American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Statement of the ASHA Executive Board Regarding the Use of The AuD Designator

Revised November 4, 1997

The ASHA Executive Board considers the use of the AuD designator by those without an earned doctoral degree to be misleading and deceptive. The "AuD designator" is received only as an entitlement and should not be confused with the AuD degree which is a bone fide doctoral degree that is earned at an accredited institution of higher education. The ASHA Executive Board issued a previous statement addressing this issue. Because several state licensing boards and regulatory agencies have been requested to recognize and accept the use of the "AuD designator" by audiologists who have not earned a doctoral degree in audiology, the ASHA Executive Board wishes to reiterate its position regarding the AuD designator.

Widespread acceptance of such inappropriate use of the AuD designator would be detrimental to the consumer and to the profession of audiology. The use of the AuD designator would also undermine the efforts of those institutions that have developed or are developing AuD degree programs. The use of the AuD designator is also unfair to the students and graduates affiliated with those programs. Every effort should be made to resist the use of the "AuD designator" or any other unearned degree. We wish to emphasize the following:

  • It is the position of the ASHA Executive Board that use of the AuD title requires that an AuD degree be earned from a regionally accredited institution of higher education. ASHA's Executive Board is unequivocally opposed to the use of the AuD title by those who do not possess an earned doctoral degree, including those individuals who obtain the title through payment of a fee for portfolio review. We reject the concept of "earned entitlement," or the notion that some audiologists are entitled to hold themselves out to the public as having a doctoral level education when they hold no such degree.
  • Using the AuD designator without having an earned doctoral degree is a deceptive and unfair trade practice. The use of the AuD designator confuses and misleads the public about the credentials and educational preparation of a service provider, is a disservice to the consumer, and is unfair to those audiologists who have earned doctoral degrees. Individuals using the AuD designator without an earned doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education should be reported to the ASHA Ethical Practice Board and to state and local regulatory authorities.
  • In many states there are laws and regulations related to consumer protection and the use of health and occupation titles that specifically prohibit the use of any doctoral degree designator by those not possessing an earned doctoral level degree.

The ASHA Executive Board believes vigorously upholding this position is essential for the profession of audiology to remain in good standing among other health care professions and with consumers.

See the Ethical Practice Board Statement | ASHA's Code of Ethics

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