This AEA Code of Conduct was approved at the AEA (European Association of Hearing Aid Professionals) General Assembly on the 30th of May 2016 in Brussels. (download the full version)
EFHOH – The European Federation of Hard of Hearing People also approves and supports this code of conduct. (download the article from the EFHOH Newsletter)
AEA Code of Conduct
1. European Code of Conduct for Hearing aid/care Professionals:
1.1 Purpose of the code of conduct
Good Professional Practice (the code) describes what is expected of all hearing aid/care professionals who are members of a European professional association of hearing aid/care professionals. It sets out the principles that characterise good practice and makes explicit the standards of ethical and professional conduct expected of hearing aid/care professionals by their professional peers and the community. The code was developed following wide consultation with hearing aid/care professionals and the community. The code is addressed to professionals and is also intended to let the community know what they can expect from hearing aid/care professionals. The application of the code will vary according to individual circumstances, but the principles should not be compromised.
1.2 Use of the code of conduct
Hearing aid/care professionals have a professional responsibility to be familiar with Good Professional Practice and to apply the guidance it contains.
This code of conduct will be used:
• To support individual hearing aid/care professionals in the challenging task of providing good hearing care and fulfilling their professional roles, and to provide a framework to guide professional judgment.
• To assist professional boards in their role of protecting the public, by setting and maintaining standards of hearing care practice. If your professional conduct varies significantly from this standard, you should be prepared to explain and justify your decisions and actions.
• As an additional resource for a range of uses that contribute to enhancing the culture of hearing care professionalism in the European health system.
1.3 What the code does not do
This code is not a substitute for the provisions of legislation and case law. If there is any conflict between this code and the law, the law takes precedence.
2. Code of conduct:
PILLAR 1 - The wellbeing of the care recipient
1.1. The hearing aid/care professional gives the care recipient, without any discrimination, the most effective and efficient care.
1.2. All information obtained from the care recipient during the execution of the audiologist/hearing care professional’s profession is subject to the requirement for professional confidentiality.
1.3. The hearing aid/care professional will use all means to build an optimal relationship of trust with the care recipient.
1.4. The hearing aid/care professional uses all means within their area of expertise, including possible referral to or cooperation with other care providers. They shall thereby convey all the necessary information, with the agreement of the care recipient, to enable the most efficient and effective care to be provided..
1.5. The hearing aid/care professional will inform the care recipient about the possible services, products and solutions for the problems of the care recipient.
1.6. The hearing aid/care professional should set realistic expectations for the intervention.
1.7. The hearing aid/care professional may refuse to provide an intervention or terminate it if they think that it is audiologically not justified.
1.8. The hearing aid/care professional will not offer or execute any intervention which could be harmful to the care recipient.
1.9. The hearing aid/care professional will focus on the needs of the care recipient and involve him in decisions around interventions, so that the care recipient can make a fully informed decision.
1.10. The hearing aid/care professional will respect the decisions of the care recipient
1.11. The hearing aid/care professional will evaluate the effectiveness of their interventions.
PILLAR 2 - Professional Competencies and integrity
2.1. The hearing aid/care professional will act in a careful and conscientious way, to help the care recipient in a manner which is consistent with evidence-based practice
2.2. The hearing aid/care professional will fairly and independently conduct scientific research.
2.3. The audiologist / hearing healthcare professional will regularly review their continuing professional education and development.
2.4. In the exercise of their profession, any financial / economic conflicts must not be allowed to influence their judgment in a manner which prevents them from acting in the best interests of the care recipient.
2.5. The general interests of the care recipient take precedence over the personal interest of the hearing aid/care professional.
PILLAR 3 - Professional attitude
3.1. The hearing aid/care professional will always have a professional attitude with respect to the care recipient.
3.2. The hearing aid/care professional will define and maintain clear professional boundaries when dealing with social media within their profession; in particular they will ensure a clear separation between their private and professional lives.
3.3. The hearing aid/care professional provides interventions ensuring a holistic view of the care recipient.
3.4. The hearing aid/care professional enables interventions which serve the best interests of the care recipient, and in accordance with high standards of professional judgment after carrying out all appropriate and necessary investigations.
PILLAR 4 – Information
4.1. The hearing aid/care professional will give truthful information about their professional status and competences.
4.2. The hearing aid/care professional will provide the care recipient with correct information about pricing and any financial incentives within their professional domain.
4.3. The publicity used needs to dovetail with the honour and dignity of a health care profession. Any advertising should be consistent with the honesty and integrity expected of a health care profession.
PILLAR 5 - Professional pride
5.1. The hearing aid/care professional will never discredit the profession by their behaviour or an unprofessional attitude. ‘The audiologist/hearing care professional should not act in a manner which brings themselves or their profession into disrepute.
5.2. The hearing aid/care professional will contribute to optimal interdisciplinary cooperation and always behave collegially.
5.3. The hearing aid/care professional will raise awareness of and inform society about hearing (loss), hearing loss prevention, hearing conservation and audiological interventions.
5.4. The hearing aid/care professional will contribute to the positive development of their profession.