Continuing Education

Continuing Education Requirement Effective 1/1/2023:

*Reminder* All COPE-approved courses will automatically be added to your transcript from ARBO/OE Tracker. Please only send certificates if the course is not documented within two months of completion. All other course accreditation types must still be sent to info@ncoptometry.org



25 HOURS REQUIRED ANNUALLY


For definitions, see below.


BOARD & COPE DEFINITIONS: 




CRITERIA FOR ALL CONTINUING EDUCATION COURSES

The course must be fully accredited by the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education.

1. Course must be COPE accredited (COPE number)
2. Event must have a COPE Event number
3. Vendor must be an Approved COPE Administrator or Accredited COPE Provider

-OR-

Courses can be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) or other healthcare professions' recognized accrediting body. 

 

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS TO BE CLASSIFIED AS “CERTIFIED CREDIT”

1. Course must be at least 1 hour in length

2. Course must be on Subject Matter as listed below:

Self-Evaluation / Examination.

Licensees taking examinations approved by the Board designed to assess Continued Professional Development in Optometry (CPDO) shall be awarded twelve (12) hours*of “Certified Credit”.

*A licensee is limited to twelve hours (12) “Certified Credit” once every three years for taking examinations designed to assess continued professional development (CPDO). 


CRITERIA FOR “GENERAL” CREDIT:


New Licensees:

For those of you who graduated in the spring of the calendar year in which you have been licensed, the Board considers the time spent in your academic training as fulfilling the total requirement for the calendar year; however, all licensees will be required to fulfill the opioid course requirement.    Those who are being licensed in a year other than the year of your graduation from optometry school, are expected to meet the total requirement.  


COPE Optional Policy for NC State Optometric Society Districts

(in effect until December 31, 2022)

Each district must submit a completed course information form, found here: http://goo.gl/forms/P43N2WFiPO , no less than 7 days prior to the event. Upon receipt of the form and course outline, the board staff will review the documentation and respond with approval and determination of credit

Any courses submitted less than 7 days in advance will be denied approval of credit.

After the event, all attendance documentation must be submitted within 7 days


FAILURE TO MEET ANNUAL CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

21 NCAC 42B .0303 (link) 

For failure to comply with 21 NCAC 42B .0302 the optometrist is subject to disciplinary action by the Board pursuant to G.S. 90-121.2; provided, however, for a first offense the Board may require an additional three hours, and for the second offense six additional hours of attendance at approved continuing education programs. Any penalty imposed will require that the additional hours be fulfilled in addition to the required hours for the ensuing year. 

 



Adopted June 1, 1989

Amended March 22, 2014

Amended August 29, 2015

Amended November 24, 2015

Amended February 12, 2016

Amended November 9, 2017

Amended November 8, 2018

Amended November 7, 2019

Amended March 18, 2020

Amended August 29, 2022