Home » About Share | Print:
About the British Academy of Audiology
The British Academy of Audiology
We are the largest association of professionals in hearing and balance in the UK. Our membership extends internationally and provides services in both the public and private sector.
The BAA aims to help its members to develop in their professional skills, provide a benchmark for quality and professional standards and promote audiology as an autonomous profession.
The pages in this section will allow you to understand the structure of the association, its Board and President, its vision and constitution and the committees that drive its activity.
Here too you can find details of how to contact the association and of ways in which, as a private company, you may wish to advertise with us.
Professional and Ethical Behaviour for Audiologists
Audiologists as Healthcare Practitioners and Scientists carry considerable responsibility requiring complex judgements and clinical decision making. They often work with the most vulnerable in society at times when they are acutely unwell. Moreover, patients, colleagues and the public must have complete trust that each Healthcare Science Professional acts with honesty, integrity and in the best interests of the patient. For this reason, it is important to recognise that your behaviour may determine whether you are ‘Fit to Practise’ as a Healthcare Science Practitioner.
British Academy of Audiology (BAA) has adopted the Health Professions Council Code of Conduct as our Code. However, members of other registration bodies such as the RCCP must of course adhere to those as well (there is little difference in the underlying principles of these). An audiologist who is reprimanded by, or suspended or expelled from, their registration body is likely to have similar action taken by the BAA, following appropriate investigation.
We also believe that professional and ethical behaviour are much more than rule following. Whilst the code of conduct may act like a guide, we encourage all the audiologists to continually think about and be aware of ethical and moral issues associated with their actions and practices.
Health Professions Council - Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics
The National Archives - The Universal Ethical Code for Scientists
American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) – Codes of Ethics
American Academy of Audiology – Code of Ethics
History of BAA
Formation of Steering Committee
Spring Consensus Conference
‘Think Tank’ Meeting to establish Vision and Mission
Members of BAAS, BSHT and BAAT voted in favour of merging to form one body – British Academy of Audiology
1st April - British Academy of Audiology becomes effective
How was BAA formed?
The British Academy of Audiology (BAA) was formed as an amalgamation of: BAAS (British Association of Audiological Scientists) BSHT (British Society of Hearing Therapists) and BAAT (British Association of Audiology Technicians). 8 years after the initial discussion, the BAA became effective on 1st April 2004, following an overwhelming vote, in favour of the union.
The BAA was the culmination of many years’ work that saw professions within Audiology grow closer together as the speciality changed beyond recognition. The origins of the amalgamation can be traced back to work with the then Chief Scientific Officer at the Department of Health, Peter Greenaway, who hosted and supported the initial meetings in 1998.
Why was a new body required?
BAA drew together representatives of the three former bodies, to present a single strong voice, offering clinical autonomy for the audiology profession. The BAA was devised to work alongside other bodies, such as the British Society of Audiology which covers a wider group, including Medics and those in education. Audiology within the NHS had grown up as a profession and a mature organisation was required to represent and support it. It was a critical time for NHS Audiology as the funding for digital hearing aids began to be devolved on a local basis. The profession needed to be strong to maintain the high quality service achieved through modernisation.
The BAA was to develop and accredit high quality education for people moving into the profession and have a key role in upholding high standards and negotiating with government departments on relative matters.
The initial BAA structure was crafted in line with the vision set out by the Department of Health in relation to ‘Making the Change’.
A twelve member BAA Executive Board was assumed with plans to run an election for members to select the next committee.
The shadow of the initial BAA board was formed from the Audiology Professions Group, a group composed of the Chair and Vice Chair of each of the BAAS, BSHT and BAAT. The APG worked on the goal of a BSc (Hons) Audiology as the minimum qualification, a new career structure and a united profession. Over the next few years the faces changed but the three groups remained wedded to the goal.
Initial Board Members
- President - Jonathon Parsons
- Vice Chair - Pauline Beesley
- Hon Secretary - Dot Thomson
- Hon Treasurer - Michelle Bennion
- Education, Accreditation & Training – Gerald Armstrong-Bednall
- Professional Development – Kevin Wyke
- Service Standards & Protocols – Graham Sutton
- Registration & Professional Issues – Andy Phillips
- Communication & Publicity – Sue Wyatt-Jones
- Conferences & Meetings – Lucy Hanscomb
- Membership – Barbara Hook
- Regional Network Development – Becky Sutton
Aims of the BAA
Initial Vision (2003)
- BAA will be the united body for the Audiology Profession throughout the UK.
- BAA will offer protection, encouragement, inspiration and guidance to its members and be the driving force to develop the profession.
- BAA will work to develop and promote excellence in services for our patients.
- BAA will raise the profile of Audiology as an autonomous profession and be a united powerful voice.
- BAA recognises that Assistants, Associate Practitioners and Student Audiologists are an integral part of the current and future service.
Initial Mission Statement (2003)
To develop, support and promote the profession, science and practice of Audiology in the United Kingdom, through the promotion of education, training, research, lobbying and professional support.
Mission Statement (2013)
- Is the largest organisation for professionals in hearing and balance in the UK
- Provides leadership, inspiration and guidance
- Develops and promotes excellence in services for patients
- Is a driving force for improving quality standards, training and education
- Promotes the profile of audiology as an autonomous profession
Launch of BAA
The official launch of the British Academy of Audiology took place in the Cabinet War Rooms in London on Wednesday 19th May. Tony Benn was the guest speaker and was a consummate professional throughout the somewhat gruelling photography sessions before finally toasting the launch of BAA – when lunch could begin. The new BAA Board were given special permission to have our photographs taken around Churchill’s cabinet table in the War Rooms.
Our first annual conference ‘Audiology United’ was held in Manchester on November 18-20th 2004.
