Code of Ethics for OHS


This Code of Ethics for Hearing Instrument Specialists ® has been prepared and subscribed to by members of the Oregon Hearing Society. These principles of professional conduct are a voluntary effort to provide the best service for the hearing impaired and to guide hearing health professionals in their relations with each other and the public in general. The title Hearing Instrument Specialist® is registered to the International Hearing Society. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Adopted 10/83 - Revised 10/96, 10/98, 05/03


This is a Code of Ethics for those engaged in the testing of human hearing, and in the selection, counseling, fitting, dispensing and servicing of hearing instruments. This Code sets standards of professional integrity and practice, including relationships with patients, colleagues and the general public.

Ethical principles are standards by which the profession and the individual Hearing Instrument Specialist® determine the propriety of their conduct. Adherence to these standards is required for membership in the International Hearing Society, and further serves to assure public confidence in the integrity of the services of Hearing Instrument Specialists® in this profession. The International Hearing Society verifies the competence of its members through a qualification program and mandatory continuing education. It is incumbent on all hearing health professionals to abide by all laws, or rules and regulations applicable to the dispensing of hearing instruments.

The basic principle is an accepted Code of Ethical Conduct for Hearing Instrument Specialists ® .

In order that we can best serve hearing impaired persons and contribute toward their participation in the world of sound and speech, we, the members of the International Hearing Society, pledge ourselves to abide with this Code of Ethics:

  1. We shall state only the true facts in our public announcements and advertising of hearing instruments and related products, and we shall not, in any way, mislead or misrepresent in regard to their performance, appearance, benefits elements and use.

  2. We shall provide thorough and ethical consulting services when we dispense instruments, including the appropriate testing and fitting suitable for the patient's particular type of hearing loss.

  3. We shall, at all times, provide the best possible service to the hearing impaired, offering counsel, understanding and technical assistance contributing toward their deriving the maximum benefit from their hearing instruments.

  4. We shall constantly encourage and support research, cooperating with medical and other hearing health professionals and societies to employ the maximum accumulation of scientific knowledge and technical skills in the testing of human hearing for the selection, fitting and maintenance of hearing instruments.

Section 1: Conduct and Relationship with Patient

The Hearing Instrument Specialist® engaged in the practice of testing human hearing, and in the selection, counseling, fitting, dispensing and servicing of hearing instruments, shall hold paramount the welfare of the patient.

A. Continuing Education
It is in the best interest of the patient that the Hearing Instrument Specialist ® engage and participate in continuing education during each year of active practice.
B. Referral
The Hearing Instrument Specialist ® shall utilize all resources available, including referral to other specialists as needed.
C. Services Rendered
The Hearing Instrument Specialist ® shall accept and seek full responsibility for the exercise of judgement within, but not limited to, the areas of his/her expertise. These services include the testing of human hearing, and the selection, counseling, fitting, dispensing and servicing of hearing instruments. The Hearing Instrument Specialist ® shall not guarantee outstanding results from the use of hearing instruments, products, services or counseling when such is not the case. He/she shall exercise caution not to mislead persons to expect results that cannot be predicted.
D. Confidential Aspects of Patient Relations
The Hearing Instrument Specialist ® shall hold in professional confidence all information and professional records concerning a patient and use such data only for the benefit of the patient or as the law demands.
E. Conduct in Regard to Colleagues and Hearing Healthcare Professions
The Hearing Instrument Specialist ® must keep the welfare of the patient uppermost at all times. He/she shall avoid disparaging, pejorative and/or inaccurate remarks or comments about professional colleagues or members of the hearing health care professions. He/she shall conduct himself/herself at all times in a manner which will enhance the status of the profession. He/she shall be supportive to individuals and organizations with whom he/she is associated to their mutual benefit. He/she shall not agree to practice under terms or conditions which tend to interfere with or impair the proper exercise of his/her professional judgement and skill, which tend to cause a deterioration of the quality of his/her service, or which require him/her to consent to unethical conduct.
F. Maintenance of Records
The Hearing Instrument Specialist ® shall initiate and maintain records of services provided to patients. All laws or rules and regulations pertaining to keeping of records must be carefully observed.
G. Fees and Compensation
The Hearing Instrument Specialist ® shall not participate with other health professionals or any other person in agreements to divide fees or to cause financial or other exploitation when rendering his/her professional services.
H. Delay in Providing Services
The Hearing Instrument Specialist ® shall not delay furnishing care to patients served professionally, without just cause.
I. Discontinuance of Services
The Hearing Instrument Specialist ® shall not discontinue services to patients without providing reasonable notice of withdrawal, providing all contractual agreements have been satisfied.
J. Safety and Sanitation
The Hearing Instrument Specialist shall at all times practice accepted standards of infection control and shall exercise reasonable precaution to maximize patient safety.

