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TITLE 22EXAMINING BOARDS
PART 7STATE COMMITTEE OF EXAMINERS IN THE FITTING AND DISPENSING OF HEARING INSTRUMENTS
CHAPTER 141FITTING AND DISPENSING OF HEARING INSTRUMENTS
RULE §141.14Continuing Education Requirements

(a) This section establishes the requirements and procedures for continuing education. These requirements are intended to maintain and improve the quality of their professional services in fitting and dispensing of hearing instruments that are provided to the public; to keep the licensee knowledgeable of current research, techniques and practices; and to provide other resources which will improve skill and competence in the fitting and dispensing of hearing instruments.

(b) A minimum of 20 contact hours of continuing education is required to be completed during each two-year renewal period. A two-year renewal period begins on the first day after the previous license expiration date and ends on the new license expiration date.

(c) A contact hour shall be 55 minutes of attendance in an approved continuing education course.

(d) No more than 10 contact hours per renewal period may be earned from an approved online continuing education course offered by an approved continuing education sponsor.

(e) No more than 5 contact hours per renewal period may be earned from an approved continuing education course offered by an approved manufacturer continuing education sponsor.

(f) On written request to the department, a licensee may take the state licensing examination. A licensee who pays the examination fee and passes the examination shall be exempt from the continuing education requirement for the renewal period in which the examination is taken.

(g) A licensee may be credited with continuing education hours for a published book or article written by the licensee that contributes to the licensee's professional competence. The continuing education subcommittee may grant credit hours based on the degree that the published book or article advanced knowledge regarding the fitting and dispensing of hearing instruments. No more than 5 contact hours per renewal period may be granted for preparation of a publication.

(h) The committee may renew the license of a licensee who has not complied with the continuing education requirements if the licensee:

  (1) has served in the regular armed forces of the United States during any part of the 24 months before the end of the two-year renewal period;

  (2) submits proof from an attending physician that the licensee suffered a serious disabling illness or physical disability that prevented compliance with the continuing education requirements during the 24 months before the end of the two-year renewal period; or

  (3) was licensed for the first time during the 24 months before the end of the two-year renewal period.

(i) If selected for audit, a licensee shall provide written proof of compliance with this section, including written proof of attendance or completion of approved courses completed during the renewal period.

(j) Course categories. Continuing education shall be acceptable if the education is described in subsection (f) or (g) of this section or falls in one or more of the following categories:

  (1) participation in approved continuing education courses offered by approved continuing education sponsors;

  (2) completion of academic courses at an accredited college or university in areas directly supporting development of skills and competence in the fitting and dispensing of hearing instruments; and/or

  (3) participation or teaching in programs directly related to the fitting and dispensing of hearing instruments (e.g., institutes, seminars, workshops, or conferences) which are approved or offered by an accredited college or university.

(k) In accordance with the Act, continuing education courses must be provided by a department-approved continuing education sponsor. An individual or organization may request approval as a continuing education sponsor by submitting an application to the department. The department may consult as needed with a committee member designated by the presiding officer regarding the approval of continuing education sponsors.

(l) After review of the continuing education sponsor application, the applicant may be approved by the department as either a manufacturer continuing education sponsor or a non-manufacturer continuing education sponsor.

(m) Upon approval, the continuing education sponsor applicant shall pay the continuing education sponsor fee as set out in §141.6 of this title (relating to Application Procedures). The approved sponsor status shall be effective for one year from the date of receipt of the sponsor fee.

(n) Continuing education sponsors are required to renew their approved sponsor status annually by completing and returning to the department the sponsor renewal form and the continuing education sponsor fee. If not renewed on or before the annual renewal date, the continuing education sponsor must reapply for approved sponsor status.

(o) The definitions of "manufacturer" and "non-manufacturer" found in §141.2 of this title (relating to Definitions) do not apply to a continuing education sponsor approved prior to September 1, 2011 and who was designated by the continuing education subcommittee as either a manufacturer or non-manufacturer sponsor. If a continuing education sponsor approved prior to September 1, 2011 does not renew the annual sponsor approval, that sponsor must comply with all requirements and procedures of this section upon reapplication for approved sponsor status.

(p) Each continuing education course offered by an approved sponsor must be submitted to the department on the required course approval form.

(q) The department shall approve all continuing education courses submitted by approved sponsors. The department may consult as needed with a committee member designated by the presiding officer regarding the approval of continuing education courses.

(r) Each continuing education course will be evaluated by the department on the basis of the following criteria:

  (1) relevance of the subject matter to increase or support the development of skills and competence in the fitting and dispensing of hearing instruments or in studies or disciplines related to fitting and dispensing of hearing instruments;

  (2) objectives of specific information and skills to be learned; and

  (3) subject matter, educational methods, materials, qualifications of instructors and presenters, and facilities utilized, including the frequency and duration of sessions, and the adequacy to implement learner objectives.

(s) Approved sponsors who offer online continuing education must submit each course for approval. Course approval shall not be given for a website or domain name.

(t) Approved continuing education courses and sponsors will be listed on the department's website.

(u) An organization or individual who meets the required criteria and is approved by the department may advertise as an approved sponsor of continuing education for licensed fitters and dispensers of hearing instruments.

(v) Each continuing education sponsor shall provide each participant with a certificate of completion that documents the participant's name, the continuing education course number, the number of approved continuing education hours, the title and date(s) of the program as approved by the department, and the name of the approved continuing education sponsor.

(w) To receive credit for completion of academic work the licensee must submit an official transcript(s) from accredited school(s) showing completion of hours in appropriate areas for which the licensee received a passing grade.

(x) The committee will not give continuing education credit to any licensee for:

  (1) education incidental to the regular professional activities of a licensee such as knowledge gained through experience or research;

  (2) organization activity such as serving on committees or councils or as an officer in a professional organization; and

  (3) any program which is not described in, or in compliance with, this section.


Source Note: The provisions of this §141.14 adopted to be effective December 4, 2012, 37 TexReg 9495

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