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Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990
AN ACT RESPECTING THE REGISTRATION AND LICENSING OF HEARING AID DEALERS
1. This Act may be cited as the Hearing Aid Dealers Act.
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2. In this Act
(a) "audiologist" means a person who meets the requirements for membership as an audiologist in the Newfoundland Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists;
(b) "board" means the Hearing Aid Dealers Board;
(c) "hearing aid" means a wearable instrument or device designed for or offered for the purpose of helping or compensating for impaired human hearing and parts, attachments or accessories for the instrument or device except batteries and cords;
(d) "hearing aid dealer" means a person engaged in
(i) testing or measuring human hearing by audiometer or other means for the purpose of selecting, adapting, recommending or selling hearing aids,
(ii) selling or offering for sale hearing aids, or
(iii) making impressions for earmolds to be used in connection with hearing aids;
(e) "licence" means a licence issued under this Act to operate in the province as a hearing aid dealer;
(f) "minister" means the Minister of Health or other minister of the Crown charged by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council with the administration of this Act;
(g) "register" means the register of hearing aid dealers;
(h) "registrar" means the registrar of hearing aid dealers elected under subsection 3(4); and
(i) "sale" means a transfer of title, conditional sale contract, lease, hire purchase, or other transaction by which a person disposes of, and another person acquires, a hearing aid, but it does not include a sale of a hearing aid which is intended for resale by a hearing aid dealer in the course of his or her business.
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3. (1) The Hearing Aid Dealers Board is continued as a corporation.
(2) The board shall consist of 6 members appointed by the minister, 3 of whom shall be registered as hearing aid dealers under this Act, 1 of whom shall be an audiologist, 1 of whom shall be a medical practitioner and 1 of whom shall be representative of the general public.
(3) Each member of the board may be appointed for a term not exceeding 3 years and is eligible for reappointment, but a member may not serve for a continuous period exceeding 9 years.
(4) The minister shall appoint from among the members of the board 1 member as chairperson and the board shall elect another member as registrar.
(5) The money received by the board shall be applied by it to the costs of discharging its functions under this Act.
(6) The board shall be responsible to the minister.
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4. (1) Four members of the board, at least 2 of whom shall be hearing aid dealers, shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of holding a meeting of the board.
(2) A decision of the majority of members in attendance at a meeting shall be the decision of the board and, in the event of a tie, the chairperson, or the person acting as chairperson, shall have a 2nd deciding vote.
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Fees and audit
5. (1) In prescribing fees payable by hearing aid dealers, the board shall, where it is practical, ensure that the amount of the fees is sufficient to enable it to discharge its functions and responsibilities.
(2) The board shall appoint auditors who shall annually audit the affairs of the board.
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6. The members of the board shall be reimbursed by the board for travel expenses incurred in relation to meetings and the work of the board in accordance with a scale for expenses of public employees established by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.
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Functions of board
7. The functions of the board are
(a) to examine the credentials of an applicant for registration to determine if the applicant should be registered and licensed to operate as a hearing aid dealer in accordance with this Act and the regulations;
(b) where it considers that examinations are necessary, to adopt or prescribe examinations to ascertain the qualifications of persons to be registered and licensed in accordance with this Act and the regulations;
(c) to approve the issuing of, and issue licences to, persons who meet the requirements of this Act and the regulations;
(d) to hear complaints against hearing aid dealers and administer disciplinary procedures; and
(e) to perform those other tasks that are in keeping with the purpose of this Act.
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Registration and licence
8. (1) A person who can demonstrate to the board that he or she has been practising as a hearing aid dealer for not less than 2 years before July 1, 1989 shall, on payment of the prescribed fee, be entitled to have his or her name entered in the register and receive a licence.
(2) A person who
(a) meets the qualifications and requirements set out in the regulations; and
(b) pays the prescribed fee,
is entitled to have his or her name entered in the register and receive a licence.
(3) The registrar shall renew the registration and licence of a hearing aid dealer annually upon receipt of the appropriate application and fee.
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Duties of registrar
9. (1) The registrar shall
(a) register hearing aid dealers and issue licences on the direction of the board to persons who meet the qualifications for registration established by this Act;
(b) keep and maintain an up-to-date register of the names of hearing aid dealers registered and licensed under this Act and the regulations;
(c) collect the fees that may be prescribed;
(d) act as secretary to the board; and
(e) perform those other duties that the board may require.
(2) The registrar shall publish a list of all persons licensed to operate as hearing aid dealers in the province in a newspaper having general circulation throughout the province before February 28 in each year.
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Proof of registration
10. A certificate signed or purporting to be signed by the registrar that the name of a person was or was not entered in the register on a date or during a period specified in the certificate shall be admissible in evidence without proof of the signature of the registrar, and the contents of the certificate shall, until the contrary is proved, be considered to be evidence of the facts stated in it.
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11. (1) The board shall appoint a disciplinary committee consisting of those members of the board together with those other persons that the board may decide.
(2) Where the board receives a written complaint alleging negligence, incompetence or professional misconduct by a hearing aid dealer, the board or, where the matter is referred to it by the board, the disciplinary committee shall investigate, hear and determine the complaint and where a hearing is required give notice to the person against whom the complaint is made of the time and place of the hearing.
(3) The disciplinary committee shall, after conducting an inquiry into a matter referred to it by the board under subsection (2), report in writing to the board its findings and recommendations and reasons for them.
(4) Upon receipt of a report of the disciplinary committee and after reviewing the report, or, where the board has itself conducted the inquiry, the board may, where it determines that the complaint is sustained, take those disciplinary measures that it considers appropriate, including the suspension or cancellation of the licence of the person complained against and the imposition of fines.
(5) Notice of suspension or cancellation of a licence shall be sent by registered mail to the holder of the licence and the holder shall return the licence to the board within 10 days of receipt of the notice.
(6) The registrar shall upon the cancellation of a licence strike the name of the holder of it from the register.
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12. (1) An appeal lies to a judge of the Trial Division from a decision of the board made under section 11.
(2) An appeal made under subsection (1) shall be made within 30 days of written notice to the hearing aid dealer of the decision of the board.
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Limitation to practise
13. A person shall not hold himself or herself out as a hearing aid dealer who is registered and licensed under this Act or seek to convey the impression of being a hearing aid dealer registered and licensed under this Act unless that person is registered and licensed under this Act.
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14. A hearing aid dealer's licence shall set out the services the dealer is authorized to perform which may be 1 or more of the following:
(a) the conducting of tests of pure-tone audiometry, including air-conduction testing and bone-conduction testing;
(b) the conducting of tests of live voice or recorded voice speech audiometry, including speech reception threshold testing and speech discrimination testing;
(c) the application of masking, where indicated;
(d) the recording and evaluation of audiograms and speech audiometry to determine proper selection and adaptation of a hearing aid; and
(e) the taking of earmold impressions and fitting of hearing aids.
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15. A licence under this Act is not required by
(a) a person providing the services of an audiologist with the government of the province, a hospital or agency funded by the government of the province, or the Government of Canada or an agency of the Government of Canada; or
(b) an audiology technician working under the supervision of an audiologist, or a person working under the supervision of an otolaryngologist, who assists in the measurement of human hearing,
in order to carry out the duties of his or her employment.
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Recovery of fees
16. A registered hearing aid dealer is entitled to demand payment of reasonable charges from persons by whom he or she is consulted and to whom he or she provides services and to recover as a debt, in a court, the appropriate charges for a consultation and those services.
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17. An action shall not be brought against a hearing aid dealer for negligence or malpractice because of services rendered by him or her unless the action is started within 2 years from the date on which the cause of the action arose.
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18. A member of the board is not personally liable for loss or damage suffered by a person because of anything done or omitted to be done in good faith by that member in the execution of his or her office or pursuant to, or in the exercise of, the powers given to the board or to a member of the board.
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19. The board may, with the approval of the minister, make regulations
(a) providing for the holding and procedure of its meetings;
(b) prescribing the fees payable for the issuing and renewal of licences;
(c) prescribing forms for the purpose of this Act;
(d) prescribing conditions and requirements for the licensing of persons to operate as hearing aid dealers;
(e) respecting continuing education courses and other programs for the purpose of maintaining and improving standards of hearing aid dealers;
(f) approving training programs acceptable for the purposes of registration and licensing;
(g) respecting the appointment of committees including the power to fix the terms of reference, duties and responsibilities of those committees;
(h) prescribing, scheduling or adopting examinations, including the circumstances under which examinations may be required, with power to exempt an applicant from examination where, in the opinion of the board, it is reasonable to do so;
(i) defining "incompetence" or "professional misconduct";
(j) respecting the disciplining of hearing aid dealers;
(k) respecting advertising by hearing aid dealers;
(l) respecting conflict of interest; and
(m) respecting all aspects of record keeping by hearing aid dealers.
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20. A person who contravenes this Act or the regulations is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $500 and in default of payment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 1 month or to both a fine and imprisonment.
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