requiring a license or registration except for a small number of states that require ASHA certification. Currently, the following states specifically recognize ABA Board Certification in Audiology for purposes of expedited licensure: Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

Certification vs. Licensure

Certification is generally voluntary and is not required to practice a profession. Rather, it is a self-governing standard that serves to inform consumers, peers, and other health care professionals of the scope of practice and training of the certificate holder. Loss of certification in audiology does not prohibit the practice of the profession, so long as licensure is maintained.

Licensure, on the other hand, represents a government process by which a state or federal agency grants an individual permission to practice a profession and constitutes the legal right to practice that profession within the state. It is generally mandatory and must be renewed periodically. Licensure is an important form of consumer protection in that loss of an audiology license prohibits an individual from practicing audiology within the state or federal agency.