Regulations of the Commissioner

Part 67, Ophthalmic Dispensing

§67.1 Education requirement. | §67.2 Alternative training and experience requirements. | §67.3 Examinations. | §67.4 Training permits. | §67.5 Supervision of fitting contact lenses. | §67.6 Continuing education for ophthalmic dispensers.

§ 67.1 Education requirement.

  1. As used in this section, acceptable accrediting agency shall mean an organization accepted by the department as a reliable authority for the purpose of accreditation at the postsecondary level, applying its criteria for granting accreditation in a fair, consistent, and nondiscriminatory manner, such as an agency recognized for this purpose by the United States Department of Education.
  2. Licensure requirement. To meet the professional education requirement for licensure as an ophthalmic dispenser in this State, the applicant shall present evidence of completion of:
    1. a program in ophthalmic dispensing of at least 60 semester hours or its equivalent that is registered by the department pursuant to Part 52 of this Title, or accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency, or determined by the department to be the equivalent of such a registered or accredited program; or
    2. alternative training and experience of at least two years, as prescribed in section 67.2 (a) of this Part, under the supervision of a licensed ophthalmic dispenser, optometrist, or physician who shall be on-site and readily accessible to provide personal advice and assistantance to the applicant, when the applicant is receiving clinical training and experience. Such applicant shall also present evidence of a one-year course of study in mathematics completed prior to or concurrently with such training and experience.
  3. Requirement for certification to fit contact lenses. To meet the professional education requirement for certification to fit contact lenses in this State, the applicant shall present satisfactory evidence of completion of:
    1. a program in ophthalmic dispensing that meets the requirements for professional licensure, as prescribed in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of this section; or
    2. acceptable alternative training and experience of at least one year, as prescribed in section 67.2 (b) of this Part, under the supervision of a licensed ophthalmic dispenser, optometrist, or physician who shall be on-site and readily accessible to provide personal advice and assistance to the applicant, when the applicant is receiving clinical training and experience.

§67.2 Alternative training and experience requirements.

  1. Licensure. To meet the professional education requirement for licensure through acceptable alternative training and experience, pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of section 67.1 of this Part, the applicant shall meet the requirements of paragraph (1) or (2) of this subdivision, as applicable.
    1. Applicants who are issued an initial training permit for basic ophthalmic dispensing training prior to April 3, 1998, pursuant to section 67.4 of this Part, shall either complete all the requirements of this paragraph or all the requirements of paragraph (2) of this subdivision. Applicants shall satisfactorily complete:
      1. at least 1,200 clock hours in fitting and adjusting of ophthalmic eyewear; and
      2. at least 600 clock hours in the verification and interpretation of prescriptions; and
      3. at least 600 clock hours in other aspects of practice and theory of dispensing, including laboratory preparation.
    2. Applicants who are issued an initial training permit for basic ophthalmic dispensing training on or after April 3, 1998, pursuant to section 67.4 of this Part, shall satisfactorily complete training and experience of at least 2,400 clock hours, acceptable to the department, which shall include a program approved by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation, or its successors, or an equivalent organization. Such training and experience shall include but not be limited to training in: ophthalmic medical terminology; optical theory; anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the eye; ophthalmic lens design and types; verification and interpretation of prescriptions; lens applications; fitting and adjusting of ophthalmic eyewear; other aspects of practice and theory of dispensing, including laboratory preparation; and clinical experience in ophthalmic dispensing.
  2. Certification to fit contact lenses. To meet the professional education requirement for certification to fit contact lenses through alternative training and experience, as prescribed in paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of section 67.1 of this Part, the applicant shall meet the requirements of paragraph (1) or (2) of this subdivision, as applicable.
    1. Applicants who are issued an initial training permit for training in the fitting of contact lenses prior to April 3, 1998, pursuant to section 67.4 of this Part, shall either complete all of the requirements of this paragraph or all of the requirements of paragraph (2) of this subdivision. Applicants shall satisfactorily complete an additional preceptorship of at least 1,200 clock hours in fitting and adjusting of contact lenses, the verification and interpretation of contact lens prescriptions, and other aspects of practice and theory of contact lens fitting.
    2. Applicants who are issued an initial training permit for the fitting of contact lenses on or after April 3, 1998, pursuant of section 67.4 of this Part, shall complete additional training and experience of at least 1,200 clock hours in the fitting of contact lenses, acceptable to the department, which shall include a program which is approved by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation, or its successor, or an equivalent organization. Such training and experience shall include but not be limited to training in: contact lens medical terminology, optics and contact lenses, fitting and adjusting contact lenses, patient education, keratometry, biomicroscopy, the anatomy and physiology of the eye, and a clinical experience in the fitting of contact lenses.

