Specsavers Audiology partner Scott McIntosh has seen a lot of the world. He was born in New Zealand and lived there for 15 years before his family moved to New South Wales. It was there he studied a Bachelor of Speech and Hearing Sciences and then a Master of Clinical Audiology at Macquarie University before packing up sticks and moving to the UK.
“The main reason I wanted to become an audiologist was so I could help people and make a meaningful difference in their lives. I looked at a range of professions when applying to university and I found audiology piqued my interest the most, as it provides the opportunity to work with some brilliant technology whilst providing valuable services to the community,” he says.
With Australian experience under his belt, he picked up work in the UK as locum/contractor for the NHS.
“I worked in a few different locations in England before landing in Belfast where I found a fantastic team and department. I ended up working and travelling for about three and a half years in Belfast before I finally returned to Australia,” he says.
And upon his return, he reached out to friend and fellow Specsavers partner Luke Kowalski, who operates the Kotara store. It was Luke who suggested he turn his hand to business ownership.
“Luke had introduced me to the AJVP model when I was still working in Belfast, so when I came home knew I had to speak with Luke and he was able to give me a very real perspective on what being a Specsavers partner was like. Luke spoke very highly of Specsavers and felt that I would be a great match.”
Scott says he knew he was ready for the challenge: “Partnership seemed like such an exciting opportunity that I just had to go for it,” he says.
“I have found the Specsavers model to be great so far and I think that has been reflected in the positive response from my customers.”
Scott says launching services in two stores, Corrimal and Wollongong, has been busy but rewarding.
“At Corrimal, I am working with the store partners Katie and Leslie who are so excited to finally have audiology services in their store! Their enthusiasm is part of the reason why we have had such a good response from customers in accessing audiology services and appointments.”
“At Wollongong, I am working with Joel, Peter and Tony – Joel and Tony have been working together for quite some time and Peter is a bit like myself – new to the partnership just joining at the start of July. All the partners have taken such great interest in the audiology business which has been fantastic. I feel so lucky to be working with such great partners in both stores.”
And despite setting up his businesses in the middle of a pandemic, Scott says the entire experience has been fantastic.
“Training was a bit challenging as it was all conducted virtually due to COVID restrictions. Having to learn everything virtually on Microsoft Teams was a bit unusual however everyone that provided induction training did a great job! There have been sessions learning the Simply Hearing Software, understanding the audiology customer journey, discuss clinical standards, and our product portfolio, and once you get the hang of the online thing it’s not so bad!”
But Scott says the customer response has made all the challenges worthwhile.
“I am really looking forward to helping Specsavers change the audiology industry for the better! I am passionate about making sure people are well informed and educated about their hearing health which is all part of Specsavers’ vision to make audiological services more affordable and accessible.”
“Our stores are the first in the Illawarra region to provide audiology services with Specsavers and the customers are overwhelmingly positive,” he says.
“I would thoroughly recommend partnership to audiology professionals that are looking for a challenge and want to feel as they are making a difference. Specsavers is trying to challenge the audiology industry for the better and to make audiological services more convenient and accessible for everyone in Australia!”