Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 18. Professional and Occupational Licensing
Agency 80. Board for Hearing Aid Specialists and Opticians
1/23/2020

Chapter 20. Hearing Aid Specialists Regulations

Part I
Definitions

18VAC80-20-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Audiologist" means any person who engages in the practice of audiology as defined by § 54.1-2600 of the Code of Virginia.

"Board" means Board for Hearing Aid Specialists and Opticians.

"Department" means Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.

"Hearing aid specialist" means a person who engages in the practice of fitting or dealing in hearing aids or who advertises or displays a sign or represents himself as a person who practices the fitting or dealing in hearing aids.

"Licensed sponsor" means a licensed hearing aid specialist who is responsible for training one or more individuals holding a temporary permit.

"Licensee" means any person holding a valid license issued by the Board for Hearing Aid Specialists and Opticians for the practice of fitting or dealing in hearing aids, as defined in § 54.1-1500 of the Code of Virginia.

"Otolaryngologist" means a licensed physician specializing in ear, nose, and throat disorders.

"Reciprocity" means an agreement between two or more states to recognize and accept one another's regulations and laws.

"Reinstatement" means having a license restored to effectiveness after the expiration date has passed.

"Renewal" means continuing the effectiveness of a license for another period of time.

"Temporary permit holder" means any person who holds a valid temporary permit under this chapter.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 1.1, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003; Volume 33, Issue 9, eff. February 1, 2017.

18VAC80-20-20. Explanation of terms.

Each reference in this chapter to a person shall be deemed to refer, as appropriate, to the masculine and the feminine, to the singular and the plural, and to the natural persons and organizations.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-113 and 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 1.2, eff. August 23, 1995.

Part II
Entry Requirements

18VAC80-20-30. Basic qualifications for licensure.

A. Every applicant for a license shall provide information on his application establishing that:

1. The applicant is at least 18 years of age.

2. The applicant has successfully completed high school or a high school equivalency course.

3. The applicant has training and experience that covers the following subjects as they pertain to hearing aid fitting and the sale of hearing aids, accessories, and services:

a. Basic physics of sound;

b. Basic maintenance and repair of hearing aids;

c. The anatomy and physiology of the ear;

d. Introduction to psychological aspects of hearing loss;

e. The function of hearing aids and amplification;

f. Visible disorders of the ear requiring medical referrals;

g. Practical tests utilized for selection or modification of hearing aids;

h. Pure tone audiometry, including air conduction, bone conduction, and related tests;

i. Live voice or recorded voice speech audiometry, including speech reception threshold testing and speech discrimination testing;

j. Masking when indicated;

k. Recording and evaluating audiograms and speech audiometry to determine the proper selection and adaptation of hearing aids;

l. Taking earmold impressions;

m. Proper earmold selection;

n. Adequate instruction in proper hearing aid orientation;

o. Necessity of proper procedures in after-fitting checkup; and

p. Availability of social service resources and other special resources for the hearing impaired.

4. The applicant has provided one of the following as verification of completion of training and experience as described in subdivision 3 of this subsection:

a. A statement on a form provided by the board signed by the licensed sponsor certifying that the requirements have been met; or

b. A certified true copy of a transcript of courses completed at an accredited college or university, or other notarized documentation of completion of the required experience and training.

5. The applicant has not been convicted or found guilty of any crime directly related to the practice of fitting or dealing in hearing aids, regardless of the manner of adjudication, in any jurisdiction of the United States. Except for misdemeanor convictions that occurred five or more years prior to the date of application, with no subsequent convictions, all criminal convictions shall be considered as part of the totality of the circumstances of each applicant. The applicant review of prior convictions shall be subject to the requirements of § 54.1-204 of the Code of Virginia. Any plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for purposes of this subdivision. The record of a conviction authenticated in such form as to be admissible in evidence under the laws of the jurisdiction where convicted shall be admissible as prima facie evidence of such conviction or guilt.

6. The applicant is in good standing as a licensed hearing aid specialist in every jurisdiction where licensed. The applicant must disclose if he has had a license as a hearing aid specialist that was suspended, revoked, or surrendered in connection with a disciplinary action or that has been the subject of discipline in any jurisdiction prior to applying for licensure in Virginia. At the time of application for licensure, the applicant must also disclose any disciplinary action taken in another jurisdiction in connection with the applicant's practice as a hearing aid specialist. The applicant must also disclose whether he has been previously licensed in Virginia as a hearing aid specialist.

