Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 53 Pa.B. 7346 (November 25, 2023).

49 Pa. Code § 23.82. Continuing education hour requirements; continuing education reporting; audit and enforcement.

§ 23.82. Continuing education hour requirements; continuing education reporting; audit and enforcement.

 (a)  An applicant for biennial license renewal or reactivation of license is required to complete, during the 2 years immediately preceding renewal or reactivation, a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education. A licensee whose license is not renewed by the expiration of the biennial renewal period may not engage in the practice of optometry until the continuing education requirements are satisfied and the license has been renewed or reactivated.

   (1)  For licensees certified in accordance with section 4.1 of the act (63 P.S. §  244.4a), regarding certification to prescribe and administer pharmaceutical agents for therapeutic purposes, at least 6 of the required 30 hours shall concern the prescription and administration of pharmaceutical agents for therapeutic purposes.

   (2)  For licensees certified in accordance with section 4.2 of the act (63 P.S. §  244.4b), regarding additional requirements to prescribe and administer pharmaceutical agents for the treatment of certain types of glaucoma, at least 4 of the 30 hours shall concern the prescription and administration of pharmaceutical agents for the treatment of glaucoma. No more than 4 hours taken in the treatment of glaucoma may be applied toward the 6 hours required to maintain therapeutic certification; however, all licensees shall complete at least 30 total hours.

   (3)  Completion of a Board-approved course described in section 4.1(a)(2) of the act or continuing education described in section 4.2 of the act shall satisfy the continuing education requirement for the biennial renewal period in which it is completed including the 6-hour requirement in therapeutics and the 4-hour requirement in glaucoma.

 (b)  Licensees shall certify completion of the required continuing education on the biennial renewal application as a condition of renewal. False certifications will be grounds for disciplinary action under section 7(a)(3) of the act (63 P.S. §  244.7(a)(3)).

 (c)  The Board may randomly audit licensees to ensure compliance with the continuing education requirements. A licensee selected for audit shall provide information to document the licensee’s completion of required continuing education, which shall include the information at §  23.87(a) (relating to reporting of continuing education credit hours).

 (d)  A licensee who, as a result of an audit, is determined to be deficient in continuing education hours will be subject to formal disciplinary action under section 7(a)(8) of the act (63 P.S. §  244.7(a)(8)), or will be subject to the issuance of a citation under 63 Pa.C.S. §  3108 (relating to civil penalties) in accordance with §  43b.25 (relating to schedule of civil penalties—optometrists).

 (e)  Notwithstanding other disciplinary action taken as set forth in subsection (d), a licensee who is determined to be deficient in continuing education hours is required to make up all deficient hours of continuing education and submit documentation containing the information set forth in subsection (c) to the Board within 6 months from the issuance of a citation or the imposition of formal discipline. Hours of continuing education submitted to the Board to make up for a deficiency may not be used to satisfy the continuing education requirement for the current biennium.

 (f)  Failure to make up all deficiencies as set forth in subsection (e) will subject the licensee to further disciplinary action under section 7(a)(8) of the act.

 (g)  The Board may waive the requirements of continuing education in cases of certified illness or undue hardship. It is the duty of each licensee seeking waiver to notify the Board in writing and request the waiver prior to the end of the biennial renewal period for which the waiver is sought. The waiver will be granted, denied or granted in part.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  23.82 amended under sections 3(b)(12) and (14), 4.1 and 4.2 of the Optometric Practice and Licensure Act (63 P.S. § §  244.3(b)(12) and (14), 244.4a and 244.4b).

Source

   The provisions of this §  23.82 adopted April 16, 1982, effective April 17, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 1231; amended April 23, 1982, effective April 24, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 1331; amended June 5, 1998, effective June 6, 1998, 28 Pa.B. 2586; amended March 12, 2004, effective March 13, 2004, 34 Pa.B. 1453; amended August 6, 2004, effective August 7, 2004, 34 Pa.B. 4147; amended May 14, 2021, effective May 15, 2021, 51 Pa.B. 2633. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (377379) to (377380).

Cross References

   This section cited in 49 Pa. Code §  23.27a (relating to license by endorsement under 63 Pa.C.S. §  3111); 49 Pa. Code §  23.81 (relating to coverage); 49 Pa. Code §  23.86 (relating to sources of continuing education hours); 49 Pa. Code §  23.89 (relating to falsification of information); 49 Pa. Code §  23.301 (relating to interpretation relating to sources of continuing education hours—statement of policy); and 49 Pa. Code §  43b.25 (relating to schedule of civil penalties—optometrists).



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