Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1045-02-.05 - CONTINUING EDUCATION

(1) Effective January 1, 2020, an Optometrist with a renewal date in the year 2020 and beyond must complete forty (40) hours of Board approved continuing education during the twenty-four (24) months that precede the licensure renewal month.
(a) For those who are therapeutically certified, a minimum of twenty five (25) of the forty (40) hours of continuing education is required in courses pertaining to ocular disease and related systemic disease, as described in subparagraph (2)(e). At least two (2) of these twenty five (25) hours shall be a course or courses designed specifically to address controlled substance prescribing practices. Any course related to controlled substance prescribing practices must include instruction in the Department's treatment guidelines on opioids, benzodiazepines, barbituates, and carisoprodol and may include topics such as medicine addiction, risk management tools, and other topics approved by the Board.
(b) Each licensee shall maintain current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Such certification shall be obtained from a course approved or offered by the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, or any other entity approved by the board.
(c) Each licensee must retain proof of attendance and completion of all continuing education requirements. This documentation must be retained for a period of four (4) years from the end of the calendar year in which the continuing education was required. This documentation must be produced for inspection and verification, if requested in writing by the board during its verification process. The board will not maintain continuing education files.
(d) The individual must, within thirty (30) days of a request from the board, provide evidence of continuing education activities. Certificates verifying the individual's attendance or original letters from course providers are such evidence.
(2) Approval of Continuing Education
(a) For those courses requiring Board approval, the information required by subparagraph (2)(d) must be submitted to the Board at least thirty (30) days prior to the actual date of the course. However, no prior approval is required for the following:
1. Educational courses approved by the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry's Council on Optometric Practitioner Education.
2. Educational courses sponsored by an organization listed on the Board's website with the Tennessee Department of Health.
(b) Grand rounds of clinical optometric education (grand clinical rounds) performed in clinical treatment facilities shall be credited as follows:
1. One (1) hour of credit is received for two (2) hours of attendance.
2. No more than six (6) hours of continuing education credit during the two (2) year period described in paragraph (1) shall be granted to a licensee for attending grand clinical rounds.
3. Grand clinical rounds must be submitted to the Board for pre-approval.
(c) Any course designed specifically to address controlled substance prescribing practices must be pre-approved by the Board or by a vendor approved by the Board for offering such courses.
(d) All courses submitted for approval must contain the following information:
1. A course description or outline;
2. Names of all lecturers;
3. Brief resume of all lecturers;
4. Number of hours of educational credit requested;
5. Category of approval requested; and
6. Date of course.
(e) Courses will be classified by the Board as one (1) of the following categories:
1. Clinical Optometry - These courses shall pertain to general optometry, functional vision/pediatrics, and contact lenses.
2. Ocular Disease - These courses shall pertain to the treatment and management of ocular disease (anterior and posterior), refractive surgery management, peri-operative management of ophthalmic surgery, and glaucoma.
3. Related Systemic Disease - These courses shall pertain to systemic/ocular disease, principles of diagnosis, pharmacology, and neuro-optometry.
4. (Optometric) Business Management - These courses shall pertain to practice management and/or ethics/jurisprudence. The total number of (Optometric) Business Management hours that will be accepted is eight (8) hours of the forty (40) hour requirement.
(f) Continuing education courses may include:
1. Lecture type courses;
2. Fifteen (15) hours of the forty (40) hour requirement may be completed in any of the following multi-media formats:
(i) The Internet
(ii) Closed circuit television
(iii) Satellite broadcasts
(iv) Correspondence courses
(v) Videotapes
(vi) CD-ROM
(vii) DVD
(viii) Teleconferencing
(ix) Videoconferencing
(x) Distance learning
(g) Proof of attendance -
1. Proof of attendance must be given to each optometrist attending an approved course by the providers of the course;
2. It is the responsibility of the optometrist attending the continuing education program to ascertain whether the program is approved by the Board and the category of approval.
3. The Board shall notify all providers requiring course approval of its denial or approval. If a course is denied credit for continuing education, the provider of the course may petition the board for a hearing on the merits of the matter. The appeal may be heard by the Board at a regularly scheduled meeting.
4. Waiver of continuing education requirements or extension of the deadline to complete such requirements may be made by the Board on an individual basis as provided in Rule 1045-02-.04(3).
(3) Continuing Education Tracking System
(a) Each licensee shall submit to the Selected Contractor proof of completion for each continuing education course taken. The proof of completion shall be submitted to the Selected Contractor within thirty (30) days of receipt.
(b) Each licensee is responsible for reviewing the information contained in the system to ensure its accuracy.
(c) Continuing education providers will submit to the Selected Contractor a roster of those Tennessee licensed optometrists who attended the continuing education course. The roster shall be submitted to the Selected Contractor within thirty (30) days after the course date.
(4) A licensee is exempt from the Continuing Education requirements for the calendar year that he/she graduated from an accredited college or school of optometry.
(5) Continuing education course approval decisions pursuant to this rule may be preliminarily made upon review by any Board member or a Board designee.
(6) Violations
(a) Any licensee who falsely certifies attendance and completion of the required hours of continuing education requirements, or who does not or can not adequately substantiate completed continuing education hours with the required documentation, may be subject to disciplinary action.
(b) Prior to the institution of any disciplinary proceedings, a letter shall be issued to the last known address of the individual stating the facts or conduct which warrant the intended action.
(c) The licensee has thirty (30) days from the date of notification to show compliance with all lawful requirements for the retention of the license.
(d) Any licensee who fails to show compliance with the required continuing education hours in response to the notice contemplated by subparagraph (5)(b) above may be subject to disciplinary action.
(e) Continuing education hours obtained as a result of compliance with the terms of a Board Order in any disciplinary action shall not be credited toward the continuing education hours required to be obtained in any renewal period.


Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1045-02-.05
Original rule filed May 15, 1981; effective July 22, 1981. Amendment filed November 12, 1982; effective December 13, 1982. Amendment by Public Chapter 969; effective July 1, 1984. Repeal and new rule filed November 30, 1990; effective January 14, 1991. Amendment filed February 14, 1994; effective April 30, 1994. Amendment filed December 11, 1998; effective February 23, 1999. Amendment filed January 4, 2002; effective March 20, 2002. Amendment filed July 22, 2002; effective October 5, 2002. Amendment filed September 13, 2002; effective November 27, 2002. Amendment filed April 4, 2003; effective June 18, 2003. Amendment filed June 10, 2004; effective August 24, 2004. Amendments filed February 26, 2009; effective May 12, 2009. Amendment filed March 2, 2009; effective May 16, 2009; however, stay of the effective date filed by the Tennessee Board of Optometry; new effective date July 13, 2009. Amendments filed August 9, 2012; effective November 7, 2012. Amendment filed July 29, 2015; effective October 27, 2015. Amendments filed May 21, 2019; effective 8/19/2019.

Authority: T.C.A. ยงยง 4-5-202, 4-5-204, 63-1-107, 63-8-112, 63-8-119, and 63-8-120.

State regulations are updated quarterly; we currently have two versions available. Below is a comparison between our most recent version and the prior quarterly release. More comparison features will be added as we have more versions to compare.

No prior version found.