7. The applicant has disclosed his physical address. A post office box is not acceptable.

8. The nonresident applicant for a license has filed and maintained with the department an irrevocable consent for the department to serve as service agent for all actions filed in any court in Virginia.

9. The applicant has submitted the required application with the proper fee as referenced in 18VAC80-20-70 and signed, as part of the application, a statement that the applicant has read and understands Chapter 15 (§ 54.1-1500 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia and this chapter.

B. The board may make further inquiries and investigations with respect to the qualifications of the applicant or require a personal interview or both. The board may refuse initial licensure due to the applicant's failure to comply with entry requirements. The licensee is entitled to a review of such action. Appeals from such actions shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act, Chapter 40 (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 2.1, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003; Volume 33, Issue 9, eff. February 1, 2017.

18VAC80-20-40. Temporary permit.

A. Any individual may apply for a temporary permit, which is to be used solely for the purpose of gaining the training and experience required to become a licensed hearing aid specialist in Virginia. The licensed sponsor shall be identified on the application for a temporary permit and the licensed sponsor shall comply strictly with the provisions of subdivisions B 1 and B 2 of this section.

1. A temporary permit shall be issued for a period of 12 months and may be extended once for not longer than six months. After a period of 18 months an extension is no longer possible and the former temporary permit holder shall sit for the examination in accordance with this section.

2. The board may, at its discretion, extend the temporary permit for a temporary permit holder who suffers serious personal illness or injury, or death in his immediate family, or obligation of military service or service in the Peace Corps, or for other good cause of similar magnitude approved by the board. Documentation of these circumstances must be received by the board no later than 12 months after the date of the expiration of the temporary permit or within six months of the completion of military or Peace Corps service, whichever is later.

B. Every applicant for a temporary permit shall provide information upon application establishing that:

1. The applicant for a temporary permit is at least 18 years of age.

2. The applicant for a temporary permit has successfully completed high school or a high school equivalency course.

3. The applicant has not been convicted or found guilty of any crime directly related to the practice of fitting or dealing in hearing aids, regardless of the manner of adjudication, in any jurisdiction of the United States. Except for misdemeanor convictions that occurred five or more years prior to the date of application, with no subsequent convictions, all criminal convictions shall be considered as part of the totality of the circumstances of each applicant. Review of prior convictions shall be subject to the requirements of § 54.1-204 of the Code of Virginia. Any plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for purposes of this subdivision. The record of a conviction authenticated in such form as to be admissible in evidence under the laws of the jurisdiction where convicted shall be admissible as prima facie evidence of such conviction or guilt.

4. The applicant for a temporary permit is in good standing as a licensed hearing aid specialist in every jurisdiction where licensed. The applicant for a temporary permit must disclose if he has had a license as a hearing aid specialist that was suspended, revoked, or surrendered in connection with a disciplinary action or that has been the subject of discipline in any jurisdiction prior to applying for licensure in Virginia. At the time of application, the applicant for a temporary permit must also disclose any disciplinary action taken in another jurisdiction in connection with the applicant's practice as a hearing aid specialist. The applicant for a temporary permit must also disclose whether he has been licensed previously in Virginia as a hearing aid specialist.

5. The applicant for a temporary permit has disclosed his physical address. A post office box is not acceptable.

6. The applicant for a temporary permit has submitted the required application with the proper fee referenced in 18VAC80-20-70 and has signed, as part of the application, a statement that the applicant has read and understands Chapter 15 (§ 54.1-1500 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia and this chapter.

