BECOME BOARD CERTIFIED The certification process for hearing healthcare professionals consists of a psychometric exam developed by Subject Matter Experts. 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. 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 hearing 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.

Board Certification also enables you to:

  • Further your skills and professional credentials in this competitive field.
  • Advance your career.
  • Increase your earning potential (studies show that specialists with Board Certification have an average higher income than those without).
  • Demonstrate your commitment to achieving excellence in your profession.
  • Receive an annual NBC-HIS seal to place on your wall certificate upon payment of annual fees. This shows your clients that your certification credentials are up-to-date.
  • Use the “Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences” designation after your name.



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, Douglas College Hearing Instrument Practitioner Program, or Spokane Falls Community College Hearing Instrument Sciences. Eligibility is obtained by submitting:

  1. A current State/Provincial dispensing license or Certificate of Registration (where applicable)
  2. A letter on company letterhead from a current employer or person that supervised your training attesting to your two years of full-time dispensing experience, or a diploma from the 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.If you are self-employed, please contact NBC-HIS at 734-522-2900 for alternative verification of dispensing experience. Professionals who completed fifteen (15) months or more of the two-year dispensing requirement are eligible to sit for the exam. Upon successfully passing the exam, they will remain "Board Eligible" until the two-year requirement is fulfilled.


  • US Fees:

    New Applicant/Exam Fee: $225
    Annual Fee: $275

  • Canada Fees:

    New Applicant/Exam Fee: $225
    Annual Fee: $208

  • International Fees:

    New Applicant/Exam Fee: $250
    Annual Fee: $275

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 via email by an NBC-HIS staff member to schedule a convenient date, time, and location for the exam.

Non-Discrimination Policy

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.

Exam Composition and Scoring

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 from each of the five (5) competency areas.  It may also include some additional beta questions. Exam candidates will receive a score based upon their performance on the hundred (100) scored items. The exam is not weighted; there is only one correct answer for each question.

Passing the Exam

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.

Failing the Exam

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 current in effect in the applicant’s state or province.

Exam Score Review and Appeal

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 (60) days of the exam date and must be accompanied by a payment of $75 USD. A candidate may appeal an exam score for the following reasons

  1. Excessive noise or confusion during the examination which inhibited concentration
  2. Exam room conditions (lighting, temperature, etc)
  3. Faulty computer operation


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 105 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.

A link to the online application is below. If you prefer a paper application, visit:


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 sent in May each year with payment due by June 30.

Recertification is valid for a 36-month period beginning on July 1 of the year the current certification expires. All recertification materials must be received at NBC-HIS headquarters on or before June 30 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.

Learn more about Certification Maintenance by visiting:

The NBC-HIS is an independent, non-profit, credentialing organization, established to promote continuing competency assurance of hearing healthcare professionals and to provide a standard of excellence in hearing healthcare for the consumer.

  • 33900 8 Mile Rd., Suite 101
    Farmington, MI 48335
    Tel: 734-522-2900
    Fax: 734-522-0900