Optometry Continuing Education Requirements

Optometry: Continuing Education Requirements


The following list of prefix designations is provided in order to simplify and determine a better clarification as to what
would be designated and accepted as clinical or ocular therapeutic pharmacology when taking a continuing education
course that is COPE approved:

PH, PS, AS, GL, LP, PO, RS, SP, or OP

Any course designated as “Clinical Pharmacology” or “TPA” that is not COPE approved but is a Board Approved Continuing Education Provider shall meet the requirements of a board approved program in clinical pharmacology. See – Approved Continuing Education.  BELOW

Pain Management Continuing Education – Any course related to pain management that meets the requirements of a board approved program in   Pain management courses approved by the American Medical Association (AMA) will also be accepted.

For further assistance please feel free to call the board office at (505)476-4622 or e-mail at Optometry.Bd@state.nm.us             CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS: A minimum of  twenty-two (22) clock hours of
optometry related, board approved continuing education or postgraduate programs, are required for license renewal
each year beginning July 1, as detailed below.

A.            The continuing education shall be submitted as follows:

      1.   at least ten (10) of the twenty-two (22) hours of continuing education must be in a board approved program in clinical or ocular therapeutic pharmacology; and
      2.   at least one (1) of the twenty-two (22) hours of continuing education must be in a board approved course in pain management or related topic pursuant to NMAC.  This requirement shall begin with the 2015 renewal period beginning July 2, 2014.

B.            For optometrists on inactive status holding ocular therapeutics certification, a minimum of ten (10)
hours of continuing education in a board approved program in clinical or ocular therapeutic pharmacology is required.

C.            The continuing education must have been taken within the preceding renewal period (i.e. July 2 of one year through June 30 of the next).

D.            The board may audit any licensee’s continuing education documentation for the current licensing year and the two (2) previous years.

E.            A licensee who receives a notice of audit shall submit to the board office on or before July 1, unless otherwise specified, evidence of continuing education hours for the requested period.

F.            A license will be placed on expired status if the licensee fails to meet the continuing education requirements for renewal by the expiration date stated in this rule.

G.            Reactivation of license expired due to non-renewal for failure to meet the continuing education requirement.  The licensee may apply for license reactivation in the same manner as provided in Part 11 of 16.16 NMAC.  The continuing education and fees will be calculated based on the number of years the license was expired due to non-renewal for failure to meet the continuing education requirement.

H.            Newly licensed optometrists who graduated from optometry school within the same year of
licensure may submit the completed curriculum of their last year of optometry school to meet their continuing
education requirement the first year of renewal.

[11-17-73; 2-6-87; 10-14-95; 10-15-97; 2-15-99; NMAC – Rn, 16 NMAC 16.13.8, 03-15-2001; A, 03-15-2004; A 03-22-2008; A, 07-06-2012; A, 04-24-2014]             APPROVED CONTINUING EDUCATION: All subjects of education must be directly related to
optometry.  The New Mexico board of optometry approves the following programs for continuing education credit.

                A.            Any convention of the American optometric association (AOA).

                B.            Any meeting of an American optometric association affiliated state or regional association meeting, or meeting of the armed forces optometric society (AFOS).

                C.            Any session of the optometric extension program congress (OEPC).

                D.            Any state seminar of the graduate clinic foundation of the optometric extension program.

                E.            Courses sponsored by or given by accredited optometry schools.

                F.            Courses sponsored by the following organizations.

                    (1)     Optometric councils: mid-west, mountain west, southern, New England, southwest (SWCO).

                    (2)     Optometric contact lens societies: southwest, southern, heart of America.

                    (3)     Optometric congresses: southern, mountain states.

                    (4)     Courses sponsored by the American academy of optometry.

                    (5)     Courses approved by the council on optometric practice education (COPE) or courses approved by the New Mexico optometric association (NMOA).

                G.            The certificates of attendance required by Subsection C of NMAC shall be signed by
the presiding officer or designee of the organization conducting or sponsoring the program and shall identify the
therapeutic pharmaceutical agent (TPA) courses.

                H.            Certificates of attendance for courses approved by COPE must have the COPE trademark and
approval number.

                I.             A maximum of six (6) hours of internet-type course offerings, approved by COPE or any other
board-approved sponsor, will be allowed for each annual renewal.

[11-17-73; 2-6-87; 8-21-92; 10-14-95; 10-15-97; NMAC – Rn, 16 NMAC 16.13.9, 03-15-2001; A, 03-15-2004; A, 07-06-2012]


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