Audiometry quote FAQ

You have made the wise choice to get a quote in from us for some screening tests at work, and are looking at what we are covering within the quote. To save making the quote into an interminable eight page document which you really don’t want to be wading through, these are some of the common questions and issue which come up and which may be of interest to you.

Are there any additional or hidden costs?
Why are we any better than anyone else?
Do we work nationally and charge a lot for travel?
Do we cover shifts and do we charge for it?
Why use a specialist rather than an all-services company?
Are we the cheapest?
The Noise Chap is fairly new, are we experienced enough?
You say your report is detailed, why is that better for us?
How long does a test take?
What do you test in?
Is the equipment decent?
What ‘up-selling’ do we do?
How quickly will we get the report?

Are there any additional or hidden costs?

Nope, the quote is the price you were given plus VAT, and that’s it. There are no other charges for things like travel, accommodation, or as we have heard some clients have had to pay for in the past - extra charges for a written report or even ‘fit to work’ statements for the attendees. That is all included in the one price you were given.

Why are we any better than anyone else?

  1. We offer standards-compliant testing, so that includes:

    • Us personally reviewing the attendee’s health history before a test, and not just letting a computer respond to it.

    • We test the equipment on-site every day (without this, the testing is not compliant and it needs to be done by a technician who is on-site).

    • We measure the noise in the booth on the day. Should your insurer come to you years down the line as they have received a claim, we can stand-by any result obtained and will be able to prove not just calibration on the audiometer, but the test done that day by the technician to prove it was working correctly, and even what the noise levels were in the test environment on the day.

    • We look down their ears with the otoscope - again, if that is not done then the testing is not British Standards compliant.

    • We don’t simply say ‘Category 3, refer’ but judge each case on it’s individual merits. We will not over-refer, nor clog the employer up with a need to monitor unnecessary referrals. A lot of companies do not trust their technicians to do this and simply say ‘computer says refer’ - we will not do that.

    • We give specific management information for each person where we think the employer needs to know something about them. Again, if comparing us against other companies, do they do this, or does the technician simply do what the computer says?

    • We give the client a full and detailed report, not just a list of names. Or a list of names and categories. It is YOUR data. We do not hold on to data as secret stuff.

      It is always worth checking to see if any competitor we are being compared to does all that.

  2. We do automatic AND manual testing.

    • Some companies make a virtue out of the fact their testing is automatic. To be clear, this is 2019 - there isn’t an audiometer out there which doesn’t do automatic testing, it is ALL automatic, using one of the two permitted testing types. But, people still ‘fail’ automatic tests, we see it every week where someone gets a result which we just don’t believe so we back up the automatic test with a manual verification test to confirm the result is true and accurate. This is no ‘press go and read Facebook’ audiometric test.

  3. We will do all the arrangement work for you - there is no easier way for you to have the testing done.

    • You tell us how many appointments you need and the shift times and that’s about it, we will do all the arranging of it, drawing up a detailed schedule of appointments for everyone. Give us the names in advance as well and we will even put the names on the schedule and all the client has to do is give it to the production team to send them out - that’s it. No work on the client’s side - there is no easier way of getting the testing done.

  4. We distinguish between people we referred for their own health and people we referred which the client should monitor.

    • Most referrals are because someone had a problem, but chances are it is nothing to do with workplace noise. In these cases we will refer but make it clear that it is for the individual’s own health and the client need not monitor it. This stops the client wasting time chasing up referrals where there is no work impact. And speaking of impacts on work, if we think the client needs to do something for a specific employee we will include that recommendation in the report - most competitors will not do that and simply say ‘Category 3u, referred’.

  5. No up-selling, no hidden charges.

  6. You are dealing with the business owner.

    • There is no faceless back office for us to hide behind - when you deal with us you are dealing direct with the people who will be turning up to do the tests and who will be writing the reports. We stand by every single test we do and have no faceless back office to hide behind.

Do we work nationally and charge a lot of travel?

Yes, we work anywhere in the UK, and no, for mainland UK we do not charge large amounts for travel. We schedule work around a region at a time so if we have one day in say Newcastle, we will group other jobs so the technician works in maybe Nottingham, Leeds, Newcastle and Hull in the week, meaning he isn’t traveling far from site to site. The same if we have to go to Kent or Cornwall - we book in jobs on the way to avoid huge travel costs pushing prices up.

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Do we cover shifts and do we charge for it?

Yes and no is the short answer. We happily cover shifts and no, we don’t charge extra for ‘out of hours’ testing.

For larger jobs we usually send two units with one testing from say 9am to 5pm, and the second from 6pm to 1am for example. (Why does the evening person get an hour less of work I hear you ask? Simple, I tend to do the evenings myself and would rather keep testing than have breaks but then be going on an hour longer in the small hours of the morning).

Why use a specialist rather than an all-services company?

There are many other companies out there who offer audiometric testing as part of a whole suite of services, including occupational health but also extending into things like H&S, HR or legal services. So what are the benefits of using a specialist over one of the broader service players?

  • We have no interest in flogging you other services - we do the testing then leave you alone, just sending you a reminder when future tests are due.

