AOC® Continuing Education Guidelines for Maintaining Certification

 

AOC CE Guidelines for 2021 (Updated September 2020)
Continuing Education Guidelines

 

For all orthoptists, and in particular those who are worried about not having enough CE hours to renew their certification in November, 2020 and 2021.  The Council is sensitive to the difficulties many are facing in earning CE during this time of COVID 19 We recognize that many planned to attend meetings which were cancelled, postponed or held virtually. Examples to name a few: AAPOS, IOA, AACO regional and national meetings.  The good news is that there have been many webinars and zoom conferences and lectures locally, nationally and internationally, most of which can be viewed [attended] live or even after the fact and still more planned for the future. Some are free and others have a small registration fee Please review the updated CE information and make note of which webinars can be included as core meeting attendance hours.

 

The Council recognizes and approves non-core CE hours, however, the majority of required CE for orthoptists must be in CORE topics:

▸ At least 30 of the required 45 credits must be earned in CORE topics
▸ At least 10 credits from attendance at meetings must be in CORE topic area
▸ CE credit is NOT awarded for CPR or exam review courses

Note: Courses approved by JCAHPO are not all in core topic areas and should not be automatically assumed to be core topics. 

CORE TOPICS:

  • Ocular anatomy and neuroanatomy (and principles of visual fields)
  • Sensory and Motor physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Optics including: Refractometry and diagnostic/therapeutic use of prisms
  • Assessment of visual acuity/visual function and fixation
  • Detection and treatment of amblyopia
  • Nystagmus
  • Eye movement disorders: Evaluation & measurement [including saccadic velocities]
  • Diagnostic evaluation, testing, measurement and treatment of:
  • Congenital/acquired, paretic/non-paretic
  • Special forms to include: Brown Syndrome, Duane Syndrome, Moebius Syndrome, Congenital Fibrosis, Floor fractures & Strabismus associated with systemic disease
  • Orthoptic management/treatment
  • Principles of strabismus surgery

For a complete list of Core Courses, refer to the ACO Syllabus of Orthoptic Instruction and Competency: essential skills for orthoptists.  Individual questions can always be directed to the American Orthoptic Council® for clarification.

 

NON-CORE TOPICS
The Council recognizes the benefit of education in all aspects of ophthalmology. Topics outside of the CORE areas which are most strongly recommended are related to the following topics and include ophthalmology sponsored/approved courses in:

  • Child Development
  • Coding related to ophthalmology upon approval from the CE Committee
  • Low vision; assessment and aids
  • Electrophysiology principles and techniques; VER, VEP, ERG, EOG
  • Contact lenses
  • Tonometry
  • Ophthalmic photography
  • Ophthalmic Operating room techniques
  • Visual Field Testing and Principals

 


HOW TO EARN CE CREDITS

Meetings / Courses
At least 10/45 hours of CE must be from attendance at meetings and MUST be in CORE topics.

  • 1:1 credit for attendance at AACO, AOC, FOREA, AAPOS, ophthalmology section of AAP, NANOS, or JCAHPO symposia, meetings and/or courses. [not all JCAHPO approvals are in core topics]
  • 1:1 credit will be given to attendance at foreign meetings if sponsored/approved by recognized orthoptic or ophthalmology organizations (ie: IOC, COC, TCOS, CLADE, PAAO, ISA, ESA, WSPOS, IPOSC)..

 

Publications/Presentations/Posters

  • 1:1 credit for instruction course presentation (2 hr course = 2 credits)
  • 10 credits for publication of a paper in a refereed journal
  • 5 credits for a talk at an AOC approved meeting (core or non-core topic)
  • 5 credits to author or presenter of AOC approved instructional video
  • 5 credits per author for a poster at an AOC recognized meeting

Note: If a presentation or poster follows the publication it may earn 2 not 5 credits. In combination the same material may earn 12 hours of CE. If the publication follows the presentation or poster the same work will receive 7 not 10 credits.

 

Webinars: New!
In-person credits [attendance] for virtual meetings and live webinars will be allowed with these requirements:

  • A live webinar must include opportunities for questions and answers between attendees and the speaker
  • A post-session evaluation is required for attendees that reflects their attendance. If an evaluation is not provided by the meeting organizer, you must submit three points that were made by the speakers for every hour of CE attendance.
  • 1:1 credit will be given for webinars and/or virtual meetings with the target audience being orthoptists and/or pediatric ophthalmologists.
  • A maximum of 15 credits from webinars and/or virtual meetings will be allowed for each year, 2020 and 2021. 

 

Informal Orthoptist Group Symposia/Case discussions

  • 2:1 Core CE for orthoptist informal group symposia:
Maximum of 10 CE credits per renewal and my not be used to fulfill attendance at meetings; approval requires post facto submission of meeting agenda and topics covered; include titles of articles discussed or diagnoses of patients discussed include list of attendees.

 

American Orthoptic Journals (AOJ) quizzes: still available from past issues

  • Quizzes are available from volumes 47-62; two separate quizzes per issue. 
  • Questions are based on the content in the article; no prior knowledge necessary
  • Cost: $40 per quiz. 
  • CE Awarded: 5 core hours of CE per quiz successfully completed
  • Order: via email [email protected] Check or money order to AOJ Quiz and mail to AOC 3914 Nakoma Road, Madison WI 53711

 

AOC Approved Basic Science DVDs: order from [email protected]

  • 1:1 core credit for viewing AOC approved videos.
  • 7 hours of CE can be earned if quiz is successfully completed

 

AAO Basic Science Course Sections V and VI 

  • 15 core CE per volume with proof of completed quiz
  • Contact AAO or AOC for instructions to obtain quiz; no fees charged.
  • 15 non-core credits for other sections

 

AACO Self-Assessment Quiz

  • 5 core credits for successful completion of quiz
  • AACO members can request quiz from AACO Education Committee Chair

 

Self Study: not to exceed 5 credits per year

  • 1:4 credit (1 credit per 4 hours of contact) offerings without prior AOC CE approval: “hands-on workshops”, viewing poster sessions, core topic reading from textbooks, journals or audio cassettes and videos.

 

The Syllabus of Orthoptic Instruction and the newly approved document, Core Competency; essential skills for Orthoptists, both contain material required of Orthoptists and form the basis of the didactic and clinical aspects of all AOC accredited Orthoptic Fellowship Programs as well as the basis of the written and oral/practical certifying examinations. Both are available for purchase from the AOC Home Office.

 

Individual questions regarding continuing education credit hours should be directed to:

AMERICAN ORTHOPTIC COUNCIL

3914 Nakoma Road, Madison, WI 53711
Telephone: 608 233-5383 
[email protected]   or   [email protected]