|(a) Purpose. The purpose of this section is to set out the application procedures, provided for in the Texas Orthotics and Prosthetics Act, (Act), Texas Occupations Code, §§605.252 - 605.255 and 605.257 - 605.259. Unless the context clearly shows otherwise, use of the terms license, licensure, and licensing shall apply to both licenses and registrations. (b) General. (1) The board will not consider an application as officially submitted until the applicant pays the appropriate fee. The initial licensing fee and all other applicable fees must accompany the application form, as set out in §821.4 of this title (relating to Fees). (2) The executive director shall review the applications for conformity with the rules governing applications. The executive director will send a notice listing the additional materials required to applicants who do not complete the application. Application deficiencies not corrected within 30 days will result in the application being voided. (3) Family Code, §231.302, requires the disclosure of the applicant's social security number. Social security numbers are used for identification purposes and are confidential except to the child support enforcement division of the Office of the Attorney General. (c) Required application materials. (1) The application form shall contain: (A) specific information regarding personal data, social security number, birth date, place of employment, a list of all previous jobs held during the six-year period prior to the date of application to the board, licenses and certifications issued to the applicant, misdemeanor and felony convictions, educational and training background; (B) information regarding Texas residency at the time of application, if required to qualify for licensure; (C) specific and complete information regarding prosthetic and/or orthotic work experience to include: (i) verifiable information regarding length of time the applicant has been engaged in extensive prosthetic or orthotic practice as defined in §821.2 of this title (relating to Definitions) in the State of Texas and outside the State of Texas; (ii) verifiable information regarding length of the applicant experience as a prosthetic or orthotic assistant or technician; and (D) a statement that the applicant has read and agrees to abide by the Orthotics and Prosthetics Act and board rules; (E) the applicant's permission for the board to obtain information or references it deems fit to decide the applicant's qualifications and fitness before or after the board issues the license; (F) a statement that the information in the application is truthful and that the applicant understands that providing false or misleading information that is material in determining the applicant's qualifications may result in the voiding of the application and failure to grant a license or the revocation of a license issued; (G) a statement that the applicant shall advise the board of his or her current mailing address within 30 days of an address change; (H) a statement that the applicant, if issued a license, shall return the license to the board upon the surrender, revocation or suspension of the license; (I) a statement that the applicant understands that fees submitted in the licensure process are not refundable, unless the processing time is exceeded without good cause as set out in subsection (i)(1)(A) - (B) of this section; (J) a statement that the applicant understands that materials submitted in the licensure process become the property of the board and are not returnable; and (K) the signature of the applicant, dated and notarized. (2) The board will accept as proof of completion of a degree or course work an official transcript from a regionally accredited college or university. (3) Applicants shall be responsible for submitting board reference forms from a total of two licensed physicians, practitioners, or person's licensed or certified by another state or national organization in orthotics and/or prosthetics who can attest to the applicant's skills and professional standards of extensive prosthetic and/or orthotic practice. (4) Information concerning licenses, certificates or registrations issued to the applicant by other organizations, states, territories, or jurisdictions on official board forms. (5) The assistant applicant must sign a statement acknowledging that he or she may only practice within their scope of practice, under the supervision of a licensed prosthetist, licensed orthotist, or licensed prosthetist/orthotist whose license is current, otherwise the assistant is subject to disciplinary action as set forth in §821.20 of this title (relating to Complaints). This statement must include the names and signatures of the clinical supervisors and must have been executed within 30 days of the date the applicant submitted the application to the board. (6) The technician applicant must sign a statement acknowledging that he or she may only practice in accordance with the definition for registered orthotic technician, registered prosthetic technician, or registered prosthetic/orthotic technician, as set out in §821.2(39) - (41) of this title, under the supervision of a licensed prosthetist, licensed orthotist, or licensed prosthetist/orthotist whose license is current, otherwise the technician is subject to disciplinary action as set forth in §821.20 of this title. This statement must include the names and signatures of the clinical supervisors and must have been executed within 30 days of the date the applicant submitted the application to the board. (7) At the time of application, an applicant for a license as a prosthetist, orthotist, or prosthetist/orthotist must submit with the application the names of assistants, technicians and clinical residents who provide prosthetic and/or orthotic services under the applicant's supervision or direction. The licensee shall notify the board, in writing within 30 days of the event, if one or more assistants, technicians or clinical residents are no longer under the licensee's supervision or direction, or if the licensee supervises or directs one or more additional assistants, technicians, or clinical residents. (d) Determination of eligibility. The board shall make the final determination on the eligibility of all applicants. The board may delegate approval of applications for licensing or registration to the executive