Newborn hearing screeners complete annual refresher course

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Having up-to-date, competent screeners helps ensure a high-quality hearing screening programme.
More than 20 newborn hearing screeners have completed the online component of the new Annual Competency Exercise (ACE), with several more well on the way to completion.

The ACE is both a refresher for screeners and a quality assurance exercise. All qualified newborn hearing screeners now undertake an annual competency exercise using the ACE tool, which was introduced following the quality improvement review of the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Early Intervention Programme (UNHSEIP).

The three components of ACE cover theoretical and practical assessment and a review of the screener’s data and recordkeeping.

Successful completion of all three components is an assessment of the minimum level of competence required by the UNHSEIP. UNHSEIP coordinators within each district health board are responsible for ensuring all newborn hearing screeners complete the ACE.

Newborn Hearing Screening Programme Leader Moira McLeod says having up-to-date and competent screeners confident in their knowledge and practice of screening helps ensure a high-quality hearing screening programme.

‘ACE is designed to allow screeners to complete an assessment in their own workplace, at a time convenient to them. It is an opportunity to think about their screening practice, get feedback and test what they already know to ensure a quality and customer-focused service.’

She says ACE should be incorporated into usual workplace performance review and professional development processes, which means that people will be doing it at different times, depending when their performance review cycle is.

‘The ACE is also linked to other quality assurance activities to ensure high quality screening, such as protocol review, audits, training plans and monitoring and evaluation.’

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Page last updated: 27 June 2014