C. The licensed hearing aid specialist who agrees to sponsor the applicant for a temporary permit shall certify on the application that as sponsor, he:

1. Assumes full responsibility for the competence and proper conduct of the temporary permit holder with regard to all acts performed pursuant to the acquisition of training and experience in the fitting or dealing of hearing aids;

2. Will not assign the temporary permit holder to carry out independent field work without on-site direct supervision by the sponsor until the temporary permit holder is adequately trained for such activity;

3. Will personally provide and make available documentation, upon request by the board or its representative, showing the number of hours that direct supervision has occurred throughout the period of the temporary permit; and

4. Will return the temporary permit to the department should the training program be discontinued for any reason.

D. The licensed sponsor shall provide training and shall ensure that the temporary permit holder under his supervision gains experience that covers the following subjects as they pertain to hearing aid fitting and the sale of hearing aids, accessories, and services:

1. Basic physics of sound;

2. Basic maintenance and repair of hearing aids;

3. The anatomy and physiology of the ear;

4. Introduction to psychological aspects of hearing loss;

5. The function of hearing aids and amplification;

6. Visible disorders of the ear requiring medical referrals;

7. Practical tests utilized for selection or modification of hearing aids;

8. Pure tone audiometry, including air conduction, bone conduction, and related tests;

9. Live voice or recorded voice speech audiometry, including speech reception threshold testing and speech discrimination testing;

10. Masking when indicated;

11. Recording and evaluating audiograms and speech audiometry to determine the proper selection and adaptation of hearing aids;

12. Taking earmold impressions;

13. Proper earmold selection;

14. Adequate instruction in proper hearing aid orientation;

15. Necessity of proper procedures in after-fitting checkup; and

16. Availability of social service resources and other special resources for the hearing impaired.

E. The board may make further inquiries and investigations with respect to the qualifications of the applicant for a temporary permit or require a personal interview, or both.

F. All correspondence from the board to the temporary permit holder not otherwise exempt from disclosure, shall be addressed to both the temporary permit holder and the licensed sponsor and shall be sent to the business address of the licensed sponsor.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 2.2, eff. August 23, 1995; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003; Volume 33, Issue 9, eff. February 1, 2017.

18VAC80-20-50. Qualifications for licensure by reciprocity.

Every applicant for Virginia licensure through reciprocity who is currently licensed as a hearing aid specialist in good standing in another jurisdiction shall provide information upon application establishing that the requirements and standards under which the license was issued are substantially equivalent to and not conflicting with the provisions of this chapter. The applicant shall file the application for reciprocity with, and pay a fee to, the board, and must successfully complete the specified sections of the examination.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 2.3, eff. August 23, 1995; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003.

18VAC80-20-60. [Repealed]

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 2.4, eff. August 23, 1995; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003.

18VAC80-20-70. Fees.

A. All fees are nonrefundable and shall not be prorated. The date of receipt by the board or its agent is the date which will be used to determine whether or not it is on time.

B. Application and examination fees must be submitted with the application for licensure.

C. In the event that a check, money draft, or similar instrument for payment of a fee required by statute or regulation is not honored by the bank or financial institution named, the applicant or regulant shall be required to remit fees sufficient to cover the original fee, plus the additional processing charge established by the department.

The following fees apply:

Application Fee

$30

To be paid by all applicants for initial licensure

Temporary Permit Fee

$30

Renewal

$20

Reinstatement

$50

D. The written examination fee shall be established in compliance with the Virginia Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq. of the Code of Virginia). The practical examination fee shall be established by the department that is sufficient to cover expenses for the administration of the examination in compliance with subdivision A 4 of § 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 2.5, eff. August 23, 1995; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003; Volume 19, Issue 25, eff. October 1, 2003; Volume 33, Issue 9, eff. February 1, 2017.

18VAC80-20-80. Examinations.

A. All examinations required for licensure shall be approved by the board and administered by the board, a testing service acting on behalf of the board, or another governmental agency or organization.

B. The candidate for examination shall follow all rules established by the board with regard to conduct at the examination. Such rules shall include any written instructions communicated prior to the examination date and any instructions communicated at the site, either written or oral, on the date of the examination. Failure to comply with all rules established by the board with regard to conduct at the examination shall be grounds for denial of the application.

C. Applicants for licensure shall pass a two part examination, of which Part I is a written examination and Part II is a practical examination.

1. The applicant shall pass each section of the written and practical examination administered by the board. Candidates failing one or more sections of the written or practical examination will be required to retake only those sections failed.

2. Any candidate failing to achieve a passing score on all sections in three successive scheduled examinations must reapply as a new applicant for licensure and repeat all sections of the written and practical examination.

