BAA is piloting a new Higher Training Scheme (HTS) equivalence route for one module; Paediatric Assessment 6 months +. This route enables BAA members, who have been trained in paediatric audiology via other routes, to gain an HTS award to confirm externally verified clinical competence in this area. This will enable members who meet certain criteria to apply for examination without having to complete the fully HTS training programme. Members must meet specific criteria to ensure this is the appropriate route for them, as given below:

  1. Have a minimum of five years post training experience in paediatric assessment in the 6 months – 4 year age group. Individuals with less experience will be considered by the committee on an individual basis
  2. Have read and are familiar with the HTS regulations, HTS handbook and module specification
  3. Confirm they are aware they will be examined against current learning outcomes and to the same standard of a full HTS candidate. This includes the viva section of the clinical examination, which assesses the theoretical knowledge requirements detailed in the module specifications.
  4. Required to have up to date skills and knowledge in line with the module specification, to include theoretical knowledge, part a procedures and part b clinical competencies, and to provide evidence of this in the form of testimonials and a case study
  5. Understand this examination is at M-level and have correct expectations
  6. Take responsibility for organising the exam, as outlined in the handbook and regulations

The initial pilot will only enable applications until the end of March 2023. Dependent on the demand, this period may be extended after the pilot, and may also be extended to other HTS modules, but there is currently no guarantee of this. However, it should be noted that it is not intended that this route will be available indefinitely as an alternative to gaining a qualification at this level. It is for a limited period, primarily for staff who have been working in the area for many years, but who were not previously given the opportunity to have their clinical competence externally verified. It is currently envisaged that this route will be open for applications for no more than 12 months.

Members interested in this route should read the HTS regulations and relevant sections of the HTS handbook and FAQs for more information. Those meeting the criteria and wishing to apply must complete the new online form on the HTS web pages, upload evidence, and pay the registration fee. The evidence required is:

  • How the individual has developed their clinical knowledge over time, such that it is now at or above the requirements for the module as outlined in the module summary (no more than 1 side of A4)
  • How the individual has developed their clinical skills over time such that it is now at or above the requirements for the module as outlined in the module summary (no more than 1 side of A4)
  • A case study, which demonstrates the individual’s ability to critically reflect, and also includes reference to the evidence base to justify the decisions made.

Applications will be reviewed, and if criteria are met, a mini viva will be arranged lasting no more than 15 minutes to check individuals are ready for the exam. If approved, the examination will be arranged and an exam fee will be due.

Candidates who pass the examination will be awarded the ‘BAA HTS Equivalence Award’ in the specific clinical area, which makes it clear to potential employers that they have not completed the full HTS training course.

Unsuccessful candidates could apply to re-sit the examination once, and to do so a new application would need to be made, and fees paid. If unsuccessful on the second occasion, it is not possible to apply for the equivalence route again, but candidates could enrol in the standard scheme.  If a candidate does not pass and is working in that specialist area, it would be their local department and/or Trust’s responsibility to manage this situation, in line with their local competency procedures.