§67.3 Examinations.

  1. Licensing examination.
    1. The licensing examination shall include a written and a practical examination.
    2. The written examination shall include, but not be limited to, the following subjects: theoretical optics, ophthalmic optics, ocular anatomy, physiology and anomalies, ophthalmic dispensing, materials and services, and matters of law, ethics, or practice as may be deemed appropriate by the department.
    3. The practical examination shall include, but need not be limited to, the following skills: fitting and adjusting of lenses; neutralization and lens identification; and prescription analysis.
    4. A candidate shall pass the written examination before taking the practical examination.
    5. Passing score. The passing score for the written examination and for the practical examination shall be 75.0, as determined by the State Board.
  2. Contact lens examination. The certification examination for the fitting of contact lenses shall include a written and a practical examination.
    1. The certification examination shall measure:
      1. knowledge which shall include but not be limited to: ocular anatomy, physiology and pathology, optics of contact lenses, fitting and adjusting of contact lenses, ocular prostheses and devices, dispensing and follow-up care, subjective signs and symptoms, and ocular pharmacology; and
      2. skills which shall include but not be limited to: planning a contact lens fitting procedure, objective and subjective signs and symptoms; visual and ocular anomalies, special fitting problems and lens designs, application of required instruments and equipment, determining corneal contact lens specifications, and delivery and follow-up care.
    2. A candidate shall pass the written examination before taking the practical examination.
    3. The passing score for the written examination and for the practical examination shall be 75.0 as determined by the State Board.

§67.4 Training permits.

  1. Notwithstanding the requirements of section 59.2 of this Title, every person who seeks to meet the education requirement for licensure as an ophthalmic dispenser or the education requirement for certification to fit contact lenses through completion of acceptable alternative training and experience, as such requirements are prescribed in sections 67.1 and 67.2 of this Part, shall apply to the department for a training permit prior to commencing such training.
  2. To qualify for a training permit for basic ophthalmic dispensing training, a candidate shall present satisfactory evidence of:
    1. enrollment in a training and experience program, which meets the requirements of sections 67.1 (b)(2) and 67.2 (a) of this Part; and
    2. attestation by a licensed ophthalmic dispenser, physician, or optometrist that the candidate's training and experience program shall meet the requirements of sections 67.1 (b)(2) and 67.2 (a) of this Part and be under the supervision of a licensed ophthalmic dispenser, physician, or optometrist who shall be on-site and readily accessible to provide personal advice and assistance to the candidate, when the candidate is receiving clinical training and experience.
  3. To qualify for a training permit for contact lens fitting, a candidate shall present satisfactory evidence of:
    1. enrollment in a training and experience program, which meets the requirements of sections 67.1 (c)(2) and 67.2 (b) of this Part; and
    2. attestation by a licensed ophthalmic dispenser, physician, or optometrist that the candidate's training and experience program shall meet the requirements of sections 67.1 (c)(2) and 67.2 (b) of this Part and be under the supervision of a licensed ophthalmic dispenser, physician, or optometrist who shall be on site and readily accessible to provide personal advice and assistance to the candidate, when the candidate is receiving clinical training and experience.
  4. Duration. A training permit shall be valid for a period not to exceed two years, or until 60 days after notification by the department that the education requirement for licensure has been met, whichever first occurs. At the discretion of the department, a permit may be renewed for one additional period not to exceed one year.
  5. Supervision. A licensed ophthalmic dispenser, optometrist, or physician may supervise concurrently no more than one candidate with a training permit.

§67.5 Supervision of fitting contact lenses.