3. If the temporary permit holder fails to achieve a passing score on any section of the examination in three successive scheduled examinations, the temporary permit shall expire upon receipt of the examination failure letter resulting from the third attempt.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 2.6, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003.

Part III
Renewal

18VAC80-20-90. License renewal required.

Licenses issued under this chapter shall expire on December 31 of each even-numbered year as indicated on the license.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-113 and 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 3.1, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995.

18VAC80-20-100. Procedures for renewal.

The board will mail a renewal application form to the licensee at the last known address. Failure to receive this notice shall not relieve the licensee of the obligation to renew. Prior to the expiration date shown on the license, each licensee desiring to renew his license must return to the board all required forms and the appropriate fee as outlined in 18VAC80-20-70 of this chapter.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-113 and 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 3.2, eff. August 23, 1995.

18VAC80-20-110. Fees for renewal.

Licensees shall be required to renew their license by submitting the proper fee made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia. Any licensee who fails to renew within 30 days after the license expires shall be required to apply for reinstatement.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-113 and 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 3.3, eff. August 23, 1995.

18VAC80-20-120. Board discretion to deny renewal.

The board may deny renewal of a license for the same reasons as it may refuse initial licensure as set forth in Part II or discipline a licensee as set forth in Part V of this chapter. The licensee is entitled to a review of such action. Appeals from such actions shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act, Chapter 40 (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 3.4, eff. August 23, 1995; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003.

18VAC80-20-130. Qualifications for renewal.

Applicants for renewal of a license shall continue to meet the standards of entry as set forth in 18VAC80-20-30 A 2, 18VAC80-20-30 A 3 and, 18VAC80-20-30 A 5 through 18VAC80-20-30 A 9.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-113 and 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 3.5, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. Oct. 1, 2003.

Part IV
Reinstatement

18VAC80-20-140. Reinstatement required.

If a licensee fails to meet the requirements for renewal and submit the renewal fee within 30 days after the expiration date on the license, the licensee must apply for reinstatement on a form provided by the board.

1. Applicants for reinstatement shall continue to meet the standards of entry in 18VAC80-20-30 A 2, 18VAC80-20-30 A 3 and 18VAC80-20-30 A 5 through 18VAC80-20-30 A 9.

2. Applicants for reinstatement shall submit the required fee referenced in 18VAC80-20-70.

3. Two years after the expiration date on the license, reinstatement is no longer possible. To resume practice as a hearing aid specialist, the former licensee must apply as a new applicant for licensure, meeting all educational, examination, and experience requirements as listed in the regulations current at the time of reapplication.

4. Any hearing aid specialist activity conducted subsequent to the expiration date of the license may constitute unlicensed activity and may be subject to prosecution by the Commonwealth under §§ 54.1-111 and 54.1-202 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 4.1, eff. August 23, 1995; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003.

18VAC80-20-150. Board discretion to deny reinstatement.

The board may deny reinstatement of a license for the same reasons as it may refuse initial licensure or discipline a licensee. The licensee is entitled to a review of such action. Appeals from such actions shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act, Chapter 40 (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 4.2, eff. August 23, 1995; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003.

18VAC80-20-160. Status of license during the period prior to reinstatement.

A. When a licensee is reinstated, the license shall continue to have the same license number and shall be assigned an expiration date two years from the previous expiration date of the license, which is the expiration date assigned to all licenses at the time the license is reinstated.

B. A licensee who reinstates his license shall be regarded as having been continually licensed without interruption. Therefore, the licensee shall remain under the disciplinary authority of the board during the entire period and may be held accountable for his activities during this period. Nothing in this chapter shall divest the board of its authority to discipline a licensee for a violation of the law or regulations during the period of licensure.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 4.3, eff. August 23, 1995; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003.

18VAC80-20-170. [Repealed]

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.1, eff. August 23, 1995; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003.

Part V
Standards of Practice and Conduct

18VAC80-20-180. Maintenance of licenses.

A. Notice in writing shall be given to the board in the event of any change of business or individual name or address. Such notice shall be mailed to the board within 30 days of the change of the name or location. The board shall not be responsible for the licensee's failure to receive notices, communications and correspondence caused by the licensee's failure to promptly notify the board in writing of any change of name or address.

