21 NCAC 64 .0212             Supervision of Hearing Screening

(a)  The Board of Examiners for Speech and Language Pathologists and Audiologists interprets the words "audiometric screening" used in G.S. 90-294(f) as the presentation of pure tone stimuli at fixed intensity using pass/fail criteria requiring no interpretation by the person administering the screening. Objective methods of screening auditory function based upon new technology may be used subject to the conditions specified in this Rule.

(b)  Fixed-intensity, pure tone audiometric screening performed within the context of an individual speech-language evaluation or assessment is within the scope of practice of licensed speech and language pathologists, and by extension allowed for registered speech-language pathology assistants, provided that it can be demonstrated that the licensee or registered assistant has received formal instruction and practicum in audiometric screening as part of his or her training program.

(c)  Licensed speech and language pathologists, registered speech-language pathology assistants, and unlicensed persons may perform screenings of hearing sensitivity and auditory function on the general public or specific populations provided that the individuals performing such screenings have been trained by a licensed audiologist or physician in the specific techniques for that screening and provided that supervision of the screening program is by a licensed audiologist or physician.

(d)  Screening programs using objective or technology-based hearing screening techniques in place of traditional fixed-frequency, pure tone audiometry (for example, automated auditory brainstem response tests, otoacoustic emission screening instruments, microprocessor audiometers, etc.), even though such techniques and instruments may yield a pass-fail indication, require the oversight and supervision of a licensed audiologist or physician.

(e)  The Board of Examiners for Speech and Language Pathologists and Audiologists interprets the word "supervision" in G.S. 90-294(f) to include the following elements:

(1)           selecting the appropriate calibrated screening instrument to be used for the target population;

(2)           providing sufficient initial and refresher training in the specific screening methods and instruments to be used to ensure that the screeners have sufficient knowledge of the screening methods, understand the limitations of the screening program, and can demonstrate proper operation of the equipment;

(3)           assuring that records are maintained describing the training received by the screeners, the names of attendees, the nature of any evaluation and any referral made;

(4)           providing sufficient evaluation of the test site for ambient sound and to ensure that the screeners are following the screening protocol; and

(5)           reviewing samples of screening records to confirm that the screening has conformed to the program standards.

(f)  Licensed speech and language pathologists and registered speech-language pathology assistants shall not instruct others in the techniques of hearing screening or supervise hearing screening programs. These aspects of a hearing screening program are within the scope of practice of licensed audiologists and physicians.


History note:        Authority G.S. 90-304(a)(3);

Eff. September 2, 2005;

Amended Eff. October 1, 2009;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. October 4, 2016.