Preparing qualified hearing professionals for nearly 30 years.

The Hearing Instrument Specialist program provides students with the opportunity to study and develop clinical skills that will enable them to test hearing, select appropriate hearing instruments and dispense these aids to those in need. For applicants with a relevant degree or diploma, we offer an opportunity for advanced standing into 3rd semester of the program.

Hearing Instrument Specialist student examines a hearing aid


Program name
Hearing Instrument Specialist
Experiential learning
Clinical or field education in semesters three, four, five and six.
3 years (6 semesters)
Starting month
Ontario College Advanced Diploma
Method of study

Year of Study

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Program Availability

Domestic students
Sept. 2020 Open
Jan. 2021 N/A
May 2021 N/A
International students
Sept. 2020 Open
Jan. 2021 N/A
May 2021 N/A

Full Description

Hearing Instrument Specialist is a three-year, six-semester advanced diploma program that uses the latest technology to train students to work in this field.

As our population ages, there is greater demand for highly qualified hearing instrument specialists who can provide a client-centred approach to better hearing health care. Our vision is to be the leader in preparing hearing professionals with applied and academic skills and competencies.

Students will develop clinical skills that will enable them to not only test hearing, but to select and fit hearing aids.

Graduates will have a strong foundation in the theory and skills related to the hearing instrument sciences, such as:

  • acoustics
  • audiometric testing
  • hearing aid technology

The curriculum offers significant opportunities for applied learning. To help prepare our graduates for employment, we offer additional courses that cover key contemporary topics including:

  • health promotion
  • counselling
  • business management

Have an Existing Credential?

Applicants who have successfully completed a bachelor’s degree or a diploma in a Health Sciences, Social Sciences, or a related field, with an overall average of B minus (or 2.7 GPA or 70%) may be considered for advanced standing into the third semester of the program.

A Hearing Instrument Specialist student looks closely at a hearing aid device

Part Time Study Options

This program does not currently offer a part-time study option.

Experiential Learning

Clinical or field education in semesters three, four, five and six.

Your Field Study options

Field placement is a key component of this program as it allows students to apply classroom theory while working with real patients.

This program offers both an internal and an external placement during Semester 6.

Students will conduct a 21-hour placement onsite at our state-of-the-art WAVE Hearing Clinic (Hearing Clinic IV). During this time they will practice treating members of the public, including George Brown students, by performing the day-to-day tasks of a Hearing Instrument Specialist (e,g, testing hearing, fitting hearing aids and providing client counselling).

The more substantial of the two placements takes place in the second half of the final semester. Students will work offsite with a community partner for seven weeks (equivalent to 245 clinic hours) and will once again perform the day-to-day tasks of a Hearing Instrument Specialist.

PLEASE NOTE: Students are responsible for finding their own field experience opportunities but will be supported in this process by program faculty.

External field education generally occurs in the broader Greater Toronto Area, so travel will be required. Students should be aware that field education opportunities may be located anywhere within the province, especially if suitable opportunities cannot be found in Toronto and surrounding areas. Students are responsible for travel and other associated costs related to external field education opportunities.

Program Standards and Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Administer a battery of hearing tests and analyze the results of these tests based on a thorough knowledge of functional anatomy and within the current scope of practice of a Hearing Instrument Specialist.
  2. Obtain an accurate ear mould impression based on an otoscopic examination.
  3. Advocate and effectively communicate to a diverse audience the psycho-social implications of hearing loss.
  4. Design a hearing health care plan incorporating health promotion, rehabilitation and appropriate referrals based on comprehensive client history, observation and counselling.
  5. Verify the benefits of the recommended devices, utilizing appropriate technology.
  6. Fit and adjust the hearing devices using available technology and based on client observation, acoustical needs and counselling.
  7. Teach the use and maintenance of hearing aids and/or assistive listening devices to clients and others.
  8. Maintain, repair and modify assistive hearing devices for optimal performance.
  9. Recommend appropriate hearing devices based on a comparison of manufacturers’ specifications and features and compatibility with other assistive listening devices.
  10. Treat, counsel and communicate effectively with all clients, utilizing knowledge of the aging process as required.
  11. Perform all roles and responsibilities as a Hearing Instrument Specialist in accordance with accepted professional, ethical and legislative standards of the health care system.
  12. Determine effective management practices for the operations of a Hearing Aid Dispensary, including but not limited to accounting, health and safety practices, marketing, and business and resource planning.
  13. Research and evaluate current community and government resources, new technologies and medical advances available for the benefit of the client.
  14. Participate collaboratively as an integral member of the interprofessional health care team.