B. All licensees shall operate under the name in which the license is issued.

C. All licenses issued by the board must be visibly displayed at each physical site of employment in such a manner that the public can easily read the name of the licensee. If the individual practices at more than one site, a photocopy of the license is acceptable.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.2, eff. August 23, 1995; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003.

18VAC80-20-190. Business records and practice.

A. This section shall apply with reference to the licensee's official records and public access.

B. The licensee shall keep on record with the board the location of the licensee's records, which shall be accessible to the board, with or without notice, during reasonable business hours.The licensee must promptly produce to the board or any of its agents, upon request or demand, any document, book, record, copy thereof in the licensee's possession or control concerning a transaction covered by this chapter or for which the licensee is required to maintain records.

C. The licensee shall be accessible to the public for expedient, reliable and dependable services, and repairs.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-113 and 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.3, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995.

18VAC80-20-200. Documentation provided to each purchaser.

The licensee shall deliver to each purchaser at the time of a repair or service a signed receipt by the licensee or designee and showing:

1. Licensee's business address, license number and business telephone number;

2. The make and model of the hearing aid or equipment to be repaired or serviced and, in addition, serial numbers on models to be repaired and serviced; and

3. The full terms of the transaction clearly stated.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.4, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003.

18VAC80-20-210. Measures to take when first contact is established with any purchaser or prospective purchaser.

A. When first contact is established with any purchaser or prospective purchaser outside the hearing aid specialist's principal place of business, the licensee shall provide a disclosure form prescribed by the board containing information that the purchaser or prospective purchaser will need to obtain service/maintenance. The disclosure form shall include:

1. Address and telephone number where the hearing aid specialist can be reached.

2. Days and hours contact can be made;

3. Whether service/maintenance will be provided in the office or in the home of the purchaser or prospective purchaser; and

4. If the hearing aid specialist has no principal place of business in Virginia, a clear statement that there is no principal place of business in Virginia.

B. When first contact is established with any purchaser or prospective purchaser the licensee shall:

1. Advise the purchaser or prospective purchaser that hearing aid specialists are not licensed to practice medicine; and

2. Advise the purchaser or prospective purchaser that no examination or representation made by the specialist should be regarded as a medical examination, opinion, or advice.

a. A statement that this initial advice was given to the purchaser or prospective purchaser shall be entered on the purchase agreement in print as large as the other printed matter on the receipt.

b. Exemption: Hearing aid specialists who are physicians licensed to practice medicine in Virginia are exempt from the requirements of this subsection.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.5, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003.

18VAC80-20-220. Purchase agreement.

A. Each hearing aid shall be sold through a purchase agreement that shall:

1. Show the licensee's business address, license number, business telephone number, and signature;

2. Comply with federal and Virginia laws and regulations, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, the Virginia Home Solicitation Sales Act (Chapter 2.1 (§ 59.1-21.1 et seq.) of Title 59.1 of the Code of Virginia), and the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (Chapter 17 (§ 59.1-196 et seq.) of Title 59.1 of the Code of Virginia);

3. Clearly state, if the hearing aid is not new and is sold or rented, that it is "used" or "reconditioned," whichever is applicable, including the terms of warranty, if any. The hearing aid container shall be clearly marked with the same information contained in the purchase agreement;

4. Identify the brand names and model of the hearing aid being sold, and the serial number of the hearing aid shall be provided, in writing, to the purchaser or prospective purchaser at the time of delivery of the hearing aid;

5. Disclose the full purchase price;

6. Disclose the down payment and periodic payment terms in cases where the purchase price is not paid in full at delivery;

7. Disclose any nonrefundable fees established in accordance with § 54.1-1505 of the Code of Virginia. Nonrefundable fees shall not be a percentage of the purchase price of the hearing aid;

8. Disclose any warranty;

9. Explain the provisions of § 54.1-1505 of the Code of Virginia, which entitles the purchaser to return the hearing aid, in 10-point bold face type that is bolder than the type in the remainder of the purchase agreement; and

10. Disclose that the licensee or temporary permit holder is not a physician licensed to practice medicine in Virginia and that no examination or representation made shall be regarded as a medical examination, opinion or advice.

