Illinois Licensing Requirements for Hearing Aid Dispensers
The profession of hearing aid dispenser is regulated at the state level and each state maintains its own standards for licensure or registration.
Initial Licensure Requirements
- be at least 18 years of age
- be of good moral character
- be a high school graduate or the equivalent
- be free of contagious or infectious disease
- be a citizen or person who has the status as a legal alien
- have passed a written and practical exam
- have an associate degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution of higher education that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education
- successfully completed 12 semester hours or 18 quarter hours of academic undergraduate course work in an accredited institution consisting of three semester hours of anatomy and physiology of the speech and hearing mechanism, three semester hours of hearing science, three semester hours of introduction to audiology, and three semester hours of aural rehabilitation, or the quarter hour equivalent.
The Department of Public Health shall issue a license to any hearing instrument dispenser who (i) has a valid license as a hearing instrument dispenser or its equivalent from another state that has an examination that is comparable to the examination required in this state or is provided by the International Hearing Society, (ii) has completed the required academic and training requirements, or their equivalent, and (iii) has been actively practicing as a hearing instrument dispenser for at least three months or is certified by the National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences.
A trainee license may be issued to an applicant who has fulfilled the requirements for licensure, but has not yet taken the examination, and is under the direct supervision of a licensed hearing aid dispenser. A trainee license expires six months from the date of issue and is non-renewable.
A minimum of 2.0 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) shall be obtained by dispensers in order to have the license renewed every two years.
Audiologists may dispense under an audiology license but must comply with the law and rules of the Hearing Instrument Consumer Protection Act.
Full time graduate students enrolled in a program of audiology in an accredited college or university may engage in the dispensing of hearing instruments as a part of an academic program of audiology without a license under the supervision of a licensed audiologist.
The Hearing Instrument Consumer Protection Board consists of six members who must be residents of Illinois. One must be a licensed physician who specializes in otology or otolaryngology; one must be a member of a consumer oriented organization concerned with the hearing impaired; one must be from the general public, preferably a senior citizen; two must be licensed hearing instrument dispensers who are National Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialists; and one must be a licensed audiologist. If a vote of the Board results in a tie, the director of the Department of Public Health shall cast the deciding vote. Members of the Board shall be appointed by the director of the Department of Public Health after consultation with appropriate professional organizations and consumer groups.
Facilities, Procedures and Instrumentation
The Department of Public Health shall inspect places of business where Illinois licensed hearing instrument dispensers are employed at least once every three years.
An annual calibration shall be conducted on each audiometer used in dispensing hearing instruments.
Established tests and instrumentations shall be employed in the selection of hearing instruments, except for children or persons with developmental disabilities or physical disabilities. The test results and instrumentation used in the selection of hearing instruments shall be recorded for all persons. The ambient noise conditions within the room under which these tests results are obtained shall be described, i.e., any noise source that will influence the test results.
- 30 days from date of delivery
- 45 days for mail order sales
Mail Order/Internet Sales
Hearing aids may be sold by mail order or Internet sale if the organization is registered in the state, files detailed disclosure statements, indicates compliance with Federal Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission rules and employs only Illinois-licensed hearing instrument dispensers in the dispensing of hearing instruments.
The information contained herein was collected and summarized annually. For detailed information on hearing aid dispenser requirements, contact the state board and visit these websites:
Hearing Instrument Consumer Protection Board Law
Hearing Instrument Consumer Protection Code
Hearing Aid Consumer Protection Continuing Education Requirements
Questions regarding state advocacy issues? Call ASHA at 800-498-2071 and ask for the State Advocacy Team.