director or a committee of the board. All applications approved by a committee or the executive director are subject to ratification at the next regular meeting of the board. (e) Disapproved applications. Should the board disapprove an application; the reasons for disapproval will be stated in writing. The applicant may file further information for the board's consideration regarding the applicant's qualifications for the license. The board may disapprove an application if the applicant: (1) has not met the eligibility and application requirements for the license for which application was made; (2) has failed to pass the examination prescribed in §821.7 of this title (relating to Examinations for Licensure as a Prosthetist, Orthotist, or Prosthetist/Orthotist), if required to qualify for the license for which application was made; (3) has failed to remit required fees; (4) has failed or refused to properly complete or submit application form(s) or endorsement(s) or has knowingly presented false or misleading information on the application form, or other form or documentation required by the board to verify the applicant's qualifications for a license; (5) has obtained or attempted to obtain a license issued under the Act by bribery or fraud; (6) has made or filed a false report or record made in the person's capacity as a prosthetist, orthotist, prosthetist/orthotist, prosthetist assistant, orthotist assistant, prosthetist/orthotist assistant, prosthetic technician, orthotic technician, prosthetic/orthotic technician; (7) has intentionally or negligently failed to file a report or record required by law; (8) has intentionally obstructed or induced another to intentionally obstruct the filing of a report or record required by law; (9) has engaged in unprofessional conduct including the violation of the prosthetic and orthotic standards of practice as established by the board in §821.21 of this title (relating to Professional Standards and Disciplinary Provisions); (10) has developed an incapacity that prevents prosthetic or orthotic practice with reasonable skill, competence, or safety to the public as the result of: (A) an illness; (B) drug or alcohol dependency; or (C) another physical or mental condition or illness. (11) has failed to report a known violation of the Act by another person to the department; (12) has violated a provision of the Act, a rule adopted under the Act, an order of the board previously entered in disciplinary proceedings, or an order to comply with a subpoena issued by the board; (13) has had a license revoked, suspended, or otherwise subjected to adverse action or been denied a license by another licensing authority in another state, territory, or country; (14) has been convicted of or pled nolo contendere to a crime directly related to prosthetic and/or orthotic practices; (15) has been excluded from participation in Medicare, Medicaid, or other federal or state cost-reimbursement programs due to fraudulent activities; (16) has committed a prohibited act under the Act, §§605.351 - 605.353; or (17) has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor pursuant to Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 53, concerning felony or misdemeanor convictions. (f) Applications proposed for disapproval. If the board determines that the application should not be approved, the executive director shall give the applicant written notice of the reason for the proposed disapproval and of the opportunity for a formal hearing as set out in §821.20 of this title. Within 14 days after receipt of the written notice, the applicant shall give written notice to the executive director to waive or request a hearing. If the applicant fails to respond within 14 days after receipt of the notice of opportunity or if the applicant notifies the executive director that the hearing be waived, the board shall finally deny the application. (g) Reapplication after denial. An applicant whose application has been disapproved under subsection (e)(4) - (16) of this section may reapply after one year from the disapproval date and shall submit a current application, the application fee and proof, satisfactory to the board, of compliance with the requirements of this chapter and the provisions of the Act in effect at the time of reapplication. (h) Defaulters on Texas guaranteed student loans. The board will issue an initial license to a qualified applicant who has defaulted on a Texas guaranteed student loan. The board will not renew the license until a repayment plan has been reached with the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation (TGSLC) and a copy of the certification of the repayment agreement from TGSLC is filed with the board office. (i) Application processing. (1) The board shall comply with the following procedures in processing applications for a license. (A) The following times shall apply from receipt of a completed application and acceptance date for filing or until the date a written notice is issued stating the application is deficient and additional specific information is required. A written notice of application approval may be sent instead of the notice of acceptance of a complete application. The times are as follows: (i) letter of acceptance of application for renewal--30 days; and (ii) letter of application deficiency--30 days. (B) The following times shall apply from the receipt of the last item necessary to complete the application until the date of issuance of written notice approving or denying the application. The times for denial include notification of the proposed decision and of the opportunity, if required, to show compliance with the law and of the opportunity for a formal hearing. The times are as follows: (i) letter of approval--42 days; and (ii) letter of denial of license or registration--90 days. (2) Times for contested cases related to the denial of licensure, registration or renewal are not included with the times listed in paragraph (1) of this subsection. The time for conducting a contested case hearing runs from the date the board receives a written hearing request until the board's decision is final and appealable. A hearing may be completed within three to nine months, but may be shorter or longer depending on the particular circumstances of the hearing, the workload of the department and the scheduling of board meetings.