A hearing instrument practitioner (HIP) dispenses hearing aids to anyone 16 years or older. Many hearing instrument practitioners are also audiologists. A hearing instrument practitioner must graduate from an approved two-year diploma course, complete 660 work experience hours, pass an international written exam, and pass a practical exam given by the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC.
Only a hearing instrument practitioner registered with the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC can be called a “hearing instrument practitioner” in B.C.
What does a hearing instrument practitioner do?
A hearing instrument practitioner can dispense hearing aids and other products like swim molds or custom molds for children. They use an instrument called an audiometer to identify hearing loss. They can suggest and sell hearing devices and can help you select one that can be changed or adapted for your use. If they have advanced training and a certificate they can also remove wax from your ears.
How do hearing instrument practitioners keep their skills up to date?
HIPs are required to maintain continued education and must obtain and report at least 45 credits of continuing competencies every three years. The College conducts a random audit to ensure audiologists comply with this requirement.
What happens when I first visit a hearing instrument practitioner?
Many hearing clinics promote a free 5-minute hearing screening or hearing check. This is a simple test to determine if there is an obvious hearing loss. It is not an assessment. A full assessment takes about 45 minutes and is normally included in the price of the hearing aid, should you require one or a set. Be sure to ask about the process and the costs involved before you sign any agreement. If you do require hearing aids, be sure the agreement includes all the information you need about the warranty, and serial number of the hearing aids. Follow-up visits are often required. If your hearing problem is more complex than a simple hearing loss, you will be referred to an audiologist or medical professional.
How can I find a hearing instrument practitioner?
The College website provides a directory by city entitled ‘Find a Professional in My City’ which is easily accessible from the Public home page.
How do I pay for a hearing instrument practitioner?
You may be eligible for third party assistance if your hearing problem is related to a work environment, or if you are a veteran, first nations citizen or under the care of the MSDSI. If you have no insurance, then you will be required to pay for services and/or hearing aids directly to the hearing clinic.
What if I have concerns about the care I received from a hearing instrument practitioner?
You have the right to expect a professional standard of care from your hearing instrument practitioner. If you think that has not happened, please contact
Where can I find more information about a hearing instrument practitioner?