B. Subdivision A 10 of this section shall not apply to sales made by a licensed hearing aid specialist who is a physician licensed to practice medicine in Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.6, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003; Volume 33, Issue 9, eff. February 1, 2017.

18VAC80-20-230. Fitting or sale of hearing aids for children.

A. Any person engaging in the fitting or sale of hearing aids for a child under 18 years of age shall ascertain whether such child has been examined by an otolaryngologist or licensed physician within six months prior to fitting.

B. No child under 18 years of age shall be initially fitted with a hearing aid or hearing aids unless the licensed hearing aid specialist has been presented with a written statement signed by an otolaryngologist stating the child's hearing loss has been medically evaluated and the child may be considered a candidate for a hearing aid. The medical evaluation must have taken place within the preceding six months.

C. No child under 18 years of age shall be subsequently fitted with a hearing aid or hearing aids unless the licensed hearing aid specialist has been presented with a written statement signed by a licensed physician stating the child's hearing loss has been medically evaluated and the child may be considered a candidate for a hearing aid. The medical evaluation must have taken place within the preceding six months.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.7, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003; Volume 33, Issue 9, eff. February 1, 2017.

18VAC80-20-240. Physician statement regarding adult client's medical evaluation of hearing loss.

A. Each licensee or holder of a temporary permit, in counseling and instructing adult clients and prospective adult clients related to the testing, fitting, and sale of hearing aids, shall be required to recommend that the client obtain a written statement signed by a licensed physician stating that the patient's hearing loss has been medically evaluated within the preceding six months and that the patient may be a candidate for a hearing aid.

B. Should the client decline the recommendation, a statement of such declination shall be obtained from the client over his signature. Medical waivers that are a part of purchase agreements shall be in a separate section, which shall be signed by the client indicating his understanding of the medical waiver. A separate, additional client signature space shall be provided in all purchase agreements for the client to sign acknowledging his understanding of the purchase terms and conditions established by 18VAC80-20-200.

1. Fully informed adult patients (18 years of age or older) may waive the medical evaluation.

2. The hearing aid specialist is prohibited from actively encouraging a prospective user to waive a medical examination.

C. The information provided in subsection A of this section must be made a part of the client's record kept by the hearing aid specialist.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.8, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003.

18VAC80-20-250. Testing procedures.

It shall be the duty of each licensee and holder of a temporary permit engaged in the fitting and sale of hearing aids to use appropriate testing procedures for each hearing aid fitting. All tests and case history information must be retained in the records of the specialist. The established requirements shall be:

1. Air Conduction Tests A.N.S.I. standard frequencies of 500-1000-2000-4000-6000-8000 Hertz. Intermediate frequencies shall be tested if the threshold difference between octaves exceeds 15dB. Appropriate masking must be used if the difference between the two ears is 40 dB or more at any one frequency.

2. Bone Conduction Tests are to be made on every client--A.N.S.I. standards at 500-1000-2000-4000 Hertz. Proper masking is to be applied if the air conduction and bone conduction readings for the test ear at any one frequency differ by 15 dB or if lateralization occurs.

3. Speech testings shall be made before fittings and shall be recorded with type of test, method of presentation and the test results.

4. The specialist shall check for the following conditions and, if they are found to exist, shall refer the client to a licensed physician unless the client can show that his present condition is under treatment or has been treated:

a. Visible congenital or traumatic deformity of the ear.

b. History of active drainage from the ear within the previous 90 days.

c. History of sudden or rapidly progressive hearing loss within the previous 90 days.

d. Acute or chronic dizziness.

e. Unilateral hearing loss.

f. Audiometric air bone gap equal to or greater than 15 dB at 500 Hertz, 1000 Hertz, and 2000 Hertz.

g. Visible evidence or significant cerumen accumulation or a foreign body in the ear canal.

h. Tinnitus as a primary symptom.

i. Pain or discomfort in the ear.

5. All tests shall have been conducted no more than six months prior to the fitting.

6. Post-fitting testing shall be made and recorded with type of test, method of presentation and the test results.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.9, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003; Volume 33, Issue 9, eff. February 1, 2017.

18VAC80-20-260. Calibration statement required.

