Optometry Board Heading
Licensing Doctors of Optometry and Regulating the Practice of Optometry

Continuing Education (CE) Topics

  General Information
General  
Requirements: 
  • 16 hours of continuing education required each year
  • 6 or more hours must be diagnosis or treatment of ocular disease (DT Hours)
  • 1 or more hours must be professional responsibility or ethics (see "Prof. Responsibility" below)
  • Certificate of course completion (original certificate if practicing in Texas) must be mailed to Board (see "Proof of CE" below)
  • All courses must be approved by the Board (see "Approved Courses" below)
  • Licensees who have not obtained CE cannot renew
  • For more information, select topic below or Rules 275.1 and 275.2.

Select a topic to answer your CE Questions


APPROVED COURSES
     
HEALTH EXEMPTION
     
POSTER SESSION

ARBO
     
HOURS: GEN VS DT
     
PROF. RESPONSIBILITY

CHECK CE HOURS
     
HOURS NOT ON WEBSITE
     
PROOF OF CE

CLINICAL ROTATIONS
     
HOURS REQUIRED
     
PROVIDER LIST

COPE
     
INACTIVE LICENSE
     
RENEWAL REQUIREMENTS

CORRESPONDENCE COURSE
     
INTERNET COURSE
     
RULES

DEADLINES
     
MILITARY
     
SIGN IN SHEETS

ETHICS
     
NEW LICENSEE
     
SORRY, NO MATCHES

EXEMPTION
     
OE TRACKER
     
SUBMIT PROOF TO BOARD

GRAND ROUNDS
     
OFFICE CONTACT
     
WEBSITE SEARCH

     
     
 




  Approved Courses
Must be  
Approved at  
Board Meeting: 
The Board approves courses at each board meeting and posts them on this website: "Approved CE Courses" ALL courses must be submitted to the Continuing Education Committee for approval. Historically, the last Board meeting each year is in November, so all courses must be submitted prior to that Board meeting. In order to obtain approval, the course outline, summary of subjects, speakers with respective resumes, date, times, location and monitoring procedures must be submitted to the committee.
 
COPE  
Approved: 
The Board accepts courses presented by optometry schools and courses approved by COPE, however, the courses approved must still be submitted for approval to the Board prior to a Board meeting. Course information on COPE courses may be found at this link.


  ARBO
OE  
Tracker: 
ARBO maintains the OE Tracker database. The ARBO website can be used to access OE Tracker and search for COPE approved courses.


  Check CE Hours
Use  
Web Site: 
To check the number of CE hours you have reported to the Board, either click on the "Check CE" button on the first page of the website, (Check CE) or call the Board at 512-305-8500. At the end of the year when thousands of CE certificates are being submitted to the Board, please give staff time to enter the information in the Board's computer.


  Clinical Rotations
1:2  
Credit: 
Maximum of four hours credit per year. One hour of continuing education credit will be given for each two clock hours spent on clinical rounds. Course must be approved by Board.


  COPE
Board  
Approval: 
Council on Optometric Practitioners' Education, an organization that approves continuing education courses. This approval is accepted by most states, including Texas. However, the course must still be approved by the Board at a Board Meeting. The Board makes the determination regarding the breakdown of regular hours and diagnostic/therapeutic hours. Course information on COPE courses may be found at this link.


  Correspondence Course
Maximum  
8 Hours: 
Credit will be given for a maximum of eight hours of the combined total of correspondence course hours and on-line computer course hours per calendar year.
 
Sponsored  
& Graded: 
Correspondence courses must be sponsored and graded by accredited optometry colleges, and approved by the Board. Note that with some correspondence and Internet courses, it may take some time for the provider to send the certificates of completion to the doctor.


  Deadlines
Cannot  
Renew: 
Proof of completion of CE hours is a requirement to renew a license. Therefore proof of CE completion must be received by Board before a doctor can renew. Note that with some correspondence and Internet courses, it may take some time for the provider to send the certificates of completion, which could delay being able to renew. Check with the provider for details.
 
Penalty:  If 16 hours of CE is not obtained by December 31, a doctor may not renew and a substantial penalty is imposed. This penalty is in addition to the late renewal penalty.


  Exemptions
Doctors  
Exempt  
from CE: 
  • Inactive: Doctors holding an inactive license
  • Armed Forces: Doctors serving in U. S. regular armed forces during part of the 12 months preceding January 1
  • Serious Illness: Doctors who submit sufficient proof that he or she suffered a serious or disabling illness or physical disability within the 12 months preceding January 1 which prevented the licensee from complying with CE requirements.*
  • New Licensees: Doctors first licensed within the 12 months preceding January 1
*This exemption must be approved at a Board Meeting. The final opportunity to obtain the serious illness exemption for the year is at the November Board Meeting. A doctor with a serious or disabling illness may request that Board approve taking all CE hours by correspondence or multi-media courses.


  Grand Rounds
1:2  
Credit: 
Maximum of four hours credit per year. One hour of continuing education credit will be given for each two clock hours spent on grand rounds. Course must be approved by Board.


  Health Exemption
Requirements:  Doctors may submit sufficient proof to the Board that he or she suffered a serious or disabling illness or physical disability within the 12 months preceding January 1 which prevents the doctor from complying with CE requirements. This exemption must be approved at a Board Meeting. The final opportunity to obtain the serious illness exemption for the year is at the November Board Meeting. A doctor with a serious or disabling illness may request that Board approve taking all CE hours by correspondence or multi-media courses.


  Hours: General vs DT
Hours Listed  
on Website: 
Six diagnostic/therapeutic (DT) hours are required each year. The list of "Approved CE Courses" on the website lists the number of general hours and DT hours for each approved course. The Check CE button on the website lists general hours, D/T hours, and professional responsibility hours for each licensee. There is no minimum number of general hours needed.


  Hours Not on Website
Why Hours  
Not Posted: 
The Board posts the number of CE hours for each doctor on the website. To trouble shoot why CE hours are not listed on the website (including the message: "SORRY, NO MATCHES FOUND"), see August 2008 Newsletter, or check the following:
  1. Were certificates of completion (originals) submitted by mail or faxed to the Board?
  2. Was a signed OE Tracker Certificate submitted to the Board?
  3. Was an attendance list submitted to the Board? Frequently doctors are told or assume that the provider will mail attendance list to Board and this does not occur. Please check with provider.
  4. Is course listed on "Approved CE Courses" on website? Course must be approved by Board, even if COPE approved, before CE hours can be accepted.
  5. When searching for listed hours, was a zero added to the beginning of the entered license number? Do not add a leading "0" (and do not add a "T" or "TG" to the license number).
  6. Has there been sufficient time since submission for Board to enter information in computers?
  7. Was the course taken this year?


  Hours Required
Minimum  
Requirements: 
  • 16 hours of continuing education required each year
  • 6 hours must be diagnosis or treatment of ocular disease (DT Hours)
  • 1 hour must be professional responsibility or ethics (see "Prof. Responsibility" below)


  Inactive License
Exempt:  Exempt from CE requirement. To change status of license to active, CE hours required.


  Internet (On-Line) Course
Maximum  
8 Hours: 
Credit will be given for a maximum of eight hours of the combined total of correspondence course hours and Internet computer course hours per calendar year. This includes the Professional Responsibility Course if taken through the Internet or using a CD.
 
Sponsored  
& Graded: 
Internet courses must be sponsored and graded by accredited optometry colleges, and approved by the Board. Note that with some correspondence and Internet courses, it may take some time for the provider to send the certificates of completion to the doctor.


  Military License
Exempt:  Doctors serving in U. S. regular armed forces during part of the 12 months preceding January 1 are exempt from the CE requirements.


  New Licensee
Exempt:  Doctors receiving their initial Texas license in 2015 are exempt from CE requirements for the 2016 license renewal.


  OE Tracker
OE Tracker  
Does Not  
Submit: 
For doctors registered with OE Tracker, an original printout of the course history list from the OE Tracker Website will meet the Board’s rule requirements. Sign and mail or fax the printout to the Board. OE Tracker does not submit this list or the data to the Board.


