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RULE §114.50Continuing Education

(a) This section applies to licensees of the department. This section does not apply to a temporary license or a student registration.

(b) The first continuing education period shall begin after the licensee has renewed the license for the first time. Continuing education is not required during the initial license period. Subsequently, a licensee shall attend continuing education activities as a condition of renewal of a license.

(c) Continuing education periods shall be two years in length. The period coincides with the license period.

(d) Determination of continuing education credits.

  (1) For seminars, lectures, presentations, symposia, workshops, conferences and similar activities, 50 minutes shall be considered as one credit hour.

  (2) Course work completed at or through an accredited college or university shall be credited based on eight credits for each semester hour completed for credit. Continuing education credit will be granted for a grade of C or better for the continuing education period in which the course is completed.

(e) Licensees shall attend and complete qualifying continuing education each renewal period unless the licensee is exempt under subsection (l).

  (1) Licensees must maintain a record of continuing education credits earned by the licensee and proof of completion of the continuing education credits, which may include certificates, transcripts from certifying agencies or associations, letters from program sponsors concerning the licensee's attendance and participation, or other documentation satisfactory to the department verifying the licensee's attendance or participation.

  (2) Attendance and completion of the following number of continuing education credits are required during each renewal period:

    (A) prosthetist or orthotist license--24;

    (B) prosthetist and orthotist license--40;

    (C) prosthetist or orthotist assistant--12;

    (D) prosthetist and orthotist assistant--20; and

    (E) prosthetist with orthotist assistant license or orthotist with prosthetist assistant license--32.

(f) At least 50% of the total hours of continuing education required must be live, instructor-directed activities. Fifty percent or less may be self-directed study. For purposes of this section, live or pre-recorded instructor-directed activities may be offered in-person or using telecommunications or information technology that permits two-way interaction between the instructor and the attendee.

(g) Continuing education hours must be directly related to prosthetics, orthotics, physical or occupational therapy, orthopedic, podiatric, pedorthic, physical medicine or other subjects approved by the department.

(h) Continuing education credits must be offered or approved by a state, regional or national prosthetic or orthotic, or allied health organization or offered by a regional accredited college or university.

(i) Continuing education undertaken by a licensee shall be acceptable if the licensee attends and participates in an activity in the following categories:

  (1) academic courses;

  (2) clinical courses;

  (3) in-service educational programs, training programs, institutes, seminars, workshops, and conferences;

  (4) self-study modules, with or without audio and video components, and interactive computer-generated learning activities, if a post-test is required and the number of hours completed do not exceed 50% of the credits required;

  (5) distance learning activities and audiovisual teleconferences, provided a documented post-test is completed and passed;

  (6) instructing or presenting in activities listed in paragraphs (1) - (3). Multiple presentations of the same program or equivalent programs may only be counted once during a continuing education period;

  (7) writing a book or article applicable to the practice of prosthetics or orthotics. Four (4) credits for an article and eight (8) credits for a book will be granted for a publication in the continuing education period in which the book or article was published. Multiple publications of the same article or an equivalent article may only be counted once during a continuing education period. Publications may account for 25% or less of the required credit;

  (8) completing the human trafficking prevention training required under Occupations Code, Chapter 116, and §114.40(c)(6) of this chapter. A maximum of one (1) credit will be granted for completion of the training during a continuing education period; and

  (9) completing the jurisprudence examination required by §114.22(b) of this chapter. Only one (1) self-directed study credit will be granted for completion of the examination during a continuing education period.

(j) Reporting of continuing education credit.

  (1) At the time of license renewal, licensees shall file a continuing education report on a department-approved form.

  (2) The department shall employ an audit system for continuing education reporting. The license holder shall be responsible for maintaining a record of his or her continuing education experiences. The certificates, diplomas, or other documentation verifying earning of continuing education hours are not to be forwarded to the department at the time of renewal unless the license holder has been selected for audit.

  (3) The audit process shall be as follows:

    (A) The department shall select for audit a random sample of license holders for each renewal month. License holders will be notified of the continuing education audit when they receive their renewal notice.

    (B) If selected for an audit, the licensee shall submit copies of certificates, transcripts or other documentation satisfactory to the department, verifying the licensee's attendance, participation and completion of the continuing education. All documentation must be provided at the time of renewal.

    (C) Failure to timely furnish this information or providing false information during the audit process or the renewal process, are grounds for disciplinary action against the license holder.

    (D) A licensee who is selected for continuing education audit may renew through the online renewal process. However, the license will not be considered renewed until required continuing education documents are received, accepted and approved by the department.

(k) Licenses will not be renewed until continuing education requirements have been met.

(l) The following licensees are exempt from the requirements of this section if the qualifying event occurred during the twenty-four (24) months immediately preceding the license expiration date. The licensee shall submit proof satisfactory to the department:

  (1) a licensee who suffered a mental or physical illness or disability that prevented the licensee from complying with the requirements of this section; or

  (2) a licensee who suffered a catastrophic event such as a flood, fire, tornado or hurricane that prevented the licensee from complying with the requirements of this section.

(m) Licensees employed as faculty in CAAHEP accredited programs or in programs having educational standards equal to or greater than CAAHEP in prosthetics and orthotics shall be exempt from 50% of the continuing education requirements in this section.

(n) Licensed practitioners who are renewing under retired voluntary charity care status shall be exempt from 50% of the continuing education requirements in this section.

(o) Failure to submit documentation satisfactory to the department as required by subsection (l), shall be considered the same as failing to meet the continuing education requirements of this section.

(p) Untrue documentation or information submitted to the department may subject the licensee to disciplinary action.

(q) Activities unacceptable as continuing education for which the department may not grant continuing education credit are:

  (1) education incidental to the licensee's regular professional activities such as learning occurring from experience or research;

  (2) professional organization activity such as serving on boards, committees or councils or as an officer;

  (3) continuing education activities completed before the renewal period; and

  (4) performance of duties that are routine job duties or requirements.

Source Note: The provisions of this §114.50 adopted to be effective October 1, 2016, 41 TexReg 4467; amended to be effective September 1, 2018, 43 TexReg 5362; amended to be effective February 1, 2020, 45 TexReg 542; amended to be effective May 1, 2022, 47 TexReg 2524; amended to be effective January 15, 2023, 48 TexReg 43

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