Australian Government - Department of Health - Office of Hearing Services
Hearing Services Program

Provisional and qualified hearing practitioners

Qualified hearing practitioners are required to register for a Qualified Practitioner (QP) number in order to provide services through the Hearing Services Program (the program). It can take up to six weeks to receive a QP number. The following provides information about provisional practitioners, registering as a QP and how to update your personal details with the Department of Health (the Department) and Medicare.

Who can provide hearing services to eligible clients

QPs can only provide services to clients of the program if they have been allocated a QP number and work for a service provider(s) who holds a current contract with the Department (contracted service provider).

All QPs are issued with a unique QP number which is used to make claims for hearing services provided under the program. Providers must only allow staff members who are qualified practitioners, with an allocated QP number, to

  • provide hearing services to a eligible clients, or
  • supervise a provisional practitioner providing hearing services to eligible clients.

What is a provisional practitioner?

A provisional practitioner is someone who has completed their studies in audiology or audiometry and is undertaking an internship program. The rules around internship programs and the supervision requirements are specified by the Practitioner Professional Body (PPB) of which the provisional practitioner is a member. Provisional practitioners are not eligible to apply for a QP number. All provisional practitioners must be supervised by a QP when providing hearing services to eligible clients. To claim for hearing services, service providers will need to use the QP number allocated to the supervising practitioner. Once the provisional audiologist has completed their internship program, they will need to apply for a QP number.

A provisional audiologist is a person who has

  • At least the equivalent of an Australian university Masters-level degree in clinical audiology
  • Full membership with Audiology Australia, and/or
  • Associate membership with ACAud.

A provisional audiometrist is a person who has

  • A Diploma-level vocational qualification in audiometry or a Bachelor of Audiometry degree from an Australian University or International equivalent.
  • Associate membership with ACAud, and/or
  • Associate membership with Hearing Aid Audiology Society of Australia (HAASA).

What is a QP?

There are two groups of QPs recognised by the program, a qualified audiologist or audiometrist.

A qualified audiologist is a person who has

  • At least the equivalent of an Australian university Masters-level degree in clinical audiology.
  • Full membership with Audiology Australia and a Certificate of Clinical Practice (CCP), and/or
  • Ordinary membership with the Australian College of Audiology (ACAud ) with competency in Hearing Aid Dispensary, and
  • Been issued with a QP number.

A qualified audiometrist is a person who has

  • A Diploma-level vocational qualification in audiometry or a Bachelor of Audiometry degree from an Australian University or international equivalent.
  • Ordinary membership with ACAud with competency in Hearing Aid Dispensary, and/or
  • Full Membership with the HAASA, and
  • Been issued with a QP number.

How do I get a QP number?

An authorised person in your organisation with SP Manager access in the Hearing Services Online (HSO) portal is able to request a QP number for you, by selecting ‘Create Practitioner Number’ under the Qualified Practitioners accordion. Once your completed request is received, the Department will request a QP number from Medicare. The Department will confirm the receipt of your request with your employer. This will allow you to begin seeing eligible clients whilst you are waiting for your QP number to be issued. Please allow up to six weeks for the request to be processed.

Once you have been issued with a QP number it will be registered in the HSO portal and your provider will be emailed these details. Your provider will then link your details to their HSO portal account by registering the date of your employment.  Your employer will be able to claim for hearing services you provide from the date your employment commenced or the date you received confirmation of your request for a QP number. This unique QP number remains allocated to you, even if you change employers. However, you can only use it while you are working for a contracted service provider.

How to update your qualification

If your qualification has changed from a qualified audiometrist to a qualified audiologist, you will need to email your new PPB membership certificate to hearing@health.gov.au. We will then notify Medicare of your new qualification and update your QP record in the HSO portal. You will receive an email once this process has been finalised.

Updating your name

If you have recently legally changed your name, you will need to email proof of identity documentation (for example a driver’s licence, a Change of Name certificate or Marriage certificate) to hearing@health.gov.au. We will then inform Medicare of your name change and update your record on the HSO portal.  You will receive an email once the process has been finalised, this may take up to six weeks.

Are services for eligible clients different to services for other people?

While the hearing services provided to eligible clients are the same as services provided to private clients, there are rules that providers must follow when providing services, for example Eligibility Criteria for Refitting (ECR) and Hearing Rehabilitation Outcomes (HROs). Through the Service Provider Contract (the Contract) with the Department, your employer has agreed to comply with these rules, standards and guidelines. If you are seeing eligible clients as part of your job, you should expect your employer to provide you with appropriate training in this regard. The program’s website is a good source of information for you on Hearing Services Legislation,the Contract, provider factsheets, user guides and other documentation.

Contact Details for the Practitioner Professional Bodies (PPB)

Audiology Australia Limited

Phone                       03 9416 4606

Email Address          info@audiology.asn.au

Website                     www.audiology.asn.au

Australian College of Audiology (ACAud)

Phone                       07 3839 1622

Email Address          acaud@acaud.org

Website                     www.acaud.com.au

Hearing Aid Audiology Society of Australia (HAASA)

Phone                       02 6285 4445

Email address          haasa@haasa.org.au

Website                   http//www.haasa.org.au/

 

Provisional and qualified hearing practitioners (pdf) (PDF 152 KB)

Contacting the Department of Health and other Agencies

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