Continuing Education

For dates of our upcoming Continuing Education Seminars, please visit our Event Calendar.

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13:33-1.43 New Jersey Continuing Education Requirements

The following is an excerpt from the State Board of Examiners of Ophthalmic Dispensers and Ophthalmic Technicians statutes and regulations book. The complete text can be found online, but the online version is not entirely up to date. It should be noted that the minimum of three credits in contact lenses is only the minimum, you may acquire more then the three minimum contact lens credits during the biennial period and utilize them towards your twelve credit requirement.

You should also be aware that the Board can at any time request from any licensee verification of completion of this requirement and rumors have it that they will randomly be doing so on a regular basis.

Remember that only face to face classroom style courses are accepted. No internet or correspondence courses are allowed.

Always check with the Board to make certain the courses you are taking are approved. There have been reports that some of the courses that have been given by educators other then from the OANJ, which NJ Licensees have been attending have not been approved by the Board. 
You, the licensee are responsible for knowing the validity of the course being taken.

If you are asked to submit your credits to the Board, only New Jersey credits will be accepted. ABO, NCLE, New York, Florida, etc. credits are not acceptable. Although in many cases New Jersey courses are accepted by these other Boards the reverse is not always true.

You may have noticed a wallet sized version of your license attached with your renewal certificate. Do not lose it or throw it away. This pocket sized certificate is said to become the new manditory identification tag, replacing all other various identification/name tags currently being used by licensees in the state.

Maintenance of Continuing Education Credits is Mandatory for All New Jersey Licensed Opticians

(a) An ophthalmic dispenser shall indicate on the license renewal form that he or she has completed the continuing education requirements as outlined in (b) below.  Ophthalmic dispensers applying for their first biennial renewal are exempt from this mandatory continuing education requirement.

(b) Each ophthalmic dispenser licensed by the Board shall successfully complete 12 credits per biennial period of approved continuing education course work, of which three such credits shall be in the dispensing of contact lensesin compliance with N.J.A.C. 13:33-3.2.  One credit shall equal one hour of attendance at an approved course.  Two credits may be carried over into a succeeding biennial period only if earned during the last six months of the preceding biennial period.

(c) The ophthalmic dispenser shall maintain sponsor verifications that he or she has completed the continuing education courses as part of his or her records for a period of four years.  Falsification of sponsor verifications may result in an appearance before the Board, penalties and/or disciplinary action.  The Board may request a review of an ophthalmic dispenser's continuing education records at any time.  Any ophthalmic dispenser who isunable to verify that he or she has completed the continuing education requirements shall be subject to disciplinary action.

(d) The Board may waive the requirements of this section on an individual basis in cases of certified illness or undue hardship.

(e)  The Board shall approve only such continuing educational programs as are available on a reasonable non-discriminatory basis to all persons practicing ophthalmic dispensing in the State. The Board shall maintain a list of all approved courses and lecturers at the Board offices and shall furnish this information to licensees upon request. Courses to be approved for the continuing education requirement shall be in areas of ophthalmic science, study related to the human eye and its care, or such other areas of opticianry education as the Board shall designate. Speakers, lecturers and others participating in the presentation of programs shall be recognized as possessing requisite qualifications and being of recognized repute in their area of instruction.

(f) Any person desiring approval as a sponsor of a continuing education course, seminar or program shall:

1. Complete and submit the written application form provided by the Board. The application form will elicit descriptive information concerning the course offering, such as:

i. The name and address of sponsoring organization and the name of individual filing application;

ii. The title and a complete description of course offering;

iii. The date, time (beginning and end) and place of course offering;

iv. Curriculum vitae of each speaker; and

v. The mechanism to be used to assess program value. 

2. Secure Board approval prior to offering any continuing education course, seminar or program and prior to representing that any course, seminar or program fulfills the requirements of this section;

3. Notify all licensees of the time, place and date of the course being offered; and

4. Monitor the attendance at each approved course and furnish to each enrollee a verification of attendance.

(g) An ophthalmic dispenser on inactive status who seeks to reactivate his or her license shall submit proof to the Board of successful completion of 12 credits of approved continuing education course work, three of which shall be in the dispensing of contact lenses, for each biennial period of approved inactive status.



OANJ members who fulfill their continuing education at OANJ sponsored events and misplace their certificates are eligible to receive written verification and/or a transcript of those credits free of charge as a member benefit. For non-members, there will be a $50 administrative fee charged for this service.