Vol. 31 Iss. 11 - January 26, 2015

Chapter 20
Emergency Regulation

Title of Regulation: 18VAC30-20. Regulations Governing the Practice of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (amending 18VAC30-20-10; adding 18VAC30-20-241).

Statutory Authority: § 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Effective Dates: December 29, 2014, through June 28, 2016.

Agency Contact: Leslie L. Knachel, Executive Director, Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Richmond, VA 23233-1463, telephone (804) 367-4630, FAX (804) 527-4413, or email


Section 2.2-4011 of the Code of Virginia states that agencies may adopt emergency regulations in situations in which Virginia statutory law requires that a regulation be effective in 280 days or less from its enactment. Chapter 327 of the 2014 Acts of the Assembly included such an enactment clause.

The goal of this emergency regulation is to provide a framework for safe practice in an advanced procedure that, before 2014, was not recognized in Virginia as being within the scope of practice of an audiologist. By the change in law and regulation, the practice is expanded to include limited cerumen management, but the qualifications for such practice and the limitations of practice by an audiologist are essential to protect patients.

Since cerumen management is a more advanced skill in the practice of audiology, requiring additional knowledge and training, the emergency regulations specify the education and specific training necessary to perform it on patients. Additionally, audiologists must know the contraindications for performance by an audiologist and the conditions that require referral to a medical doctor.

Part I
General Provisions

18VAC30-20-10. Definitions.

A. The words and terms "audiologist," "board," "practice of audiology," "practice of speech-language pathology," "speech-language disorders," and "speech-language pathologist" when used in this chapter shall have the meanings ascribed to them in § 54.1-2600 of the Code of Virginia.

B. The following words when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Contact hour" means 60 minutes of time spent in continuing learning activities.

"Limited cerumen management" means the identification and removal of cerumen from the cartilaginous outer one-third portion of the external auditory canal in accordance with minimum standards and procedures set forth in this chapter.

"School speech-language pathologist" means a person licensed pursuant to § 54.1-2603 of the Code of Virginia to provide speech-language pathology services solely in public school divisions.

"Supervision" means that the audiologist or speech-language pathologist is responsible for the entire service being rendered or activity being performed, is available for consultation, and is providing regular monitoring and documentation of clinical activities and competencies of the person being supervised.

"Type 1" means continuing learning activities that must be offered by an accredited sponsor or organization as specified in 18VAC30-20-300.

"Type 2" means continuing learning activities that may or may not be approved by an accredited sponsor or organization but shall be activities considered by the learner to be beneficial to practice or to continuing learning. In Type 2 activities, licensees document their own participation on the Continued Competency Activity and Assessment Form and are considered self-learning activities.

18VAC30-20-241. Limited cerumen management.

A. In order for an audiologist to perform limited cerumen management, he shall:

1. Be a graduate of a doctoral program in audiology that is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and that included didactic education and supervised clinical experience in cerumen management as specified in subsection B of this section; or

2. Complete a course or workshop in cerumen management that provides training as specified in subsection B of this section and that is approved by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association or the American Academy of Audiology.

B. An audiologist shall maintain documentation evidencing satisfactory completion of training in cerumen management to include the following:

1. Recognizing the presence of preexisting contraindications that necessitate referral to a physician;

2. Recognizing patient distress and appropriate action to take if complications are encountered;

3. Use of infection control precautions;

4. Procedures for removal of cerumen, including cerumen loop, gentle water irrigation, suction, and the use of material for softening;

5. Observation of each type of cerumen management procedure performed by a qualified audiologist or physician; and

6. Successful performance, under direct supervision by an audiologist qualified to perform cerumen management or a physician, of each type of cerumen management procedure.

C. An audiologist shall not perform cerumen management on a patient who is younger than 12 years of age or on a patient who has any of the following preexisting contraindications:

1. Hearing in only one ear;

2. A perforated tympanic membrane;

3. Inflammation, tenderness, or open wounds or traces of blood in the external ear canal;

4. Drainage from the external ear canal or middle ear;

5. Current tympanostomy tubes;

6. History of ear surgery, excluding past tympanostomy tubes or simple tympanoplasty;

7. Diabetes mellitus, HIV infection, or bleeding disorders;

8. Actual or suspected foreign body in the ear;

9. Stenosis or bony exostosis of the ear canal;

10. Cerumen impaction that totally occludes the ear canal; or

11. Inability to see at least 25% of the tympanic membrane.

D. An audiologist performing cerumen management shall:

1. Obtain informed written consent of the patient or legally responsible adult and maintain documentation of such consent and the procedure performed in the patient record.

2. Refer patients to a physician if they exhibit contraindications or experience any complication, such as dizziness, during the procedure.

VA.R. Doc. No. R15-4115; Filed December 29, 2014, 8:33 a.m.