The certification process for hearing healthcare professionals consists of a psychometric exam developed by the NBC-HIS Exam Committee.
Compiled by a professional testing service, each exam is reviewed and revised on a regular basis by a team of trained individuals from the hearing health profession.
This advanced exam is based on practical knowledge of dispensing and decision-making capability designed to test the knowledge and skill levels required to excel as a hearing health professional in the industry.
Board Certification also enables you to:
Exam candidates must have a current State/Provincial dispensing license or certificate of registration, and meet a minimum of two (2) years of full-time dispensing experience within the last five (5) years, or a diploma from one of the following programs to be eligible to take the exam: Grant MacEwan Hearing Aid Practitioner Program, Bates Technical College Hearing Instrument Sciences, Burlington County College Hearing Instrument Sciences, George Brown Hearing Instrument Sciences, Conestoga College Hearing Instrument Sciences, Ozarks Technical Community College Hearing Instrument Sciences, or Spokane Falls Community College Hearing Instrument Sciences. Eligibility is obtained by submitting:
New Applicant/Exam Fee: $225
Annual Fee: $225
New Applicant/Exam Fee: $225
Annual Fee: $158
New Applicant/Exam Fee: $250
Annual Fee: $225
The New Applicant/Exam Fee must be paid each time a candidate schedules an appointment to take the examination, including re-takes.
When your application for Board Certification has been approved, you will be contacted by an NBC-HIS staff member to schedule a convenient date, time, and location for the exam.
The National Competency Exam (NCE) is based on research data that determines the daily skills needed to be a successful hearing healthcare professional. The exam is designed to test competency in these important areas of hearing instrument sciences:
Assess patient presenting problem and needs
Test and analyze patient hearing
Prescribe and analyze instruments
Fit, adjust, program, and service hearing instruments and equipment
Counseling, rehabilitation, and professional practice
The NCE is based on practical knowledge and decision-making capabilities. For more information, please contact the NBC-HIS office.
No applicant shall be denied eligibility to NBC-HIS examinations because of age, sex, marital status, national origin, sexual preference, religious preferences, race, or physical disability (except when a physical disability affects the level of professional service provided to patients/clients). Any individual who wishes to question any of the eligibility requirements of the National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences shall submit these concerns in writing to the NBC-HIS office.
The NBC-HIS Exam Committee, consisting of experienced and currently practicing Board Certified hearing instrument specialists, develops items for the National Competency Exam. These individuals volunteer their time to research and draft questions based upon the NBC-HIS Role Delineation Study results and performance objectives required to be a competent, professional hearing healthcare provider.
The NCE consists of 100 scored multiple choice items and 30 non-scored BETA questions from each of the five (5) competency areas. They are distributed throughout the exam allowing all exam candidates an opportunity to answer questions from each of the competency areas. Exam candidates will receive a score based upon their performance on one hundred (100) scored items.
The exam is not weighted; there is only one correct answer for each question.
A passing score is required to become Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences. Enclosed in the Welcome Packet is a press release for local media, logos for advertising, and recertification criteria sheet and guidelines for proper usage of the BC-HIS designation. Members of the International Hearing Society will have the BC-HIS designation recognized in all printed materials, including The Hearing Professional magazine.
A failed score result is automatically sent to NBC-HIS. The exam candidate may retake the NCE in thirty (30) days by submitting the examination fee. If the exam is failed a second time, candidates must wait six (6) months before taking the exam again. If the exam candidate does not pass the NCE within two (2) years from the first exam date, he/she must file a new application for approval. At this time, the exam candidate will be required to pay the examination fee. The new application must be accompanied with the appropriate fees and a current copy of the exam candidate’s state/provincial license or registration. This license/registration requirement will depend on the laws and regulations currently in effect in the applicant’s state or province.
An exam appeal will only be considered if there was a condition at the exam center that caused a problem in taking the exam. There will be no appeals for a rescore of an exam since the chance of a scoring mistake is virtually nonexistent. Requests for exam appeals must be submitted in writing by registered mail within sixty days of the exam date and must be accompanied by a payment of $75.00. A candidate may appeal an exam score for the following reasons:
On the day of your scheduled exam, please arrive 20 minutes before your scheduled start time to allow sufficient time for the examination proctor to verify your identity (you will need two pieces of ID; one MUST be a photo ID) and check in before the published exam start time. At time of check-in, present your exam confirmation notice which was emailed to you after the exam session was scheduled.
A maximum of two hours and thirty-six minutes is provided for completion of the exam which begins at the conclusion of registration and instructions. Late arrivals WILL NOT receive a time extension. You may not carry any papers, briefcases or other personal belongings to the exam site.
Individuals who are Board Certified by the National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences (NBC-HIS) must recertify their credentials every three-years. During the third-year of certification, NBC-HIS will provide the annual statement and the instructions necessary to complete the recertification process. An annual fee is required and the bill is mailed in May each year with payment due by June 30th.
Recertification is valid for a 36-month period beginning on July 1st of the year the current certification expires. All recertification materials must be received at NBC-HIS headquarters on or before June 30th of the recertifying year.
The recertification process ensures that board certificants have a state/provincial license, where applicable. The requirement for continuing education credits ensures that the certificants have spent at least 24 hours in an educational setting upgrading skills and knowledge and/or getting information on new technology and products in the hearing health profession within the 36-month recertification period.
If this criteria is not met, the Board Certified certificate issued by NBC-HIS remains the property of NBC-HIS. Upon receiving written notice of revocation, the certificate and all duplicate certificates must be returned to NBC-HIS office.