Personal supervision by a physician or optometrist in the fitting of contact lenses pursuant to section 7121 of the Education Law shall mean:

  1. the prescribing physician or optometrist is physically present during the fitting of contact lenses; or
  2. if the prescribing physician or optometrist is not physically present during the fitting of contact lenses;
    1. the ophthalmic dispenser fills the written prescription of a physician or optometrist in which the refractive error of the eye at a vertex distance is indicated, and which does not require the making of a molded impression of the eye in connection with the fitting of contact lenses. Such prescription may not be modified without confirmation in writing by the supervising physician or optometrist which shall be filed by the ophthalmic dispenser with the original prescription; and
    2. the ophthalmic dispenser shall direct the patient to return to the supervising physician or optometrist who shall check the fit and accuracy of the lenses prior to discharge by the physician or optometrist.

§67.6 Continuing education for ophthalmic dispensers.

  1. As used in this section, acceptable accrediting agency shall mean an organization accepted by the department as a reliable authority for the purpose of accreditation at the postsecondary level, applying its criteria for granting accreditation in a fair, consistent, and nondiscriminatory manner, such as an agency recognized for this purpose by the United States Department of Education.
  2. Applicability of requirement.
    1. Each licensed ophthalmic dispenser, required under Article 130 of the Education Law to register with the department to practice in New York State, shall comply with the mandatory continuing education requirements as prescribed in subdivision (c) of this section, except those licensees exempt from the requirement or who obtain an adjustment to the requirement pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subdivision.
    2. Exemptions and adjustments to the requirement.
      1. Exemptions. The following licensees shall be exempt from the continuing education requirements, as prescribed in subdivision (c) of this section:
        1. licensees for the triennial registration period during which they are first licensed to practice ophthalmic dispensing in New York State, exclusive of those first licensed to practice ophthalmic dispensing in New York State pursuant to an endorsement of a license of another jurisdiction; and
        2. licensees whose first registration date following January 1, 1998 occurs prior to January 1, 1999, for periods prior to such registration date; and
        3. licensees who are not engaged in the practice of ophthalmic dispensing, as evidenced by not being registered to practice in New York State, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (4) of subdivision (c) of this section to meet the education requirements for the resumption of practice after a lapse in practice for a licensee who has not lawfully practiced continuously in another jurisdiction throughout such lapse period.
      2. Adjustments to the requirement. An adjustment to the continuing education requirement, as prescribed in subdivision (c) of this section, shall be made by the department, provided that the licensee documents good cause that prevents compliance, which shall include, but not be limited to, any of the following reasons: poor health certified by an appropriate health care professional; or extended active duty with the armed forces of the United States; or extreme hardship which in the judgement of the department makes it impossible for the licensee to comply with the continuing education requirements in a timely manner.
  3. Mandatory continuing education requirement.
    1. Requirement for ophthalmic dispensers who are not certified to fit contact lenses. During each triennial registration period, meaning a registration period of three years' duration, an applicant for registration as an ophthalmic dispenser who is not certified to fit contact lenses shall complete at least 18 hours of formal continuing education acceptable to the department, as defined in paragraph (6) of this subdivision, provided that no more than three hours shall be in recognized areas of study pertaining to the dispensing and fitting of contact lenses and no more than three hours shall consist of self-study courses.
    2. Requirement for ophthalmic dispensers who are certified to fit contact lenses. During each triennial registration period, meaning a registration period of three years' duration, an applicant for registration as an ophthalmic dispenser who is certified to fit contact lenses shall complete 20 hours of formal continuing education acceptable to the department, as defined in paragraph (6) of this subdivision, provided that at least 10 hours shall be in recognized areas of study pertinent to the dispensing and fitting of contact lenses and no more than three hours shall consist of self-study courses.
    3. Any licensed ophthalmic dispenser whose first registration date following January 1, 1998 occurs less than three years from that date, but on or after January 1, 1999, shall complete continuing education hours on a prorated basis at the rate of one-half hour of acceptable formal continuing education per month for the period beginning January 1, 1998 up to the first registration date thereafter. Such continuing education shall be completed during the period beginning January 1, 1998 and ending before the first day of the new registration period or at the option of the licensee during any time in the previous registration period.
    4. Requirement for lapse in practice.
      1. A licensee returning to the practice of ophthalmic dispensing after a lapse in practice, as evidenced by not being registered to practice in New York State, whose first registration date after such lapse in practice and following January 1, 1998 occurs less than three years from January 1, 1998, but on or after January 1, 1999, shall be required to complete:
