State Board of Optometry: Continuing Education

Rule 21.00: Continuing Education Requirements

(Adopted May 23, 2014; Effective July 15, 2014)

A. Each licensed optometrist having an active license in Colorado is required to attend 24 hours of educational study per renewal period as set forth in section 12-40-113(1)(f), C.R.S. Continuing Education (CE) hours may only be applied to one renewal period.

B. If a renewal date occurs during the year of original Colorado licensure, continuing education will not be required for the first renewal. If the renewal date occurs the year after original licensure, the licensee shall obtain 12 hours of continuing education prior to the biennial renewal. CE completed to fulfill requirements to satisfy discipline, as required by the Board, will not count toward CE for the renewal period.

C.  For CE to count toward renewal requirements all CE must be clinically-based. 

D.  CE may be obtained the following ways:

1.  Conferences and Lectures

2.  Internet Based CE or CE Offered by Professional/Association Journals (a maximum of eight (8) hours may be applied per renewal period)

3. Clinical Observations/Clinical Examinations (a maximum of four (4) hours may be applied per renewal period)

E.  Subject to the final approval of the Board, a designated Board member may rule in regard to the approval of other meetings, programs, and/or courses.

Policy 30-2 Continuing Education

(Amended February 2012; Amended May 23, 2014)

Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to further delineate Board Rule 21.00: Continuing Education Requirements.

It is each optometrist’s responsibility to make certain that credit he or she claims for a course is valid and that the course is delivered by an approved provider. If audited, the optometrist must provide the Board with proof of valid continuing education that meets Board approval. 

1)  The following are examples of continuing education courses the Board will not accept towards meeting the CE requirement for biennial renewal periods. These include but are not limited to:

a. leadership training
b. practice/personnel management
c. client relations
d. communication training
e. integrated resource management principles
f. presentations dealing with financial based subjects including, but not limited to bookkeeping procedures
g. financial planning
h. retirement planning
i. insurance programs

No presentation that is primarily promotional in nature regardless of subject material will be acceptable.

2)  Conferences and Lectures meeting the requirements of Rule 21.00(C) must be sponsored by:

a. Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE)
b. American Optometric Association (AOA) and AOA-recognized state associations
c. American Academy of Optometry (AAO)
d. College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD)
e. Optometric Extension Program (OEP)
f. Clinical facilities specializing in eye care that are staffed by professor(s) or adjunct professor(s) of optometry or ophthalmology at accredited optometry or medical schools.

3)  Internet Based CE or CE Offered by Professional/Association Journals meeting the requirements of Rule 21.00(C) must also:

a. be sponsored/approved by COPE or accredited schools/colleges of optometry, and
b. include a post-test evaluation.

Only eight (8) of the 24 required hours may be obtained via the internet or from professional/association journals.

4)  Clinical Observation/Clinical Examinations

One (1) hour of CE credit may be obtained for every two (2) hours of observation at a clinical facility which specializes in eye care and is also staffed by professors or adjunct professors of optometry or ophthalmology at accredited optometry or medical schools.

A maximum of four (4) hours of CE of this type may be counted toward each biennial renewal period.

Policy 30-3 Continuing Education (CE) Audits

(Amended February 2013; Amended May 23, 2014)

During each renewal licensing cycle, beginning with the 2013-2015 cycle, the Board (or its designee) will audit every Colorado licensed optometrist to ensure the continuing education requirements have been met.

If requested by the licensee, the Board will use the information entered into the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO) Optometry Education Tracker (OE TRACKER) software to perform their audit.

There is no obligation of any licensees to use OE Tracker, nor does it change any of the CE requirements.

CE hours may only be applied to one (1) renewal period (two (2) year cycle). If the Board determines that the renewal licensee has not obtained appropriate CE as outlined in Board Policy 30-2 or the renewal licensee failed to submit the requested proof of CEs satisfactorily to the Board, the Board may consider disciplinary action for failure to comply with statute and rule. The Board may choose to grant a 90 day period to correct the shortage of CEs.