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Making an Impact

Advancing Audiology to Support Hearing For Life

Hearing for Life. Launched in 2018, this vision stems from our belief that every Australian has the right to communicate and interact with the world in ways that are fulfilling and meaningful to them. Ways that enrich and expand their life and connection to the world. That’s why we’re working to open up high quality ear and hearing care to all.

As Australia’s peak accrediting body for Audiology we’re proud of our impact over the past five years as we’ve grown and strengthened our profession and Australian hearing health for our members, the hearing health sector and all Australians.

We’ve supported our members to deliver the highest standards of contemporary hearing health care by:

  • Setting new standards for membership experience and support
  • Providing tailored professional development
  • Shaping professional excellence by setting ethical standards of practice for delivery of high-quality hearing health care
  • Influencing change and shaping the future as an influential advocate for our members and the profession
  • Promoting and celebrating the value and skill of our profession, and its role and impact for Australians

Audiology Australia is the nation’s leading professional body for audiologists, accrediting almost 98% of the profession.

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In 2018 we marked our 50th anniversary by setting an ambitious vision: “Hearing for Life”.

What does this mean?

It means ensuring everything we do supports every Australians’  right to communicate and interact with the world in ways that are fulfilling and meaningful to them.

That we empower our members to deliver the highest standards of contemporary hearing care.

Dr Barbra Timmer at the AudA 2023 Conference.

1. Government Relations and Advocacy

We’ve aimed to be the voice for members and the profession and partner with governments to drive policy and shape the current and future direction of Audiology.

Actions

  • Strengthen relationships with state/territory and federal governments (both incumbent and in opposition) to better enable us to drive policy, inform decision- making and lead public debate.
  • Proactively engage with funding bodies to influence funding and reimbursement decisions for Audiology services.
  • Collect information about the hearing needs of the community – as well as gaps in services and support – to inform, and engage in, evidence-based discourse.
  • Advocate to governments the positive impact of members on hearing health and wellbeing and the high ethical and professional standards under which our Accredited Audiologists practice.

Impact on advocacy

As the leading influential champion of the audiology profession, we have worked with our members, stakeholders, governments, and policy makers to give ear and hearing health a real voice in policy development.

  • Developed Australia’s first national Roadmap for Hearing Health as part of the Hearing Health Sector Committee established by Government in 2018.
  • Successfully advocated for changes to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Audiology items to make audiology services under the Schedule more accessible. Since 1 March 2023, any GP or other medical practitioner can refer for audiology services.
  • Participated in over seventy formal consultation processes led by government and organisational bodies on a range of important initiatives to support and improve hearing health care in Australia.
  • Convened the Rural and Regional Hearing Health Workforce Summit in partnership with the Hearing Health Sector Alliance (HHSA) and delivering to Government a White Paper on building sustainable workforces to enhance hearing health and communication in rural and remote Australia.
  • Developed and launched the Australian Teleaudiology Guidelines to support hearing health care practitioners to deliver safe and effective hearing services via telehealth.
  • Developed and launched Audiology Australia’s first Reconciliation Action Plan to increase cultural safety in primary health care settings and improve Indigenous hearing health.

“Since 1 March 2023, any GP or other medical practitioner can refer for [Medicare-subsidised] audiology services.”

AudA members at the AudA 2023 Conference

2. Professional Standards and Member Services

We’ve strived to enable and support our members to practice contemporary, family and person-centred hearing care to a recognised set of professional and ethical standards to foster trust amongst those that need Audiology services.

Actions

  • Provide members with education, training, support and advice in professional and ethical standards.
  • Set, champion and uphold a high level of professional and ethical standards, and enforce these standards in line with our Code of Conduct which will be reviewed as required to capture contemporary ethical issues.
  • Develop state-of-the-art professional practice guidelines in contemporary, family and person-centred hearing care, which will be reviewed regularly to capture the changing landscape and emerging areas of our profession.

Impact on members

We have increased confidence in the audiology profession and secured the future workforce by increasing our membership and developing and setting standards and frameworks to support contemporary audiology best practice delivery of high quality ear and hearing health care services.

  • 22% increase in membership growth from 2018 to 2023.
  • Over 97% membership retention achieved.
  • Implemented a new CRM to provide enhanced member services and offerings.
  • Developed and launched the Find and Audiologist Directory which makes information of over 2700 accredited audiologists available to the consumers and the public.
  • Implemented online delivery of exam and moved away from traditional paper-based exam which enables applicants to undertake the exam from anywhere in the world.
  • Increased overall membership satisfaction scores from 70% in 2019 to 85% in 2022 with a percentage increase of 21%.
  • Recognised member excellence and achievement by launching the Outstanding Supervisor Award and the Audiology Australia Internship award.
  • Launched the Early Career Audiologist group to engage and support audiology students and clinical Interns.
  • Streamlined and improved processes for clinical interns and resuming practitioners to support return to practice.
  • Achieved 100% compliance with mandatory reporting requirements to the Department of Health.

Impact of professional standards

We have strengthened the profession by elevating standards of clinical and ethical practice,  and enhancing specialisation and recognisation and understanding of skill and expertise.

  • Developed National Competency Standards which fully articulate the minimum skills, knowledge and behaviours required for ‘entry level’ practice for Audiologists in Australia, and set the standards against which the public can expect safe practice.

‘Entry level’ refers to the expected minimum standard of Audiologists considered to be qualified and competent to undertake independent clinical decision making without supervision once they have completed their Clinical Internship.