        1. at least one-half hour of acceptable formal continuing education for each month beginning with January 1, 1998 until the beginning of the new registration period, which shall be completed for a licensee who has not lawfully practiced ophthalmic dispensing continuously in another jurisdiction throughout such lapse period, in the 12-month period before the beginning of the new registration period; and for the licensee who has lawfully practiced ophthalmic dispensing continuously in another jurisdiction throughout such lapse period, in the new registration period or at the option of the licensee in the period beginning the 36 months before the commencement of the new registration period and ending at the conclusion of such registration period; and
        2. for a licensee who has not lawfully practiced ophthalmic dispensing continuously in another jurisdiction throughout such lapse period, at least six hours of acceptable formal continuing education in each successive 12-month period to meet the regular continuing education requirement of the new registration period; and for a licensee who has lawfully practiced ophthalmic dispensing continuously in another jurisdiction throughout such lapse period, the regular continuing education requirement during the new registration period.
      2. Except as prescribed in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph for registrations therein specified, the licensee who returns to the practice of ophthalmic dispensing after a lapse in practice in which the licensee was not registered to practice in New York State and did not lawfully practice ophthalmic dispensing continuously in another jurisdiction throughout the lapse period, shall be required to complete:
        1. the continuing education requirement applicable to the period of time the licensee was registered in the licensee's last registration period; and
        2. at least one-half hour of acceptable formal continuing education for each month of lapsed registration up to a maximum of the regular continuing education requirement of 18 or 20 hours, as applicable, which shall be completed in the 12 months before the beginning of the new registration period; and
        3. at least six hours of acceptable formal continuing education in each succeeding 12-month period to meet the regular continuing education requirement, after such registration is reissued, until the next registration date.
      3. Except as prescribed in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph for registrations therein specified, the licensee who returns to the practice of ophthalmic dispensing after a lapse in practice in which the licensee was not registered to practice in New York State but did lawfully practice ophthalmic dispensing continuously in another jurisdiction throughout the lapse period, shall be required to complete:
        1. the continuing education requirement applicable to the period of time the licensee was registered in the licensee's last registration period; and
        2. at least one-half hour of acceptable formal continuing education for each month of lapsed registration up to a maximum of the regular continuing education requirement of 18 or 20 hours, as applicable, which shall be completed in the new registration period, or at the option of the licensee in the period beginning 36 months before the commencement of the new registration period and ending at the conclusion of the new registration period; and
        3. the regular continuing education requirement during the new registration period.
    5. Proration. If a registration period is less than three years in duration, a licensed ophthalmic dispenser shall complete acceptable formal continuing education at the rate of one-half hour of continuing education per month for such registration period.
    6. To be acceptable to the department, formal continuing education shall be formal courses of learning, including but not limited to collegiate level credit and non-credit courses, professional development programs, and technical sessions, which contribute to professional practice in ophthalmic dispensing:
      1. in any one or more of the following curricular areas: theoretical optics; or ophthalmic optics; or contact lens optics; or ocular anatomy; or ocular physiology; or ocular anomalies; or ocular pharmacology; or fitting, adjusting, and dispensing ophthalmic and contact lenses; or verification and interpretation of prescriptions; or infection control; or sterile procedures; or legal and regulatory issues; or patient counseling; or other topics which contribute to the professional practice of ophthalmic dispensing as defined in section 7121 of the Education Law; or other matters of health care, law, and ethics which contribute to the health and welfare of the public; and
      2. obtained from a sponsor approved by the department pursuant to subdivision (h) of this section.
  4. Renewal of registration. At each reregistration, licensed ophthalmic dispensers shall certify to the department that they have either complied with the continuing education requirements, as prescribed in subdivision (c) of this section; or are subject to an exemption or adjustment to such continuing education requirements, as prescribed in subdivision (b) of this section.
  5. Conditional registration.
    1. The department shall issue a conditional registration to a licensee who attests to or admits to noncompliance with the continuing education requirements of this section, provided that such licensee meets the following requirements:
      1. the licensee agrees to remedy such deficiency within the conditional registration period;
      2. the licensee agrees to complete the regular continuing education requirement during such conditional registration period; and
