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.
Online focus groups were held in December 2020. Audiologists working in paediatrics, parents seeking audiology services for their infant or child and their consumer representatives, were invited to discuss the tasks involved in particular areas of audiology.
An individual competency might describe the knowledge, skills and ability required in undertaking a number of tasks across a number of areas of practice and client groups. The goal is to ensure that all competencies required for all tasks, all age groups and all client groups are described, and that no one area of paediatric audiology is omitted.
The Paediatric Competency Standards Working Group has reviewed the data collected at the December 2020 focus groups and has developed an early draft of the competencies.
The document being consulted on is an early draft. We are in the information gathering phase, keen to ensure we have not missed any important concepts, and keen to discover if any of the competencies we have included raise any concerns.
Work yet to be undertaken includes refining and ensuring consistency in the terminology used, achieving consistency in the level of detail described, and ensuring concepts are not unnecessarily replicated across different categories.
A review of the competency standards will also be conducted against the coming National Competency Standards which will describe the minimum competencies expected of all Audiology Australia Accredited Audiologists. This review will seek to ensure the Paediatric Competency Standards describe the particular competencies of an Audiologist working with paediatric clients, and that they do not duplicate the competencies designed for the broader cohort.
Click here to access the draft Paediatric Competency Standards.
Audiologists working with paediatric clients and their families
Online focus groups for paediatric Audiologists will each cover a broad area: Assessment, (Re)habilitation, and Auditory Processing Disorder. Each group will also examine the competencies within the general category i.e., those that will be applicable to all Audiologists working with paediatric clients and their families.
Parents accessing audiology services for their child, and consumer representatives of such parents.
Separate online focus groups open to parents accessing audiology services for their infant/child and consumer representatives of such parents, will invite feedback on any and all areas of the draft Paediatric Competency Standards, including general competencies and those in each stream.
Those interested in participating in the online focus groups will also be very welcome to complete the survey to submit individual feedback on the general and stream competencies, or any individual section within.
The survey is open to a wide range of stakeholders, including:
1. Audiologists who provide paediatric audiology services, including Audiologists who provide paediatric audiology services exclusively, and Audiologists who provide paediatric audiology services as part of their overall client mix
2. Audiologists that manage or have clinical supervision responsibilities over Audiologists who provide paediatric audiology services
3. Audiologists working with other client groups
4. Parents who access or have accessed audiology services for their child, and consumer representatives of such parents
6. Health professions
7. Other allied health professions
8. And all interested parties in the wider hearing sector
The survey closes at midnight 26 July 2021.
Note that the survey is also open to anyone who is planning to attend one or more of the focus groups.
Click here to access the draft Paediatric Competency Standards.
After the feedback from the focus groups and survey has been considered by the Working Group, a final consultation on a revised draft will be undertaken through a second survey later this year, open to those audiologists working with paediatric clients.
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.
Margaret Dewberry (Chair)
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.
The competency standards will be developed for audiologists who provide services to children, infants and young people aged under 18 years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Paediatric Competency Standards will be implemented in conjunction with the to-be-developed paediatric certification system in mid to late 2022.
For further information about the Paediatric Competency Standards, please contact Georgie Bodman at Audiology Australia via firstname.lastname@example.org or 03 9940 3900.