A. Audiometers used in testing the hearing impaired must be in calibration.

B. Calibration must be done once a year or more often, if needed.

C. A certified copy of an electronic audiometer calibration shall be maintained for three years and shall be made available to the department upon request.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.10, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003.

18VAC80-20-270. Grounds for discipline.

The board may, in considering the totality of the circumstances, fine any temporary permit holder or licensee, and suspend, place on probation, or revoke, or refuse to renew any temporary permit or license or deny any application issued under the provisions of Chapter 15 (§ 54.1-1500 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia and this chapter. Disciplinary procedures are governed by the Administrative Process Act, Chapter 40 (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia. In exercising its disciplinary function, the board will consider the totality of the circumstances of each case. Any licensee is subject to board discipline for any of the following:

1. Improper conduct, including but not limited to:

a. Obtaining, renewing, or attempting to obtain a license by false or fraudulent representation;

b. Obtaining any fee or making any sale by fraud or misrepresentation;

c. Employing to fit or sell hearing aids a person who does not hold a valid license or a temporary permit, or whose license or temporary permit is suspended;

d. Using, causing, or promoting the use of any misleading, deceptive, or untruthful advertising matter, promotional literature, testimonial, guarantee, warranty, label, brand, insignia, or any other representation, whether disseminated orally or published;

e. Advertising a particular model or type of hearing aid for sale when purchasers or prospective purchasers responding to the advertisement cannot purchase the advertised model or type;

f. Representing that the service or advice of a person licensed to practice medicine or audiology will be used in the selection, fitting, adjustment, maintenance, or repair of hearing aids when that is not true, or using the words "physician," "audiologist," "clinic," "hearing service," "hearing center," or similar description of the services and products provided when such use is not accurate;

g. Directly or indirectly giving or offering to give favors, paid referrals, or anything of value to any person who in his professional capacity uses his position to influence third parties to purchase products offered for sale by a hearing aid specialist; or

h. Failing to provide expedient, reliable, or dependable services when requested by a client or client's guardian.

2. Failure to include on the purchase agreement a statement regarding home solicitation when required by federal and state law.

3. Incompetence or negligence, as those terms are generally understood in the profession, in fitting or selling hearing aids.

4. Failure to provide required or appropriate training resulting in incompetence or negligence, as those terms are generally understood in the profession, by a temporary permit holder under the licensee's sponsorship.

5. Violating or cooperating with others in violating any provisions of Chapters 1 (§ 54.1-100 et seq.), 2 (§ 54.1-200 et seq.), 3 (§ 54.1-300 et seq.), and 15 (§ 54.1-1500 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia or this chapter.

6. The licensee, temporary permit holder, or applicant has been convicted or found guilty of any crime directly related to the practice of fitting or dealing in hearing aids, regardless of the manner of adjudication, in any jurisdiction of the United States. Except for misdemeanor convictions that occurred five or more years prior to the date of application, with no subsequent convictions, all criminal convictions shall be considered as part of the totality of the circumstances of each applicant. Review of prior convictions shall be subject to the requirements of § 54.1-204 of the Code of Virginia. Any pleas of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for the purpose of this subdivision. The record of a conviction authenticated in such form as to be admissible in evidence of the law of the jurisdiction where convicted shall be admissible as prima facie evidence of such conviction or guilt.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.11, eff. December 4, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 7, Issue 11, eff. March 27, 1991; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. August 23, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. October 1, 2003; Volume 33, Issue 9, eff. February 1, 2017.

18VAC80-20-280. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR375-01-02 § 5.12, eff. August 23, 1995; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 9, eff. February 1, 2017.

Forms (18VAC80-20)

Hearing Aid Specialist License Application, A440-2101LIC-v3 (rev. 2/2017)

Hearing Aid Specialist Temporary Permit Application, A440-2102TP_PKG-v4 (rev. 2/2017)

Hearing Aid Specialist License Reinstatement Application, A440-2101REI-v3 (rev. 2/2017)

Hearing Aid Specialist Re-examination Application, A440-2101REEX-v2 (rev. 9/2013)

Hearing Aid Specialist Training & Experience Form, A440-21TREXP-v2 (eff. 9/2013)



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