      3. the licensee agrees to complete additional continuing education during such conditional registration period, which the department may require to ensure the licensee's proper delivery of ophthalmic dispensing care consistent with the licensee's practice of ophthalmic dispensing.
    2. The duration of such conditional registration shall not exceed one year and shall not be renewed or extended.
  6. Licensee records. Each licensee subject to this section shall maintain, or ensure access by the department to, a record of completed continuing education, which includes: the title of the program, the number of hours completed, the sponsor's name and any identifying number, attendance verification, and the date and location of the program. Such records shall be retained for at least six years from the date of completion of the program and shall be available for review by the department in the administration of the requirements of this section.
  7. Measurement of continuing education study. Continuing education credit shall be granted only for formal programs of learning that meet the requirements set forth in subdivision (c) of this section. A minimum of 50 minutes of study shall equal one hour of continuing education credit. For credit-bearing university or college courses, each semester-hour of credit shall equal 15 hours of continuing education credit, and each quarter-hour of credit shall equal 10 hours of continuing education credit.
  8. Sponsor approval.
    1. The department shall conduct a review of sponsors that apply for approval to offer continuing education to licensed ophthalmic dispensers.
    2. Organizations desiring to offer continuing education to licensed ophthalmic dispensers based upon a department review under this subdivision shall submit, with the fee as set forth in subdivision (i) of this section, an application for advance approval as a sponsor at least 90 days prior to the date for the commencement of such continuing education, that documents that the organization:
      1. will offer courses of study in any one or more of the following curricular areas: theoretical optics; or ophthalmic optics; or contact lens optics; or ocular anatomy; or ocular physiology; or ocular anomalies; or ocular pharmacology; or fitting, adjusting, and dispensing ophthalmic and contact lenses; or verification and interpretation of prescriptions; or infection control; or sterile procedures; or legal and regulatory issues; or patient counseling; or other topics which contribute to the professional practice of ophthalmic dispensing as defined in section 7121 of the Education Law; or other matters of health care, law, and ethics which contribute to the health and welfare of the public;
      2. is an organized entity, including but not limited to, an institution that offers a program in ophthalmic dispensing accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency; or a national, State, or local ophthalmic dispensing association; or a hospital or health maintenance organization; which is an entity that meets the requirements of this subdivision;
      3. has adequate resources, including but not limited to, facilities and equipment, to support the courses that will be offered;
      4. provides course instructors who are qualified to teach the courses which will be offered, including but not limited to, faculty of a program in ophthalmic dispensing accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency; or instructors who are authorities in the health sciences specially qualified, in the opinion of the State Board for Ophthalmic Dispensing, to conduct such courses;
      5. has a method of adequately assessing the learning of participants, and describes such method; and
      6. will maintain records for at least six years from the date of completion of coursework, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, the name and curriculum vitae of the faculty, a record of attendance of licensed ophthalmic dispensers in such coursework, an outline of the course of instruction, date and location of the coursework, and the number of hours for completion of the coursework. In the event an approved sponsor discontinues operation, the governing body of such sponsor shall notify the department and shall transfer all records as directed by the department.
    3. Sponsors shall be approved for a three-year term.
    4. The department may conduct site visits of or request information from a sponsor to ensure compliance with the requirements of this subdivision, and a sponsor shall cooperate with the department in permitting such site visits and in providing such information.
    5. A determination by the department that a sponsor is not meeting the standards set forth in this subdivision shall result in the denial or termination of the approved status of the sponsor.
  9. Fees.
    1. At the beginning of each registration period, a mandatory continuing education fee of $45 shall be collected from licensees engaged in the practice of ophthalmic dispensing in New York State, except for those exempt from the requirement pursuant to subparagraph (i) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of this section. This fee shall be in addition to the registration fee required by section 7124 of the Education Law.
    2. Licensees applying for a conditional registration, pursuant to the requirements of subdivision (e) of this section, shall pay a fee that is the same as and in addition to, the fee for the triennial registration required by section 7124 of the Education Law. In addition, such licensees shall pay the $45 mandatory continuing education fee.
    3. Organizations desiring to offer continuing education to licensed ophthalmic dispensers shall submit an application fee of $900 with its application for the issuance of a permit from the department to become an approved sponsor of a formal continuing education program. A fee of $900 shall accompany the application for a three-year renewal of the permit.
Last Updated: June 9, 2009