|(a) Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish the continuing education requirements a registrant shall meet to maintain registration. The requirements are intended to maintain and improve the quality of services provided to the public by registered spectacle dispensing opticians and registered contact lens dispensers. Continuing education credit includes programs beyond the basic preparation which are designed to promote and enrich knowledge, improve skills, and develop attitudes for the enhancement of dispensing opticians, thus improving health care to the public. The Department of State Health Services (department) assumes dispensing opticians will maintain the high standards of the profession in selecting quality educational programs to fulfill the continuing education requirements. (b) Number of hours required. Proof of having earned ten contact hours of continuing education credit in each area for which the registrant is renewing shall be required at the time of renewal for each registration issued for a two-year term. A contact hour is 50 minutes. (1) The hours must have been completed within 24 months prior to the date of expiration of a registration issued for a two-year term. (2) For a registered spectacle dispensing optician the hours must be offered or approved by the American Board of Opticianry. For a registered contact lens dispenser the hours must be offered or approved by the National Contact Lens Examiners. (3) If applying for dual registration renewal the applicant must have a total of 20 contact hours of continuing education for a registration issued for a two-year term. Half of the contact hours must be offered or approved by the American Board of Opticianry and half of the contact hours must be offered or approved by the National Contact Lens Examiners. (c) Records. The registrant shall be responsible for maintaining a record of his or her continuing education experiences. The certificates, diplomas, or other documentation verifying earning of the continuing education hours are not to be forwarded to the department at the time of renewal unless the registrant has been selected for audit by the department. Only the completed continuing education report form should accompany the renewal form and fee if the registrant has not been selected for audit. (d) Audit process. (1) The department shall select for audit a random sample of registrants for each renewal month. Audit forms shall be sent to the selected registrants at the time the renewal notice is mailed. (2) All registrants selected for audit will furnish documentation such as official transcripts, certificates, diplomas, receipts, agendas, programs, or an affidavit identifying the continuing education experience satisfactory to the department, to verify proof of having earned the continuing education hours listed on the continuing education report form. The documentation must be provided at the time the renewal form is returned to the department. (3) Failure to timely furnish this information or knowingly providing false information in the audit process or during the renewal process are grounds for suspension or revocation of the registration. (e) Reduced hours required for retired opticians providing voluntary charity care. A retired registered optician renewing under §140.280(f) of this title (relating to Renewal of Registration) is required to complete one-half of the hours regularly required for registration renewal.