Montana 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 a person of good moral character
- have an education equivalent to a 4-year course in an accredited high school or holds a current license as an audiologist
- be free of contagious or infectious disease
When the Board of Hearing Aid Dispensers (Board) determines that another state or jurisdiction has requirements equivalent to or higher than those in effect in Montana for the practice of dispensing, fitting, and selling hearing aids and that the state or jurisdiction has a program equivalent to or stricter than the program for determining whether applicants under this chapter are qualified to sell, dispense, and fit hearing aids, the Board may authorize the Department of Labor and Industry to issue a license to applicants who hold current, unsuspended, and unrevoked licenses to fit, dispense, and sell hearing aids in the other state or jurisdiction.
An applicant who has not previously applied to take a practical examination may apply to the Board for a trainee license to engage in a training period during which the applicant shall work under the direct supervision of the sponsoring licensed hearing aid dispenser.
The trainee license terminates one year after issuance or after the trainee passes the practical examination, whichever occurs first. Upon completion of 1,000 hours of supervised training, the trainee is eligible to take the practical examination. A trainee who does not complete 1,000 hours of supervised training before the trainee license terminates may be issued a second trainee license.
A trainee who fails the practical examination may continue to practice under direct supervision until the trainee license terminates. A second trainee license may not be issued. Termination of the trainee license and cessation of the authority to practice do not preclude a person from retaking the practical examination.
Licensees are required to complete 10 clock hours of continuing education each renewal period and must attest to their compliance on renewal applications.
Audiologists may dispense under audiology license.
The Board of Hearing Aid Dispensers consists of five members appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate, including: two members, each of whom has been a licensed hearing aid dispenser for at least five years, possesses a current audiologist license, and has a master's level college degree; two members, each of whom does not hold a master's level college degree in audiology but has been a licensed dispenser and fitter of hearing aids for at least five years before being appointed to the Board; and one public member who is either an otolaryngologist or a person who is not a licensed hearing aid dispenser or a licensed audiologist and who regularly uses a hearing aid because of a demonstrated hearing impairment.
Facilities, Procedures and Instrumentation
- The following tests shall be performed as specified:
- Air conduction tests shall be conducted bilaterally in accordance with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard frequencies of 250-500-1000-2000-4000-6000 hertz. Appropriate masking shall be used.
- Bone conduction tests shall be conducted bilaterally, if appropriate, on every patient in accordance with ANSI standards at 500-1000-2000-4000 hertz. Appropriate masking shall be used.
- Speech reception threshold and discrimination testing shall be conducted in a quiet environment, with appropriate masking used and measurement of user discomfort level.
- At the time of fitting or during the course of the trial period, the dispenser will verify and validate the hearing aid fitting and document the results. Verification refers to generally accepted standards of practice to objectively analyze aided performance, while validation establishes the patient's perceived improvement.
- All audiometers shall be calibrated to ANSI standards once a year.
30 days from date of delivery
Mail Order/Internet Sales
Mail order dispensing and Internet sales are not addressed in the law/regulations.
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:
Board of Hearing Aid Dispensers Laws
Board of Hearing Aid Dispenser Regulations [PDF]
Questions regarding state advocacy issues? Call ASHA at 800-498-2071 and ask for the State Advocacy Team.