  • No company is a jack of all trades - there are some things they are good at, and some they are less good at. We have heard many times of ‘full-service’ suppliers providing audiometry but at a really rubbish standard as it is not the focus of their company.

  • We just do noise and know noise inside-out.

  • As a small company we have a direct relationship between us and the client, meaning we want to do the best job possible so you hopefully come back again. In big companies the technicians seem more interested in getting in and out quickly than doing the job as well as can be done.

  • If you need other services it is way better to use a specialist provider who like us, has no interest in selling you more and more services.

Are we the cheapest?

For most jobs we are very competitive on price. For others, no, we are not the cheapest out there, but we are the best value by far. When looking at other quotes, if they are cheaper than us, are they including everything we do? Such as

  • Drawing up the appointments schedules for the job.

  • Even adding names to the slots if you give us them so all you have to do it send people out.

  • Doing a proper test rather than a cut-down one to get people in and out fast.

  • Giving attendees a copy of the result and explaining it to them.

  • Giving you a full report with proper recommendations for people with any issues, rather than some automatically generated anonymous statistics and that’s it.

We aim to give the best service and best value so although we are very reasonably priced, we don’t always match the cheapest prices out there, but our reports are vastly superior to the cheap operators and you get much better value. If you get claims in the future our reports will give you the rock-solid information to defend them rather than being fairly useless things devoid of detail.

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The Noise Chap is fairly new, are you experienced enough for us?

While The Noise Chap has only been around since 2018, we have been doing this for a LONG time.

Adam, The Noise Chap in question, set up a previous company which did all kinds of health and safety jobs, including audiometry, for clients ranging from small engineering factories to multinationals with tens of thousands of employees. There was a desire to get away from all the health and safety jobs and focus back just on noise issues, so after 11 years that company was sold and later on The Noise Chap was started to focus on noise and audiometry issues. It says a lot about our service that many of our old customers have come back with no hesitation, meaning yes, The Noise Chap as a company is fairly new, but we have been doing this for a long time and already have an extensive national client base covering retailers such as Next, NHS trusts, engineering plants and big food manufacturers.

With The Noise Chap you aren’t dealing with someone in the office who doesn’t know the job and isn’t that bothered really how it goes, but you are dealing direct with the business owner, who cares whether the job is done right as it is my name on them and my personal responsibility to make sure they are right.

You say your report is detailed, why is that better for us?

One way to do audiometric testing reports is to let the software do it. It churns out a pretty list of attendee names with some anonymous statistics, and that’s it. This is one way of doing reports which a lot of screening companies use.

A second way is again an automatic software-generated report, except this time you get the category of result as well for each attendee. This at least gives you a little more information.

Our way is to give you the overall statistics of not just attendee results but also things like the numbers of people who say they don’t wear hearing protection. We then also give a list of attendee names and a paragraph of information for every Category 3 or 4 person on why they scored that result and what, if anything, the employer should do as follow-up. For every unilateral (a loss in one ear) we also let you know what, if anything, is needed for those. We also give clear ‘fit to work’ statements for each group of people, and give you a spreadsheet of all attendees and retest dates to help with future management of it. And finally, we give you every audiogram for every attendee - the graph of the result with the dB per frequency.

This means you have the records for comparison in future tests if you choose to go elsewhere, not that we want you to! Your data is controlled by you and ensures you get continuity between providers should you choose not to use us in the future.

Our reports are not software-generated and are written by the screening technician ensuring they tell you exactly what you need to do, if anything, and giving you ease of future continuity.

How long does a test take?

Work on around 15 minutes per test, (or about 20 minutes if spirometry is being included as well) so in a full day that is roughly 25. If shifts are worked we may do up to 55 or so in a day.

Testing faster than this is bad - it is not a positive thing for companies to be offering 30 or more tests in a day as the only way to do that is to start short-cutting the process.

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What do you test in?

All our equipment is purchased brand-new, from the van to the booth and audiometer - no second hand rubbish. Each van is a long wheelbase van which we then take to a specialist converter who spends a few weeks insulating the back, lining it, adding windows, fitting an audiometry booth, creating a waiting room, adding the electrics and lighting, etc. We then get it back and add the desks and cupboards and it is then used by one Technician.

The vans need a standard 240v / 13a power supply and carry about 25 meters of cable for plugging in. They can plug into an external 13a supply (the round blue socket things) or can plug into a standard internal wall socket via a door or window.

You are small, so is your equipment decent?

Yes, yes and thrice yes. Each of our units was built to my own specification and with the conversion and fitting cost around £45,000 of my own money, each. The audiometers we use are ones I have used for years and know to be both bullet-proof and accurate. If you do go ahead with us and Rob turns up, feel free to ask him how much detail I go into with the design and quality of the mobile units, and be prepared for a very big eye-roll of exasperation from him at me.

What up-selling do you do?

Or put another way, are we going to annoy the hell out of you by trying to flog you other services?

  • Our reports contain a comment about us also offering noise assessments and noise training.

  • When future testing is coming due we will send you a reminder e-mail.

And that’s it. Unlike other providers we will not try and flog you every other service under the sun. I hate being ‘up-sold’ to and we don’t push services or pester you.

How quickly will we get the report?

You will receive it as a password-protected PDF within a week to ten days after the testing has been done.

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