Required Courses


CodeCourse name
HEAR1001Clinical Acoustics
HEAR1003Introduction to Hearing Instrument Sciences
HEAR1013Functional Anatomy and Physiology
HEAR1014Ethics and Professionalism


CodeCourse name
HEAR1002Hearing Disorders
HEAR1009Hearing Technology I: Linear to Digital Evolution
HEAR1010Hearing Testing I: Introduction to Audiometry
HEAR1011Psycho-social Impact of Hearing Loss
COMM1007College English
GNEDGeneral Education Elective


CodeCourse name
HEAR1015Fundamental Skills for HIS
HEAR2016Hearing Instrument Technology II: Programming and ANSI Testing
HEAR2010Hearing Testing II: Intermediate Audiometry and Masking
HEAR2012Interviewing and Counselling
HEAR2022Hearing Clinic I
GNEDGeneral Education Elective


CodeCourse name
HEAR2019Hearing Instrument Technology III: Real Ear Measurement
HEAR2021Hearing Testing III: Advanced Audiometry
HEAR2014Business Management I: Introduction and Marketing
HEAR2023Hearing Clinic II
GNEDGeneral Education Elective


CodeCourse name
HEAR3001Hearing Instrument Technology IV: Hearing Instrument Features & Case Studies
HEAR3003Field Placement & Workplace Preparation
HEAR 3014Business Management II: Finance & Planning
HEAR3020Hearing Clinic III


CodeCourse name
HEAR3025Hearing Clinic IV
HEAR3029Applied Counselling & Health Promotion
HEAR3028Hearing Instrument Technology V: Product Update
HEAR3027Community Field Placement

Detailed course outlines

General Education Electives

Your Career

Program faculty have strong partnerships with industry and professional associations so that they can fully prepare graduates for employment.

The employment rate continues to be high in related career sectors, including:

  • clinical
  • manufacturing
  • training
  • self-employment

In Ontario, hearing aids may only be dispensed by prescription from a professional authorized by the Regulated Health Professions Act.

Graduates are eligible for full membership in the Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners of Ontario (AHIP) as a Hearing Instrument Dispenser (HID); annual dues are paid to maintain membership in AHIP. Typically, graduates enroll in the Hearing Instrument Specialist (HIS) Internship Program and successfully complete 1,000 hours of practical work within 36 months of graduation. In addition, graduates must successfully complete the International Licensing Exam within the time period in order to become full Hearing Instrument Specialist (HIS) members of AHIP.

Full HIS members of AHIP can apply to become a hearing aid authorizer under the Ontario Ministry of Health's Assistive Devices Program (ADP).


$4,731.00 *

Additional Cost

* Amounts listed are the total of tuition, materials, student service and ancillary fees for the first two semesters of programs starting in Fall 2019. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in Fall 2020 and at later dates.

International students: Visit the International Fees and Related Costs page for more information.

Financial Assistance

This program is approved for OSAP funding, provided the applicant meets OSAP eligibility criteria.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are selected on the basis of their academic achievement, including the required courses, and any other selection criteria outlined below.

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent**
  • Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Grade 11 Math (M or U) or Grade 12 (C or U) – a grade of 70% or higher is required OR Grade 11 Physics (U) or Grade 12 (C or U) with a grade of 60% or higher, may be accepted in lieu of Math.
  • Grade 11 Biology (C or U) or Grade 12 (U) – a grade of 70% or higher is required.
  • An information session is strongly recommended.

** Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and no OSSD)

Mature Students may take the Admissions Assessment for English, Math or Science, OR may consider upgrading to achieve the credit(s) needed in English, Math or Science.

George Brown is committed to ensuring that applicants will succeed in their program of choice and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. Applicants may be required to have grades higher than the minimum requirements stated.

Please note: Applicants who have successfully completed a bachelor’s degree or a diploma in a Health Sciences, Social Sciences, or a related field, with a program average of B minus [or 2.7 GPA or 70%) may be considered for advanced standing into the third semester of the program. For more information, please contact Constantine Karolidis at or 416-415-5000, ext. 3830.

Course Exemptions

College or university credits may qualify you for course exemptions. Please visit for more information.

International Students

Visit the International Admissions page for more information.

Apply to

Domestic students should apply through Ontario Colleges

Success Stories

Kyuha Jung photo "The Hearing Instrument Specialist program at George Brown provided me with the skills to enter this growing field with a competitive educational background. Practicing on real patients with supervision allowed me to build up my confidence and identify what I needed to improve on prior to being sent out on my field education placement. When I was placed into my clinical practicum, I felt assured that I was ready to do the job. Consequently the placement led to a job offer that I was happy to accept."

Kyuha Jung (Graduate 2015, Hearing Instrument Specialist)

Contact Us

Call the School of Health and Wellness at 416-415-5000, ext. 4542 or email

For more information about George Brown College, you may also call the Contact Centre at 416-415-2000 (TTY 1-877-515-5559) or long distance 1-800-265-2002.

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