Paediatric Competency Standards

As part of the Hearing Health Sector Alliance, Audiology Australia is involved in developing Paediatric Competency Standards. 
 

 

Through the Hearing Health Sector Alliance, Audiology Australia has received funding from the Federal Department of Health to develop paediatric audiology competency standards. These competency standards will aim to benefit the hearing health sector as a whole by providing further clarification and guidance for both the profession and public about the minimum requirements expected of Audiologists providing paediatric services to clients.

The process to develop the competency standards is collaborative. Audiologists providing services to paediatric clients, and parents and consumer representatives of parents who receive paediatric audiology services, have been invited to engage in the first stage of the consultation process.

For reference, the paper outlining the project and describing the first phase in the consultation process is available here for Audiologists working with paediatric clients, and here for parents and consumer representatives of parents.

The surveys referred to in the papers have now closed. Thank you to those who submitted responses.

After this first consultation phase, we will develop a draft of the Paediatric Competency Standards. We will invite all Audiologists, parents, consumer representatives, and other interested parties across the hearing health sector to comment on the first draft in 2021.

 

Frequently asked questions

Who is represented in the Paediatric Competency Standards Working Group?

Members are drawn from diverse settings within paediatric audiology such as government agencies, hospitals, community health, private practice, researchers and not-for profit entities. Members represent different aspects of the hearing health sector, including representatives of professional bodies, consumers, businesses, and providers of hearing services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Members: 

Margaret Dewberry (Chair)

Rebecca Allnutt

Genelle Cook

Alison King

Greg Leigh

Jane MacDonald

Jena Mayne

Jan Pollard

Ann Porter

Nina Quinn

Dani Tomlin

Lia Traves

Steve Williamson

Why develop Paediatric Competency Standards?

The Paediatric Competency Standards are intended to benefit children and their families who need audiology services. The competency standards will act as a quality assurance mechanism in regard to the qualifications and background of the audiologist providing them with hearing health care services.

The Paediatric Competency Standards will also benefit the audiology profession by outlining the minimum requirements expected of audiologists who provide these services.

What age group will the competency standards apply to?

The competency standards will be developed for audiologists who provide services to children, infants and young people aged under 18 years.

What is Audiology Australia’s role in the Paediatric Competency Standards project?

Through the Hearing Health Sector Alliance, Audiology Australia has received funding from the Federal Department of Health to develop paediatric audiology competency standards. Audiology Australia is delighted to be the lead organisation for the Hearing Health Sector Alliance, driving this project for the sector. Audiology Australia will report to the Department of Health throughout the project, on behalf of the Hearing Health Sector Alliance.

How will the Paediatric Competency Standards differ from Clinical Standards and from the Scope of Practice?

The Scope of Practice for audiologists provides an overview of the services that may be offered by appropriately qualified and experienced audiologists in Australia. It provides an overview of the scope of practice of the profession of audiology.

Clinical standards focus on the tasks, or how to undertake specific activities, in a particular area of practice.

Competency Standards, however, describe the capability of the individual, encompassing knowledge, skills and professional attributes. Competencies describe capability rather than describing services that can be offered, particular tasks, or steps in a process.

The focus of the Paediatric Competency Standards project is to develop a set of standards that sets out the minimum expected skills and attributes of audiologists who work in the field of paediatric audiology.

What is the paediatric certification project and how does it relate to the Paediatric Comptency Standards?

Audiology Australia, in a separate but related project, will be developing a system for audiologists wanting to be certified in paediatric audiology.  This system will set out the process for audiologists to apply for certification, as well as the ongoing professional development requirements in order to maintain certification. An audiologist’s application for certification in paediatric audiology will be assessed against the Paediatric Competency Standards. The question of how this assessment is to be undertaken will be determined as part of the paediatric certification project.

How will the Paediatric Competency Standards deal with audiologists who have worked in paediatric audiology for many years, compared with those audiologists newer to the field?

The Paediatric Competency Standards will set out the minimum expected skills and attributes of audiologists who work in the field of paediatric audiology. They will describe the minimum competencies that every audiologist working with paediatric clients should possess. Therefore, while a more experienced audiologist working in paediatrics would be expected to have more skills and knowledge than a newer colleague, the Paediatric Competency Standards will apply to them both.

How will the Paediatric Competency Standards relate to the National Competency Standards?

The National Competency Standards project is an Audiology Australia project to develop competency standards that will apply as minimum requirements to every Audiology Australia Accredited Audiologist, no matter which area of audiology they work in, or with which client groups, or in which workplace settings.

The Paediatric Competency Standards project is a Hearing Health Sector Alliance project, led by Audiology Australia and funded by the Department of Health. The competency standards will describe the minimum requirements of an audiologist working within the paediatric audiology field.

Will there be consultation on the proposed Paediatric Competency Standards before they are adopted?

Yes. Whether you are an audiologist delivering paediatric services, an audiologist working with adult clients, or someone with professional or personal interest in the field of paediatric audiology, you will have the opportunity to comment on the draft.

We are holding online focus groups in December 2020 to discuss the tasks involved in particular areas of paediatric audiology.

Informed by these task lists, we will develop a first draft of the Paediatric Competency Standards. Other audiologists and all interested parties will then be invited to comment on the draft in 2021.

How can I stay up-to-date with the project?

If you are an Audiology Australia member, you will receive communications through your email address registered with AudA. For all others, we invite you to email us to register your interest. You will be added to our contact lists and will receive an invitation to comment on the project and the draft when it has been developed.

Email Georgie Bodman to register your interest in the project: Georgie.bodman@audiology.asn.au

When will the Paediatric Competency Standards be implemented?

The Paediatric Competency Standards will be implemented in conjunction with the to-be-developed paediatric certification system in mid to late 2022.

Contact

For further information about the Paediatric Competency Standards, please contact Georgie Bodman at Audiology Australia via georgie.bodman@audiology.asn.au or 03 9940 3900.