  • Developed Paediatric Competency Standards for Audiologists (PCS), leading the project for the HHSA. The PCS describe the minimum knowledge, skills and attributes required of Audiologists to provide paediatric services at an advanced level. The document is important to support delivery of consistent, high-quality care, and offer clarity and guidance to paediatric Audiologists and their clients and families.
  • Developed Advanced Paediatric Audiologist certification, a voluntary certification for those based on the competencies in the PCS. The focus of the framework is to provide an avenue for certification as an advanced paediatric Audiologist, keeping the needs of the child (under the age of 18) at its core.
  • Reviewed and revised the Professional Practice Guide (formerly Professional Practice Standards), combining the two separate documents into one, and significantly restructuring, streamlining and updating the content.
  • Revised and renewed the accreditation process for Masters programs in audiology, including developing:
    • Accreditation Standards for Audiology Programs (new standards)
    • Graduate Competencies for Audiology Programs (based on the National Competency Standards)
    • Accreditation Policies and Procedures for Audiology Programs (revision of the previous policies)

“Developed National Competency Standards which fully articulate the minimum skills, knowledge and behaviours required for ‘entry level’ practice.”

Membership figures at a glance

 

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Growth rate

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Membership satisfaction

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Retention rate

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Official reporting requirements

Client and AudA Accredited Audiologist farewelling in a hallway.

3. Communications, PR and Stakeholder Relations

We’ve worked to ensure the community recognises and values our Accredited Audiologists for their education, training and expertise.

We’ve collaborated with our members and proactively built relationships with professional organisations and key stakeholders to promote our profession as well as provide members with relevant information about our activities and news related to the hearing health sector.

Actions

  • Raise awareness of Audiology with the public and external organisations and promote the exceptional services our Accredited Audiologists provide in helping clients with their hearing health and communication needs.
  • Develop public education campaigns, including strategies to help prevent noise-induced hearing loss and promote the benefits early intervention to hearing loss.
  • Support members to advocate for themselves, the profession and the hearing healthcare needs of the community.
  • Review the way we engage with members and key stakeholders in the messaging and communication platforms we use to develop meaningful interactions and improved communications.
  • Highlight the work that we undertake to provide value to members,
  • Partner with like-minded organisations – through Memorandums of Understanding and executive-led engagement – to undertake education and awareness campaigns including indigenous hearing health and hearing loss linked to dementia.

Impact of our communications

We have raised the profile of audiology and audiologists across the hearing health sector and broader community, increasing visibility and awareness of the profession’s expertise and impact for the wider community.

 

  • Media presence with articles in major national and state dailies and niche/sector publications.
  • Increased social media reach and engagement with more than 7,300 new followers across LinkedIn, Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram and YouTube.
  • Working with stakeholders such as World Health Organisation, Soundfair, members, sector partners and other key stakeholders to deliver multi-channel campaigns to promote safe listening, priority hearing health areas such as Tinnitus and to leverage key awareness days to increase understanding of the expertise, role and impact of audiology and AudA members.
  • Expanded targeted platforms including e-News, CPD News, Career Connect, eDMS and regular website news stories to engage members on AudA activities on their behalf, opportunities across he profession and to highlight and celebrate their activities and achievements.
  • National digital awareness campaign ‘Audiologists. We Hear You! to instill pride in the profession and increase awareness of audiology its role and impact on health and wellbeing.
  • Multi-channel promotion of AudA achievements and impacts through launches, social media, partner communication channels and media engagement to demonstrate benefit of membership and work undertaken for our members.
  • Strengthened relationships with partners leading to new opportunities to promote AudA activities and achievement and champion the profession and increase presence at all stages of the professional pipeline including engagement new generations at university events.
  • Repositioning of Audiology Now as a scientific-based publication to increase member opportunities to engage with new research and developments shaping the future of the profession.
  • Increase student and early-career engagement and support with ECA Facebook group and promotion of student events and opportunities.
  • Branding and logo and postnominal support and resources to encourage promotion of the accreditation, skill and specialisation within the profession.

“National digital awareness campaign ‘Audiologists. We Hear You! to instill pride in the profession and increase awareness of audiology its role and impact on health and wellbeing.”

Masterclass at AudA 2023 Conference

4. Professional Development

We’ve sought to inspire a culture of lifelong learning for Audiologists and provide our members with accessible, evidence-based professional development and learning opportunities to meet their professional practice needs now and in the future.

Actions

  • Increase the breadth of our endorsed CPD activities to prepare Audiologists for current and future practice.
  • Develop a CPD events calendar for members to actively plan their professional development tailored to their needs and goals.
  • Work with industry partners to support our CPD initiatives.
  • Develop a CPD program that supports Audiologists through every stage of their professional development –
  • from students and interns through to Audiologists with specialised skills and experience.
  • Enhance our CPD program to allow for greater flexibility and access to quality CPD education.

Impact of our PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

We have created a member centric CPD program drawing on contemporary audiological practice and research, so they can tailor and design personalised learning and development pathways.

 

  • First Audiology Australia National Conference managed in house in 2023 with 1000+ attendees. New format designed from previous member feedback was received very positively.
  • Complimentary webinar library with over 100+ hours of CPD for members built during the last 5 years as our online content has expanded.
  • Continued to deliver CPD for members during the COVID 19 pandemic including the Trans-Tasman Online Conference with New Zealand.
  • Larger variety of learning opportunities now available – 1 hour webinars and on demand recordings, online CPD days and conferences, in person local events & networking along with National Conferences.
  • CPD calendar released at the beginning of the CPD cycle to help members plan their CPD for the year.
  • Early Career group and InspirED Conference added to support students and early career audiologists.

Of CPD made available to members online.

Our work is only just beginning…

Building on a foundation of over 50+ years of growth and impact, we in a stronger position than ever to open up the world of ear and hearing healthcare for the wellbeing of all.

Read below for how we’re planning to leverage societal and governmental changes to further support our members to deliver the highest standards of contemporary hearing healthcare.

Map of Australia