Each state and province has their own laws, rules, regulations, and requirements for practice, training, and education prior to taking the licensing examination(s). For more information on those requirements, contact your state or provincial licensing agency.
About the ILE
The examination consists of one hundred and five (105) multiple-choice questions including some from each competency area. Of the one hundred and five (105) multiple-choice questions, eighty (80) are scored and twenty-five (25) are non-scored (pilot) items.
Each examination question will provide a scenario or information to consider and apply knowledge of processes, relationships, etc., to solve a problem or devise a solution in the given situation. Examination questions are drawn from and referenced to the recommended reference materials.
The examination is practice-based, meaning that candidates are expected to understand and apply, and analyze and evaluate experiences in everyday professional work. Candidates will be required to:
- Transfer knowledge
- Show comprehension of material and processes
- Demonstrate standard processes
- Explain concepts or ideas
- Determine an answer based on their ability to implement a process or steps of a process, make something function, or change a working system
- Critically think and demonstrate reasoning ability
- Integrate new or given information with known information or processes
- Make decisions or provide judgments
There are two pathways to becoming a hearing aid specialist - academic training and workplace training. Both pathways can provide the requisite skills and knowledge needed to be successful on the ILE, and in independent licensed practice. To learn more about these pathways, click here.
What Makes a Successful ILE Candidate?
The successful candidate is knowledgeable of, and capable of, safely performing within the scope of practice permitted by the governing agency’s license. Within the permitted scope of practice, they are independently capable of:
- determining and understanding a patient’s/client’s hearing and listening needs
- discovering a patient’s/client’s health history
- determining, conducting, and interpreting appropriate audiometric tests
- selecting and fitting appropriate instrumentation and other assistive devices
- performing proper sanitation
- recognizing when referrals to other health care professionals – including more experienced hearing aid specialists – are necessary, and working, when necessary, with associated healthcare professionals to help a patient/client fully understand their particular issues related to hearing and hearing loss
Note that while receiving hands-on training, the candidate must be supervised in accordance with the laws and rules of the governing agency where they intend to practice.
Once a candidate has completed their initial training, whether through a college program or the workplace model, they may seek additional preparation for the exam.
When a candidate receives their eligibility email from IHS, they will also receive the Study Guide. This document is jam-packed with information to help prepare for the exam such as:
ILE Test Prep is a subscription service that provides users with unlimited access to questions that were formerly on the ILE.
Please note that ILE Test Prep is an exam preparation tool. It is not a substitute for IHS' Distance Learning for Professionals in Hearing Health Sciences course. ILE Test Prep alone will not prepare someone for licensed practice. IHS recommends that trainees complete the Distance Learning course while engaging in hands-on training, then use ILE Test Prep just before taking the written licensing examination.
Note: Use of ILE Test Prep and/or the Distance Learning for Professionals in Hearing Health Sciences course does not guarantee a passing score on the International Licensing Examination for Hearing Healthcare Professionals (ILE).
Recommended Reference Compatibility
The IHS Distance Learning for Professionals in Hearing Health Sciences course is designed to provide the foundational knowledge necessary for independent professional practice when coupled with hands-on training. Each book included in the course, the Professional Training Textbook, Professional Training Workbook, and the Trainer Manual, are included in the list of recommended reference materials for the ILE.
In fall 2022, a new edition of the course is being released. This new edition may include some information that differs from what is included in the 2016 edition of the course (the blue and orange books). Below is a table showing which edition of the course should be used to study for the ILE at which time.
||2016 Edition or 2022 Edition - compatible with both
The 2016 Edition of the course will be supported through May 31, 2023. Students enrolled in the 2016 Edition of the course must finish their studies and earn the Certificate of Completion by May 31, 2023. After that time, only the 2022 Edition will be supported. More information can be found on the Distance Learning Course page.