Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to most questions related to the OHC may be found in the OHC section of this website. Here are a few of the most common questions that are posed to the CAOHC staff members.
Q: Is OHC training required just to administer the hearing tests?
A: To administer a hearing test, it is highly recommended that the OHC be CAOHC certified. While this is not mandatory, it does ensure that everyone on your staff has been trained in the same manner and that your results are consistent. This is an important protection for the employer.
Q: Is specific training required to oversee a Hearing Conservation program?
A: OSHA mandates that any audiologist, MD or DO (anyone that oversees your hearing conservation program) must be trained as a CAOHC Professional Supervisor (PS). Please refer to the PS section and the ABOUT tab in that section.
Q: If I leave my current employer, does my Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation (CAOHC) Certified Occupational Hearing Conservationist (COHC) certification become my employer's property?
A: No, the COHC certification is awarded to the individual who successfully completes all the requirements for the credential. Even if an employer pays for the course and certification, the certification is awarded to the individual and only that individual can use the credential to perform audiometric tests and other responsibilities in the hearing conservation program. Other technicians, supervisors or the employer cannot use or share the COHC certification number. If you have concerns, contact the Professional Supervisor (PS) who is the licensed physician or audiologist providing oversight of your hearing conservation program (HCP).
Q: Who is responsible for remembering the expiration date of the certification?
A: You are responsible for maintaining your certification since the CAOHC number is yours and not your employer's. You will receive a 6-month and a 1-year recertification notification from CAOHC to the email you have on record with us. Please let us know if your email changes.
Q: Does CAOHC Offer CEUs and nursing CEUs for OHC courses?
A: CAOHC does not offer CEUs for OHC courses since the courses are not instructed by CAOHC (CAOHC trains the instructors and provides the materials). Course instructors conducting these courses however may elect to offer CEUs at their own discretion. Participants will need to contact their instructor directly to see if CEUs are offered by them.
Q: Does CAOHC offer any extension on certification expiration?
A: All extension requests must be received by the CAOHC administrative office at least 30 days before expiration of the certification, subject to approval by CAOHC. This exception is intended for COHCs having difficulty locating a course in a specific geographic area, serious illness or other extenuating circumstances. To request an extension, go to the My CAOHC Account link on our home page.
Q: What determines my expiration date?
A: The COHC certification expiration date is set for 5 years from the date you complete the course, not the exam.
Q: How can I get a copy of my certificate or find my CAOHC certificate number and expiration date?
A: You can get a copy of your certificate by going to the My CAOHC Account link on our home page. Once you log in, under the OHC Heading, look for Certificate. You can click here to get an instant copy of your certificate.
Q: Do I need a license as an audiometric technician in my state?
A: It depends on your state. Some state government agencies may claim jurisdiction over your actions as a COHC. For example, Oregon and Washington Departments of Labor require CAOHC certification for OHCs, while the Department of Health in Texas requires registration of all audiometric technicians, including COHCs.
Your state audiology licensure board may require audiologists to register COHCs as an audiology aide. Likewise, COHCs operating under the supervision of a physician are typically subject to a state's medical practice laws. To find out about your state's license requirements, contact your hearing conservation program manager or your professional supervisor (audiologist or physician).
Q: Is there an exam for the OHC course?
A: For both the 20-hour certification course and the 8-hour recertification course, it is required that participants pass a national standardized written exam in addition to practical examinations on audiometric testing and hearing protection fitting given during the course. Currently all exams are administered in the classroom by the course director and must adhere to specific standards and procedures.
The national standardized written exam for both the certification and the recertification are intended to address the following objectives:
1. Evaluate the level of knowledge obtained through the classroom experience.
2. Determine whether the student has gained sufficient knowledge to work as a COHC.
3. Reinforce course content and provide additional learning opportunities.
4. Standardize the student's course experience and enhance the credibility and value of the COHC credential.
Q: How do I know if the course I am attending is CAOHC-approved?
A: All CAOHC courses are listed on this website and have been approved by CAOHC. Also, a CAOHC certificate of course approval issued to the course director should be displayed at your course. If you do not see this certificate, ask for it.
Q: How do I get Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for taking this CAOHC course?
A: If course directors wish to offer continuing education credits for their COHC courses, they are individually responsible for submitting all applications to the continuing education board for the association granting the continuing education credits, i.e. the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, the American Academy of Audiology, the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, etc. CAOHC does not provide this service.
Q: How do I find and register for a CAOHC course in my area? What does it cost?
A: CAOHC-approved courses are listed on this website. To find a course, visit the OHC Course Search Listings section. Contact the course director to register and obtain cost details, which will vary by course depending on instructor and location.
A: CAOHC honors the DoD Hearing Technician certification as long as your certification was obtained within the last five years. Please send a copy of your DOEHRS number and the date on which it was awarded to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate that you would like credit for the OHC certification through DOEHRS.
Q: What is the difference between a Professional Supervisor of the Audiometric Monitoring Program (PS) and a supervisor/manager of the hearing conservation program?
A: According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) hearing conservation amendment, the PS of a hearing conservation program (HCP) must be a licensed audiologist or physician. This professional ensures that audiograms for monitoring noise-exposed workers are correctly administered and interpreted. (See Scope of Practice: The Professional Supervisor of the Audiometric Monitoring Program). The PS advises the COHC. Conversely, a supervisor/manager of an HCP is typically a safety professional, human resources administrator or other management-level company personnel. This supervisor/manager is responsible for the HCP's overall management and effectiveness and may also directly supervise the COHC.