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Oregon Board of Optometry

1500 Liberty Street SE, Suite 210
Salem OR 97302
Phone: (503)399-0662
Fax: (503)399-0705
email: shelley.g.sneed@oregon.gov

Continuing Optometric Education

The following requirements do not mention BLS Healthcare Provider CPR certification as a condition of optometry license renewal. This CPR certification is required as a condition of Active Status licensure, and a copy of the current card must be submitted with a license renewal application. A CPR course is not considered continuing optometric education and no COE credit is given for CPR certification. The Oregon Administrative Rule which applies to CPR certification requirements for AT and ATI certification is OAR 852-080-0040.

COE Requirements. Every active status licensed doctor of optometry must complete at least 18 hours of clinical optometric courses each license year as a condition of license renewal. Continuing education hours will cover 12-month periods and be reported with license renewal applications. Upon written request, the licensee may carry forward excess hours completed in the prior license year to the current license year.

Of the required 18 hours, at least 9 hours each license year must be in the area of diagnosis, treatment, and management of ocular disease.

Of the required 18 hours, every other license year licensee's must attend and submit at least 1 Board-approved hour related to optometric ethics or Oregon optometry law and administrative rules. Licensees, including Board members, may receive one hour of optometric ethics/Oregon optometry law credit per year for verified attendance of at least one hour at an official meeting of the Oregon Board of Optometry. Courses that are designated COPE category "E/J" are not automatically approved for this required hour.

Credit will be given for no more than five (5) hours of live observation in an approved surgical facility per license year.

The required hours of continuing education each license year must be of different course content. When the Board determines that a licensee has submitted a course or lecture essentially identical to another presentation submitted in the same license renewal period, credit will be given for only one.

Application for Credit. Each continuing education offering must be approved by the Board in order for a Doctor of Optometry to obtain credit. Upon application the Board may:

  1. Grant credit, to the extent determined by it, for any course,or individual or group study deemed suitable to carry out the purposes of ORS 683.210. To be granted credit, any course offering must be open to all optometric physicians licensed in Oregon.

  2. Grant credit, to the extent determined by it, for publication of articles and papers of scientific and educational interest published in recognized scientific publications.

  3. Grant credit, to the extent determined by it, for courses that relate to the maintenance or advancement of professional skills and abilities, including communication, and cultural competency skills . Courses that relate primarily to practice management and jurisprudence shall not be granted credit.

How to Apply For Credit.

Credit for Conducting Course or Presenting Material. Any optometric physician who prepares and presents a continuing education course eligible for credit under this rule is entitled to three hours of continuing education credit for each credit hour of the initial presentation of the course. No credit will be given for repeat presentations unless application for credit has been filed in advance with the Board and appropriate evidence submitted that additional study or research was necessary for such additional presentation. The Board may then grant to the extent deemed suitable by it, credit for the additional presentation.

Calculation of Credit. A Doctor of Optometry must meet the continuing optometric education requirement beginning with the second license year renewal period following the year of original licensure by the board. This applies only to graduates of optometry school not more than one year post graduation. All other optometric physicians must meet the continuing optometric education requirements of Division 70.

Responsibility to Notify the Board. Each active licensee must notify the Board of Optometry in writing of completion of the required hours of approved continuing education credits as part of the license renewal. Notification for at least the total number of required hours must be submitted at one time. If sufficient proof of continuing education is not received by the Board by the license year renewal period deadline, the license will not be renewed until the continuing education deficiency is made up in a manner acceptable to and approved by the Board. It is the licensee’s responsibility to ensure that all continuing optometric education credits the licensee plans to submit have been approved by the Board before the license year renewal period deadline. Continuing optometric education credits that are not approved by the Board before the deadline may be considered late and may not be approved. Licensees relying on unapproved continuing optometric education program credits for renewal must submit a request for course approval and sufficient supporting program information to the Board at least 30 days before the renewal due date for consideration for credit. If the Board determines the credits do not count for renewal, the licensee must submit additional acceptable credits by renewal due date or renewal will be considered incomplete and late. Licensees must submit original certificates of attendance or other proof of attendance acceptable to the Board.

Board Responsibility for Provision of Continuing Optometric Education. The Oregon Board of Optometry must provide or approve education programs to fulfill the requirements of this section.

COPE Approved Continuing Optometric Education Courses. The Oregon Board of Optometry accepts courses related to the maintenance or advancement of professional skills and clinical abilities approved by COPE (Council on Optometric Practitioner Education). If such a course has been COPE approved, the Board shall accept the course as meeting its continuing education requirements for license renewal excepting Category D as indicated below.

COPE course category A - clinical Optometry which includes Contact Lenses (CL), Functional Vision/Pediatric (FV), General Optometry (GO), and Low Vision (LV).

COPE course category B - Ocular Disease and C - Related Systemic Disease are approved as meeting the Board's nine (9) hours per license year requirement of continuing optometric education in the area of diagnosis, treatment and management of ocular disease. Category B - Ocular Diseaase includes Glaucoma (GL), Injection Skills (IS), Laser Procedures (LP), Peri-Operative Management of Ophthalmic Surgery (PO), Refractive Surgery Management (RS), Surgery Procedures (SP), Treatment and Management of Ocular Disease: Anterior Segment (AS), and Treatment and Management of Ocular Disease: Posterior Segment (PS).

Category C. - Related Systemic Disease includes Neuro-Optometry (NO), Oral Pharmaceuticals (OP), Pharmacology (PH), Principles of Diagnosis (PD), and Systemic/Ocular Disease (SD).

COPE course category D, which includes Public Health (PB),Practice Management (PM) and Ethics/Jurisprudence (EJ) are not approved by the Oregon Board of Optometry, unless it is an optometric ethics course that has been individually evaluated and approved by the Board.

It is the responsibility of the licensee to ensure that any continuing optometric education coursework submitted for credit meets the criteria of this rule. The Oregon Board of Optometry will review the COPE criteria for course category definitions to determine if the process and categories are within the standards it has set. Those COPE category definitions not acceptable to the Board will be identified to COPE and listed in the Board’s administrative rules.

Continuing Optometric Education Provided by Outside Entities. All continuing optometric education provided by other organizations must be submitted to the Board for approval before credit will be granted. Approval or denial of the continuing optometric education will be based on course:

  1. Relevance to modern optometric practice;

  2. Provision of skills or information which can translate to improved patient care;

  3. Content being recognized and accepted as sound scientific thought;

  4. Provision of heightened content standards needed by optometric physicians; and

  5. Presenter(s) credentials, as evidenced by a submitted curriculum vitae and an academic degree or combination of academic achievement and special expertise acceptable to the Board.

The Board may accept continuing optometric education courses that have been approved by other organizations. This acceptance will be in accordance with the standards set by the Board.

Courses acceptable to the Board for continuing education credit must be at least one half-hour in length, must be proctored for attendance, and the sponsor must provide original source documentation of successful completion to the attendee. Additional credits must be in half-hour increments.

This page was last revised: DECEMBER 22, 2014

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