Tennessee 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
- have an education equivalent to two years of accredited college level coursework
- passed a written and practical exam.
Licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist by reciprocity:
- 18 years of age or older;
- education equivalent to two years of accredited college level course work;
- holds a current, unrevoked or unsuspended, license from another state or country.
- Out-of-state license issuance was based on passing the International Hearing Society or National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences (NBC-HIS) exam.
- Examination must have been proctored by a state licensing board member or designee in the state in which the applicant holds a current license.
- A minimum score of 75% must have been achieved on each section of the written examination; or
- Applicant holds a current certification by the National Board for Certification-Hearing Instruments Specialist (NBC-HIS).
- An applicant must pass a written examination pertaining to Tennessee law relative to Hearing Instrument Specialists and also must pass a practical examination given by the Council for Licensing Hearing Instrument Specialists.
Applicants must pass a state written and practical proficiency test for the apprentice license. The apprentice licensee shall function under the direct supervision of the sponsoring licensed hearing instrument specialist for a period of at least three months after passage of the council proficiency test, and during such three month period, the sponsoring licensed dispenser must make the final selection and fitting of the hearing instrument.
During the apprentice period, the apprentice licensee shall complete 60 classroom hours of prescribed coursework. The apprentice license will remain in effect no longer than one year and cannot be renewed.
- Each licensee registered with the Council for Licensing Hearing Instrument Specialists is required to successfully complete 20 hours of continuing education during the two calendar years (January 1–December 31) that precede the licensure renewal year.
- Two hours of the 20-hour requirement shall pertain to Tennessee statutes and rules concerning hearing instrument specialists.
Audiologists may dispense under an audiology license.
The Council for Licensing Hearing Instrument Specialists shall consist of five members who shall possess the following qualifications:
- three members shall be qualified hearing instrument specialists and fitters of hearing instruments who have been duly licensed as such in Tennessee, and who are certified by the National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences. Such members may be appointed by the governor from a list of qualified nominees submitted by the Tennessee Hearing Aid Society;
- one member shall be a physician who has been duly licensed to practice medicine in Tennessee and who has received certification from the American Council of Otolaryngology. Such member may be appointed by the governor from a list of nominees submitted by the Tennessee Medical Association; and
- one member shall be a person who has been a user of hearing instruments for a period of at least five years preceding that person's appointment to the council and who shall never have been engaged in the practice of hearing instrument dispensing and fitting, audiology, or medicine. Such member shall be appointed by the governor.
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:
Hearing Instrument Specialists Law
Hearing Instrument Specialist Regulations [PDF]
Questions regarding state advocacy issues? Call ASHA at 800-498-2071 and ask for the State Advocacy Team.