Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to most questions related to the PS may be found in the PS section of this website. Here are a few of the most common questions that are posed to the CAOHC staff members.
Q: Is specific training required just to administer the hearing tests?
A: According to OSHA’s Occupational Noise Exposure Standard, 29 CFR 1910.95, hearing tests can only be administered by a licensed or certified audiologist, physician, a CAOHC certified Occupational Hearing Conservationist, or by a technician who has demonstrated competence in administering audiometric testing and who is responsible to an audiologist, otolaryngologist, or physician.
While certification is not mandatory, it does provide proof that a technician has met a high standard of training (minimum 20 hours of instruction), taken and passed a national standardized examination leading to certification, and demonstrated competence in administering audiometric examinations, obtaining valid audiograms, and properly using, maintaining and checking calibration and proper functioning of the audiometers being used.
Q: Is specific training required to oversee a Hearing Conservation program?
A: OSHA’s Noise standard paragraphs 1910.95(g)(3), (g)(7)(iii), and (g)(9), outline the requirements that professionals, specifically audiologists, otolaryngologists, or other physicians must oversee the audiometric testing program. The Professional Supervisor of the Audiometric Monitoring Program© (PS) Course was created by CAOHC to clarify the PS responsibilities as stated in the federal regulation. Additionally, the CAOHC Hearing Conservation Manager course was specifically created to prepare attendees to effectively manage a hearing conservation program utilizing seven elements of an effective hearing conservation program and to navigate regulatory compliance.
Q: Who determines if a hearing loss is work related?
A: The Professional Supervisor of the Audiometric Monitoring Program™ (PS/A), an audiologist, otolaryngologist, or physician has the responsibility to determine the work-relatedness of a hearing loss for purposes of recording hearing loss on the OSHA 300 Log of work related injuries and illnesses. The OSHA recordkeeping standard for hearing loss refers to general OSHA guidance of presumption of work-relatedness unless a specific exception can be found.
It is recommended that the PS collaborate and obtain information from all members of the hearing conservation team (e.g. Industrial Hygiene, Safety, Human Resources and medical). For more details see the PS Scope of Practice.
Q: How long is my certification valid?
A: The certification for the Professional Supervisor of the Audiometric Monitoring Program (CPS/A) is valid for five years. For those re-certifying, they are eligible to take a recertification option, but must do so before they expire. Once the PS certification has expired, the participant must take the full course again.
Q: Do you have to be an audiologist or physician (MD, DO) to take the PS workshop and/or exam?
A: The PS course is intended for audiologists and physicians who supervise and review audiometric testing for hearing conservation programs. Other hearing conservation professionals may participate in this course; however, only audiologists and physicians with a current practitioner license may pursue the CPS/A© credential and take the exam.
Q: As a licensed audiologist and a PS, can I review audiograms from another state?
A: The licensing rules for audiometric testing and review are specific to each state. Questions related to this topic need to be answered by each state’s licensing board.