Section II: Responsibility to the Profession and Colleagues

The Hearing Instrument Specialist® has the duty to observe all laws, rules and regulations applicable to the dispensing of hearing instruments, to uphold the dignity and honor of the profession and to accept its ethical principles. He/she shall not engage in any activity that will bring discredit to the profession and shall expose, without fear or favor, illegal or unethical conduct in the profession.

  1. In the event it appears that a Hearing Instrument Specialist ® is in violation of this Code, fellow Hearing Instrument Specialists ® are encouraged to report circumstances to the International Hearing Society.
  2. The Hearing Instrument Specialist ® holding an official or elective position in the International Hearing Society or State or Provincial Chapter shall not use such a position for self-aggrandizement.

Section III: Advertising

The Hearing Instrument Specialist ® who chooses to advertise his/her services shall use only material considered ethical and complying with laws, or rules and regulations governing advertising. The Hearing Instrument Specialist ® shall endorse the following statement of principles that assures protection of the hearing impaired and the public in general.

Advertising shall tell the truth and shall reveal significant facts, the concealment of which would mislead the public, and shall not dispense any product, or part hereof, representing that it is new, unused or rebuilt, when such is not the fact.
Advertisers shall be willing and able to provide substantiation of claims made.
Advertising shall be free of statements, illustrations or implications which are offensive to good taste or public decency.
Advertising shall offer merchandise or service on its merits, and shall refrain from attacking competitors or disparaging their products, services or methods of doing business.
Advertising shall offer only merchandise or services which are readily available for purchase during the advertised period at the advertised price; e.g., it is unethical for any Hearing Instrument Specialist ® to advertise a particular model or kind of instrument to obtain prospects for the sale of a different model or kind of instrument than that advertised, or to imply a relationship with a manufacturer and trade names that does not exist.
Advertising of guarantees and warranties shall be explicit. Advertising of any guarantee or warranty shall clearly and conspicuously disclose its nature and extent, the manner in which the guarantor or warrantor will perform and the identity of the guarantor or warrantor. It is unethical to use or cause to be used, any guarantee or warranty which is false, misleading, deceptive or unfair, whether in respect to the quality, construction serviceability, performance or method of manufacture of any industry product, or in respect to the terms and conditions of refund of purchase price thereof, or in any other respect.

Section IV: Standards

Maintenance of high standards by all Hearing Instrument Specialists ® is in the best interest of persons served professionally, the Hearing Instrument Specialist ® and the profession.

  1. It shall be unethical for the Hearing Instrument Specialist ® to willfully and knowingly violate any law or rule or regulation applicable to the dispensing of hearing instruments.
  2. It shall be unethical to use such terms, or any abbreviation of such terms as doctor, physician, otologist, Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist ® , Audioprosthologist, certified hearing aid audiologist, clinical audiologist, medical audiologist, research audiologist, industrial audiologist, or any other title/abbreviation, when such is not the fact. When holding a doctorate or other degree from a profession other than hearing sciences, delineation of such credential shall be required.
  3. It shall be unethical to use any symbol or depiction which connotes the medical profession.
  4. It shall be unethical to use any terms that may reasonably be said to confuse the public that a private business practice has some relationship to a governmental or non-profit medical, educational or research institution.

Section V: Discrimination

The Hearing Instrument Specialist ® shall not discriminate in the delivery of professional service on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex, age or marital status.

Section VI: Association

The Hearing Instrument Specialist ® is encouraged to associate with groups and organizations having as their objectives the betterment of the profession. All members of the International Hearing Society and Hearing Instrument Specialists ® of this profession pledge themselves to observe and support this Code of Ethics. By violating any part, a member of the International Hearing Society is subject to removal from membership in the International Hearing Society. This Code is interpreted by the Ethics Committee and enforced by the Grievance Committee of the International Hearing Society. Upon violation of this Code, the Grievance Committee may discipline members, after investigation and hearing.