Opening of the first BAA Conference 2013 – Jonathan Parsons (first BAA President)
“Ladies, Gentleman and Honoured Guests
Welcome to the largest conference for Audiologists ever held in the United Kingdom.
It does feel very good to say that.
When you think about it, an awful lot of work has taken place over the years, by many people in order to get us to this point. This conference as well as being an unprecedented opportunity for learning, should also be a celebration of what has been achieved, so you all have license to enjoy yourself just a little bit more than usual – quite a dangerous thing to say perhaps having only previously witnessed BAAT conferences – but you can take that how you like.
We owe our thanks to many people and I will try to cover all these, but you will understand if I refer to general groups rather than naming all individuals.
Firstly I would like to thank the Lord Mayor of Manchester for graciously agreeing to open the conference (you will hear from him shortly) but also to our overseas guests who have come a great distance to be with us. It is with great personal pleasure that I can welcome several members of the American Academy of Audiology who are with us as today, as it gives me the opportunity to thank them for an unceasing listening ear and source of advice over the last few years.
There are several people, without who, today would not be possible. I am sure that I am not jumping the gun by thanking the Conference Organising Committee led by Pauline Beesley who have worked tirelessly to bring this about. We will get opportunities over the next few days to thank them, but the work required in organising Audiologists United should not be underestimated.
No conference would be possible without sponsorship and I would very much like to thank all our generous sponsors. Special thanks must go to our Gold Sponsors – Mediplacements, GN Resound & Siemens, and to our Silver Sponsors – Oticon, IAC and Starkey. Thank you to CochlearEurope Limited for Prizes for Best Student Podium and Best Poster Presentation. Thanks too to the University of Manchester.
To understand what BAA is about, it is important to remember how things used to be, and what has happened to us. We were previously three organisations, representing different professionals who to a greater or lesser degree performed similar and often overlapping roles depending upon local composition of services. We do not have to go too far back, to be in the days where despite our clinical expertise, we were viewed as support services, often subservient to ENT and at the mercy of directorate over-influence. I can remember not being allowed by ENT to talk to patients or parents about the results of assessment – quite bizarre really. Being referred to as ‘my technician’ or sometimes even audiometrician – (that could yet be the unifying title – it has a certain ring to it!) Who else has had to make parents an appointment a week or so hence for the ENT surgeon to impart the news and immediately return them back to us?
Thankfully for most, (in the words of one often repeated radio ad at the moment) - Things are Different Now.
It is good to be able to declare that in this, HealthCare Science Awareness Week, the Audiologist Profession has Come of Age – just look at what we have achieved and are achieving: the Modernisation of Services and Digital Hearing Aids for all, Newborn Hearing Screening, a BSc (Hons) as a minimum qualification for practice, and not least registration soon for the previously unregulated majority of our workforce. As a group of practitioners, we have delivered – despite the extraordinary pressure placed upon the service and ourselves. We are a group of autonomous professionals that lead care in the areas of hearing and balance. People are beginning to know what audiologists do and what they can achieve. We should rightly be proud of the roles that we have forged for ourselves, and I mean that we have forged – through our dedication and professionalism – services are very different know, and the quality for patients is much enhanced compared to the pre modernised service. Again, we should all be proud of ourselves for these achievements.
So what of the British Academy of Audiology?
BAA is a natural culmination of the changes in our roles and services. Audiologists need an organisation that looks after our needs and the needs of our patients. You need to be supported both at national and local level and to be sure that where decisions are being made about your future we have robust opinions and strong influence.
Change is always uncomfortable in at least some way for all, and we have certainly as professionals and as an organisation been through an unprecedented period of change. It is clear that BAA is a fledgling organisation that has yet to properly find its feet. As I said, it has been many years coming about. The Road to Manchester has been one with many twists and the occasional comprehensive roadblock to overcome. That we have got here at all is all to do with the professionals of each organisation who have worked tirelessly to achieve it, often in their own time. So a big thanks you to all those who as part of BSHT, BAAS, BAAT, the Audiology Professions Group and the Shadow BAA Board worked towards amalgamation. I must acknowledge the able and timely support of Dr Peter Greenaway, the previous Chief Scientific Officer at the Department of Health who had the vision to know what was possible and to support us. I must also acknowledge the significant contribution of BSHAA representatives in the Audiology Professions group and shadow Board – I thank them for their help. I was struck when speaking at the BSHAA conference a week or so ago, that we have never been closer as practitioners. There remains an historic opportunity to break the artificial barriers that exist between us and to go forward with the degree as the minimum qualification for each sector. BAA continues to argue for this along with BSHAA in talks with the Department of Health on registration and career structures. You may know that we face significant opposition to this from those in power.
There is no doubt that as an organisation BAA still has lessons to learn. I don’t think any of us quite anticipated the workload involved with a much larger organisation. We have not lost the positiveness of the overwhelming vote for amalgamation and of the successful launch that we held in May. But I think that we so successfully wound up the three organisations that we failed to realise that in one fell stroke we suddenly had a large organisation with no structure – clearly we have had to hit the ground running and set our priorities accordingly. This will be broken down further for you at the AGM later this afternoon. We are however creating a structure that will involve as many of you as possible and be fit for purpose.
Which takes me back to moving things along on this special day. It is a great honour for me to serve as the First President of the British Academy of Audiology. The formation has been the culmination of a dream for me and it is evidence of the standing that our profession now holds. As always with these things - the real work starts here. I am not ashamed to say once again that the Audiology profession has Come of Age and BAA will continue to work to further our aims. So lastly I would like to thank you all for attending Audiologists United and sincerely hope that you enjoy the experience. I will now ask the Lord Mayor of Manchester to formerly open the conference.”