BSHAA is the professional body which represents and promotes the interests of the independent hearing aid profession mainly within Great Britain and Northern Ireland but globally too. Members are highly trained hearing care professionals who have extensive and unrivalled experience and knowledge of the hearing instruments that are available to help with hearing loss.
The Society’s role is to assist in the development of these high standards in professional and business practice and to provide facilities for study, practice and continuing professional development. We seek to regulate professional and commercial standards through a code of practice and ensure that our members (MSHAA) and fellows (FSHAA) are enrolled in a programme of continuing education maintaining and developing their knowledge of the rapidly expanding field of hearing aid technology.
BSHAA encourages research and development into hearing aid technology and seeks to help shape the way hearing care is provided for the public, now and in the future. The Society also promotes hearing aid audiology to the public and supports customer choice and access in hearing aid care; with assured quality of service and a professional workforce.
The Society (BSHAA) was founded in 1954. Today all Hearing Aid Dispensers are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The HCPC is the regulator set up by the U.K. Government to hold the register and ensure that registrants maintain their standards for their training, professional skills, education and health. Hearing Aid Dispensers are by definition healthcare professionals. The title (HAD) is protected in law and you can only use it if you are on the register. This also allows you to carry out the protected function of dispensing hearing aids for retail sale or hire. In law, Hearing Aid Dispensers are allowed to describe themselves as ‘audiologists’ or even ‘specialists’.
When the Society began, there was no regulation and no formal route to qualification. ‘Hearing Aid Audiologist’ seemed like the most appropriate title as it described the assessment for and prescription of hearing aids. The Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists was born and later added ‘British’ to its name.
With more than 1,600 fellows, members or associate members on its books, BSHAA represents the majority of Hearing Aid Dispensers on the HCPC register. Dispensers who are in the Society have to follow the Society’s Code of Conduct and their clients are offered the support of the Society’s Client Mediation Service.
The Society’s Articles of Association govern the management and operation of the Society. They were last revised in December 2020.