Over the last two years we have been increasingly working together for the greater good of those with audiological needs and the profession. In recent months we have looked to build on this joint working and how we might create a strong and unified voice to raise the profile, credibility and influence of the whole audiology community across the UK.
After these initial discussions, we believe that a College of Audiology, which, with time, might become a Royal College, would help us achieve a powerful voice to bring positive influence to the issues that matter most to audiologists and the populations they serve. For example, a College of Audiology would convey the respect and scientific, professional authority that is needed for audiology to promote the strength of the evidence linking hearing ability to the quality of life, and the prospects for productive and healthy ageing.
Leaders in each of our organisations recognise that we begin these discussions as equals, each party bringing important strengths and perspectives that are valuable to the whole audiology community and, more importantly, those whom we all serve. Collectively we start these discussions from a solid foundation, with UK audiologists already providing some of the most cost-effective solutions in the health and care system, and increasingly being the first point of contact for ear health, communication and balance needs across the lifespan.
As leaders it is our duty to mobilise the profession and expose the care gap that currently exists for the major public health crisis it represents, with millions of the population unnecessarily exposed to risks associated with unsupported hearing loss. In our view the credibility of a College of Audiology can provide a single authoritative platform from which to work purposefully together.
It is with the goal of moving this initiative forward that our four organisations are supporting a wide stakeholder engagement exercise to ensure establishing a national College of Audiology can help fulfil this crucial role. We are therefore keen to hear member and other stakeholder views on a College of Audiology and are inviting everybody to join the conversation.
If you want to learn more about what a College of Audiology might mean for you, see our FAQs .
To succeed, a College would need the backing of the profession. The current aim of the four bodies, therefore, is to work closely together and, through our memberships and other stakeholders, explore whether a College can become a viable option to enhance the status of the profession, the vital services we provide and the needs of the patients, clients and individuals – including those who do not currently seek care – whom we ultimately serve.
As part of this consultation process there will be many opportunities, for example at this year’s conferences, for members of the profession to become involved in shaping ideas. The first opportunity will be the joint collaborative event – Hearing, A Sense of Purpose – in Bristol on Monday 25 March.
You can give your initial feedback in our College of Audiology survey.
And you can also contact: