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Unified career structure for audiology sanctioned

16 Oct 2013

Photo by Voisin/Phanie / Rex Features

By Lloyd Mudiwa.

The Department of Health has sanctioned a new unified career structure and pay scale recommended by the National Review of Audiology Service report of 2011.

The document, which exposed the lack of regulation and “serious shortcomings” in audiology services across the State, which left children waiting up to five years to have hearing aids fitted, recommended a root-and-branch restructuring of audiology careers in Ireland into a unified career structure and pay scale.

The report proposed that unified grades, spanning audiological assistants, audiologists and senior and consultant audiologists, should be provided, along with training opportunities for those willing and able enough to progress from lower bands to higher bands, with direct entry routes possible with the additional appropriate conversion programmes. Suggested Scopes of Practice for these broad levels on the grade would introduce more flexible working practices with regard to audiologists providing care to both children and adults without unnecessary demarcations, according to the Review Group.

HSE Assistant National Director of Human Resources Frank O’Leary stated that the Department of Health has now sanctioned the new career structure, which provides for four grades in audiology services — Assistant Audiologist, Staff Grade Audiologist, Senior Audiologist, and Clinical Specialist Audiologist.

The salary scales to apply to the two newly-created grades are: Assistant Audiologist – (same scale as Physiotherapy Assistant) €28,420, €29,083, €29,809, €30,554, €31,319, €32,102 and €32,906.

A different scale will apply for new entrants — €25,578, €26,175, €26,828, €27,498, €28,187, €28,892 and €29,616.

The other scale is for Clinical Specialist Audiologist — €45,792, €47,043, €48,321, €50,950, €53,664 and €56,402, while Staff Grade Audiologists and Senior Audiologists will be paid according to the current pay scales for Audiologist and Senior Audiologist.

O’Leary said a 10 per cent salary reduction, effective from January 1, 2011, must be applied to the relevant grades, as per the Department of Health’s current consolidated salary scales.

16 October 2013

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Irish Medical Times