A licensee who is actively engaged in the practice of optometry shall earn a minimum of twenty hours of continuing education each registration period. The subject matter for continuing education shall reflect the professional needs of the licensee in order to meet the health care needs of the public, and shall include:
Not less than six hours in any of the following areas: Pathology, detection of diabetes and ocular treatment; and not less than six hours in treatment as it applies to the use of ocular agents-T. Coursework shall be provided through direct, live instruction that the licensee physically attends either individually or as part of a group of participants or through a formal home study or distance learning program. Not more than six hours shall be earned through a home study or other distance learning program and not more than six hours shall be in practice management.
Qualifying Continuing Education
Qualifying continuing education activities include, but are not limited to, courses offered or approved by the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE) of the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry, the American Optometric Association or state or local optometry associations and societies that are affiliated with the American Optometric Association, a hospital or other health care institution, a school or college of optometry or other institution of higher education accredited or recognized by the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education or the American Optometric Association, a state or local health department, or a national, state or local medical association. The Department does not approve continuing education courses, pre-approve specific coursework for individual licensees or maintain a list of continuing education courses.
Each licensee applying for license renewal, except a licensee applying for a license renewal for the first time, shall sign a statement attesting that he or she has satisfied the continuing education requirements on the annual renewal application.
Each licensee shall retain records of attendance or certificates of completion that demonstrate compliance with the continuing education requirements for not less than three years following the date on which the continuing education was completed or the license was renewed. Each licensee shall submit such records to the department for inspection not later than forty-five days after a request by the department for such records. A licensee who fails to comply with the CE provisions may be subject to disciplinary action.
In individual cases involving medical disability or illness, the department may grant a waiver of the continuing education requirements or an extension of time within which to fulfill the requirements of this section to any licensee, provided the licensee submits to the department an application for waiver or extension of time along with a certification by a licensed physician of the disability or illness and such other documentation as may be required. The department may grant a waiver or extension for a period not to exceed one registration period, except that the department may grant additional waivers or extensions if the medical disability or illness upon which a waiver or extension is granted continues beyond the period of the waiver or extension and the licensee applies for an additional waiver or extension.
A licensee who is not actively engaged in the practice of optometry, in any form, during a registration period shall be exempt from the continuing education requirements, provided the licensee submits a notarized application for exemption before the end of the registration period. A licensee who is exempt under the provisions of this subsection may not engage in the practice of optometry until the licensee has met the continuing education requirements of this section.
Reinstatement of a Lapsed License
A licensee whose license has become void pursuant to section 19a-88 and who applies to the department for reinstatement of such license shall submit evidence of successful completion of twenty contact hours of continuing education within the one-year period immediately preceding the application for reinstatement.