  Office Contact
Mail  
Certificates  
to Board: 
The Board's e-mail address is at the bottom of this page. The telephone number is 512-305-8500, extension 2. To mail CE certificates, use the main address:
Texas Optometry Board
333 Guadalupe Street, Suite 2-420
Austin, Texas, 78701.


  Poster Sessions
Not Approved:  The Board does not approve some "Poster Sessions" for continuing education credit where attendance is not independently verified. Judicious prescribing or jurisprudence courses in other states are also not accepted.


  Professional Responsibility (Ethics)
1 Hour  
Required: 
A one hour course in professional responsibility is required to renew. This hour is included in the 16 hour requirement, no additional hours are required. Courses are listed on the Approved CE Courses page. See also Rule 275.1.


  Proof of CE
Acceptable  
Proof: 
  • Doctor mails or faxes copy of original certificate of completion to the Board. Includes correspondence and Internet courses.
  • Doctor mails or faxes signed OE Tracker Certificate to the Board
  • Course provider submits attendance list to the Board. Frequently doctors are told or assume that the provider will mail attendance list to Board and this does not occur. Please check with provider to insure that list is being sent to Board.


  Provider List
On Website:  Providers of Board approved CE are on this website: "Approved CE Courses"


  Renewal Requirements
CE Required:  All licenses must be renewed by January 1 of each year. Unless exempt, all licensees must submit proof of 16 hours of Board approved CE before the licensee may renew. Doctors cannot practice with an expired license.


  Rules
On Website:  Information concerning continuing education may be found in Rules 275.1 and 275.2.


  Sign-in Sheets
May or  
May Not  
be Provided: 
Some course providers will submit sign in sheets of course attendance directly to the Board. However, doctors cannot assume that the provider will mail an attendance list to the Board, and frequently attendees mistakenly rely on this assumption. Please check with provider to insure that an attendance list is being sent to Board. If not, the doctor should mail the original certificate of completion to the Board. Be advised the some providers take some time to submit the sign in sheet to the Board.


  "Sorry, No Matches Found"
Meaning  
of  
Message: 
This message, when checking the number of CE hours on the website, means one of the following:
  • A "T" or "TG" was typed after the license number; or
  • Certificates of completion (originals) have not been mailed to the Board; or
  • Course is not listed on "Approved CE Courses" on website. Course must be approved by Board before CE hours can be accepted; or
  • The signed OE Tracker Certificate has not been mailed to the Board; or
  • An attendance list or sign in sheet was not submitted to the Board; or
  • Two to three days has not elapsed since Board received mailed certificate.


  Submit Proof of CE to Board
Mail to  
Board: 
To submit CE course attendance to Board:
  • Mail or fax original certificates of completion to the Board. Includes correspondence and Internet courses, or
  • Mail or fax signed OE Tracker Certificate to the Board
Mailing Address: Texas Optometry Board, 333 Guadalupe Street, Suite 2-420, Austin, Texas, 78701. FAX: 512-305-8501.


  Website Search
Approved  
Courses: 
In "Table of Contents" select "Continuing Education" then "Approved Courses". You may search for a course by "Course Title" (or a word in that title), "Location," "Provider" or "Date". Use the "Find (on this page)" feature of your Internet program (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape) and type in the word you are looking for: "glaucoma" for example. For Internet Explorer, click on the "Edit" pull down menu in the top left of the computer screen. Now select "Find (on this page)." Other Internet programs have a similar feature.
Or, you can scroll down the page to find a course by date. Note that correspondence, Internet, and grand rounds courses may have a start date of January 1.
 
Individual  
Hours: 
Click on the "Check CE" button on the website. Please type in your license number without the "T" or "TG".


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Notice
The Board and the State of Texas make no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness, reliability or fitness for a particular use of the information on this web site. The user assumes all liability and waives any and all claims or causes of action against the Board and the State of Texas for all uses of, and any reliance on, this information. This paragraph shall accompany all distributions of this information and is incorporated into this information for all purposes.
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Last Updated: 03/18/2015
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