To be, or not to be … together?

Joint conference

BSHAA, BSA, BAA joint event 2019
© V.A.

The second collaborative conference with the British Academy of Audiology (BAA) and British Society of Audiology (BSA) and the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists (BSHAA) – Hearing: A Sense of Purpose – took place in Bristol on 25 March. Members from all three professional bodies spent the day considering a collaborative future for UK audiology. This was the first face-to-face meeting for members since the joint announcement from these organisations about the possible establishment of a College of Audiology (report in UK issue 126) and therefore one of the first opportunities for comment and discussion across the profession.

The protagonists in the BAA, BSA and BSHAA, along with the National Community Hearing Association (NCHA) have been considering how they might create a strong and unified voice to raise the profile, credibility and influence of the audiology community. A College of Audiology is felt to be a way to achieve a more powerful voice for audiologists. To help take the conversation forward, the collaborative conference heard from the CEO of the Royal College for Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) about the power of a unified voice. Kamini Gadhok spoke about the RCSLT’s journey to full-blown royal college and what they achieve because of this status. Clare Perkins from Public Health England took this unified voice to the next stage to consider the impact on unified public education and awareness messaging.

An afternoon of workshops looked at how UK audiologists can work together to deliver a unified voice for the whole profession. With more in common than divides, members from all three professional bodies covering multifarious roles in audiology explored ways of raising the profile of audiology; key messaging for the public and celebrating audiology to encourage the next generation of entrants to the profession.

If you missed the conference, you can still make your voice heard. Speak to your professional body lead: Sue Falkingham, British Academy of Audiology President - BAA@fitwise.co.uk; Dr Ted Killan, British Society of Audiology Chair - bsa@thebsa.org.uk; Andrew Coulter, BSHAA President - president@bshaa.com or contact Harjit Sandhu, National Community Hearing Association - info@the-ncha.com

V.A.