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, parents who access paediatric audiological services for their infant or child, and consumer representatives of such parents, were invited to engage in the first stage of the consultation process.

This first stage consisted of online focus groups held in December 2020, at which information on the tasks involved in particular areas of audiology were collected.

The Paediatric Competency Standards Working Group is now reviewing the data collected at the focus groups. From this data, the competencies that are essential in undertaking the tasks and working in paediatric audiology are now being developed. It is not expected that one task will equate to one competency standard; 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 the Paediatric Competency Standards encompass all competencies required for all tasks, all age groups and all client groups, and that no one area of paediatric audiology is omitted.

We will invite all Audiologists (in whatever field they may work), 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 held online focus groups in December 2020 to discuss the tasks involved in particular areas of paediatric audiology. In attendance at these focus groups were audiologists providing services to paediatric clients, parents who access paediatric audiological services for their infant or child, and consumer representatives of such parents.

Informed by these task lists, we are now developing a first draft of the Paediatric Competency Standards. Other audiologists and all interested parties, including audiologists delivering paediatric services, audiologists working in other areas, parents, consumer representatives of parents, or someone with a professional or personal interest in the field of paediatric audiology, 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.