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 § 23.86. Sources of continuing education hours.

§ 23.86. Sources of continuing education hours.

 (a)  The Board finds that the providers listed as follows have currently met the standards for provider approval for all acceptable courses of continuing education that meet the requirements of §  23.83 (relating to continuing education subject matter). Accordingly, the following providers are preapproved sources for continuing optometric education courses:

   (1)  The American Optometric Association, and its state affiliates.

   (2)  The Pennsylvania Optometric Association, and its local societies.

   (3)  All schools and colleges of optometry accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) of the American Optometric Association, or its successor.

   (4)  The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD).

   (5)  The Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE).

   (6)  Continuing education courses offered by accredited medical colleges, as defined in section 2 of the Medical Practice Act of 1985 (63 P.S. §  422.2).

   (7)  The Optometric Extension Program.

   (8)  The American Academy of Optometry and its state affiliates.

   (9)  The American Academy of Ophthalmology and its state affiliates.

   (10)  The American Medical Association and its state affiliates.

 (b)  The Board may approve other providers of continuing education not listed in subsection (a). The Board will maintain on its web site a list of all approved providers.

   (1)  A provider seeking approved provider status shall:

     (i)   Apply to the Board, on forms supplied by the Board, at least 90 days in advance of the date the initial course is given. The provider may not offer any course for credit until the Board grants its approval as an approved provider.

     (ii)   Pay the required fees under §  23.91 (relating to fees).

     (iii)   Demonstrate that the provider is competent to provide continuing education to optometrists.

     (iv)   Ensure that the courses provided meet the requirements of §  23.83.

   (2)  All provider approvals expire November 30th of each even-numbered year, regardless of the date of issuance, and must be renewed biennially.

 (c)  The approval given to the providers approved in accordance with subsections (a) and (b) is subject to reevaluation. A rescission of provider or program approval will be made only in accordance with 1 Pa. Code Part II (relating to General Rules of Administrative Practice and Procedure).

 (d)  A course which is offered by an individual or entity that has not been approved in accordance with subsections (a) or (b) will count as continuing education hours provided that the course is approved by the Board prior to implementation of the course and the course meets the requirements of §  23.83. The course provider shall submit an application for course approval on a form supplied by the Board and pay the fee required under §  23.91 at least 45 days in advance of the date the course is given.

 (e)  Continuing education credit may be awarded retroactively for attending programs, to include lectures and college or university courses, which have not been previously approved at the rate of 1 continuing education hour for every 50 minutes. The attendee shall apply to the Board for approval on a form supplied by the Board, pay a fee under §  23.91 and document attendance within 60 days of attending the program. The attendee shall demonstrate to the Board’s satisfaction that the program meets the requirements in §  23.83. A licensee may complete up to 50% of the licensee’s required continuing education in programs approved under this subsection or subsections (f), (g) or (h).

 (f)  It shall be permissible to attend clinical conferences, clinical rounds or training under a preceptor through clinical hospitals, medical centers, schools, and colleges which are acceptable at the rate of 1 continuing education hour for every 50 minutes. If requested by the Board, a licensee shall provide documentation of completion. A licensee may complete up to 25% of the licensee’s required continuing education from sources in this subsection and up to an additional 25% in required continuing education from any of the sources in subsections (e), (g) or (h).

 (g)  Credit hours will be given for correspondence programs, taped study programs, online or webinar programs, journal courses and other individual study programs at the rate of 1 continuing education hour for every 50 minutes. However, proper credit being given for such program is dependent upon the licensee proving, to the satisfaction of the Board, that the program meets the provisions of subsections (a) or (b). A licensee may complete up to 50% of the licensee’s required continuing education in individual study in accordance with this subsection or in the continuing education from any of the sources in subsections (e), (f) or (h).

 (h)  Credit hours will be credited for service as a teacher, preceptor, lecturer or speaker and for publications, articles, books and research relating to the practice of optometry. A licensee shall provide documentation to the Board within 60 days of completion of the previous service utilizing the process set forth in subsection (e). One continuing education hour will be granted for every 50 minutes of initial instruction or research, and 2 continuing education hours will be granted for the preparation of each hour of instruction. If a licensee prepares written materials to accompany the instruction, the continuing education credits for only the instruction will be doubled. Five continuing education hours will be granted for publication of a book, and 2 continuing education hours will be granted for publication of an article or a chapter in a book. A licensee may complete up to 25% of the licensee’s required continuing education in accordance with this subsection and up to an additional 25% from any of the required continuing education sources in subsections (e), (f) and (g).

 (i)  Of the 30 hours of continuing education credit required at §  23.82 (relating to continuing education hour requirements), the following shall apply:

   (1)  Continuing education credits earned under subsections (a), (b) and (d) shall account for no less than 50% of the total required hours.

   (2)  Continuing education credits earned under subsections (e), (f) or (h) shall account for no more than 25% of the total hours individually and not more than 50% of the hours when combined towards the total hours.

   (3)  Continuing education credits earned under subsection (g) may account for up to 50% of total required hours.

   (4)  Courses in jurisprudence or ethics shall account for no more than 2 hours of the total.

   (5)  Courses within the optometric curriculum offered by an accredited school of optometry or medicine in the United States or Canada shall account for no more than 25% of the required biennial credit hours. Two continuing education credit hours will be provided for each semester credit earned, including a course which the licensee audits.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  23.86 amended under sections 3(b)(12) and (14) and 4.2 of the Optometric Practice and Licensure Act (63 P.S. § §  244.3(b)(12) and (14) and 244.4b).

Source

   The provisions of this §  23.86 adopted April 16, 1982, effective April 17, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 1231; 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 preceeding text appears at serial pages (310073) to (310074).

Cross References

   This section cited in 49 Pa. Code §  23.81 (relating to coverage); 49 Pa. Code §  23.89 (relating to falsification of information); 49 Pa. Code §  23.91 (relating to fees); and 49 Pa. Code §  23.301 (relating to interpretation relating to sources of continuing education hours—statement of policy).



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