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Introduction

The purpose of this document is to outline the criteria that NACOR shall use in determining the number and type of credits it awards to Continuing Education (CE) activity submissions. Adherence to these criteria, and their associated guidelines, is considered indicative of the capability to provide quality continuing Opticianry education programs and constitutes the primary basis for recognition by the National Association of Canadian Optician Regulators as a NACOR-Accredited Program of continuing Opticianry education.

The document is intended to act as a guideline for the providers of continuing education activities.

Contained within this document shall be the current methods of accreditation evaluation, as well as a detailed breakdown of the requirements for CE providers who wish to obtain credits for activities they will be sponsoring.

By accrediting a program NACOR does not imply any endorsement of any products, services or companies associated with any accredited activity.
Accreditation granted by the NACOR applies for 3 years from the time the activity was originally accredited.

NACOR accreditation does not apply to Ontario and Quebec. Contact these provinces directly for information on submitting continuing education for accreditation.

Criteria for Accreditation

1. Every submission must be an exact representation of what will be presented.

2. Submit a completed Request for Continuing Education Activity Accreditation Application form.

3. A detailed outline or course abstract listing specific learning outcomes must be submitted for each course. Educational goals and specific learning outcomes should reflect the relationship of the program topic(s) or content to modern Opticianry practice.

4. The intended audience and content level must be specified.

5. Course content must be generic in nature and presented in an objective manner.

6. The course length and method of presentation must be indicated on the Request for Continuing Education Activity Accreditation Application form.

7. Speakers must be qualified by education or experience to provide quality instruction in the relevant subject area for each course they are presenting.

8. An activity must be an organized program of learning that will contribute to the advancement and enhancement of professional competency and scientific knowledge in the practice of Opticianry, and be designed to reflect the educational needs of Opticians.

9. A syllabus or other handout material providing a general outline of the continuing education presentation should be developed and made available to participants at each program offered.

10. The Provider shall give evidence to each participant, in the form of a statement of credit or other official document, of successful completion of the continuing Opticianry education program, in a timely fashion and such as the participant may reasonably require.

11. The promotion and advertising of each continuing education
activity shall be conducted in a responsible fashion.

Methods of Delivery

The following are examples of types of activities that are considered for CE accreditation:

1. Live Presentations (Seminar, Lecture or Workshop)
2. Distance Learning
3. Scholastic (Educational Institution Course)
4. Self Organised Study Groups

Method of Credit Type Selection:

Course submissions are considered for accreditation in one of the four recognized categories of credits (Eyeglass, Contact Lens, Eyeglass or Contact Lens, or Related Fields).

1. Every submission will be initially considered for one (1) credit.
2. In order to be considered for accreditation, the submission must be noticeably different from any previous submission by the same provider.
3. Additional credits will be awarded where a submission meets the additional credit requirements as listed within this document (see “Additional Credit Requirements” section below).
4. The regulatory boards in Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island will only accept a maximum of one (1) credit.

Course submissions: Minimum Criteria for one (1) Credit

1. Live Presentations (Seminar/ Lecture/ Workshop)

a) Minimum 45 minutes of actual presentation time (does not include set-up or Q&A).
b) A speaker biography or curriculum vitae must be included for every eligible presenter.
c) Complete copy of all media that will be presented must be included (e.g.: PowerPoint presentations).
d) For any submission to be considered for an eyeglass or contact lens credit, the speaker/ presenter must be an
Optician, MD, Educator or Optometrist in their jurisdiction. If the presenter has worked at least two years full time in a specific field, then that presenter will be considered an expert in that field and therefore will qualify as a presenter for an eyeglass or contact lens activity.
e) In the case of a workshop, the provider must provide what equipment will be used, the process for learning and the ratio of attendee/workstation with request.

2. Distance Learning/Distance Modules

a) The Provider must supply the method used to verify completion.
b) Complete copy of all media/documentation used must be included.
c) Opticians must achieve a minimum mark of 70% on a test to receive credit(s).

3. Scholastic (Educational Institution Course)

a) The Provider must submit a course outline.
b) The Provider must supply the method used to verify completion.
c) There is a maximum of 10 credits for any program or course.

4. Self Organised Study Groups

a) The Coordinator must submit a course outline or study material, such as magazines or textbooks. If the meeting was a discussion group, the coordinator will submit a list of the guest speakers and topics covered.
b) The Coordinator must submit information on the time commitment.
c) The Coordinator must supply the method used to verify completion


Additional Credit Requirements

Additional credits will be awarded to an activity when:

1. The submission is longer than the initial 45 minutes, (each additional 45 minute interval will qualify for credits based on the table attached to this document).

2. Submissions that instruct opticians in current research in ophthalmic education and/or medical information to increase ophthalmic technical skills (other than product presentations) - will be awarded the minimum credits and receive content multiplier of 2x the sum of the awarded credits

3. Submissions with subject matter identified by NACOR as necessary to train opticians to meet changes in ophthalmic technology or ophthalmic demands of Canadian consumers will receive the minimum credits and receive a content multiplier of 3x the sum of the awarded credits.

Credit Slip Requirements

The intention of outlining these requirements is to ensure that the participant receives all relevant information pertaining to a completed activity.

All statements of credit and/or other means of documenting credit should include the following informational items:

1. The name of the Optician who participated in the activity.
2. The registration number of the Optician who participated in the activity.
3. The signature of the Optician who participated in the activity.
4. The NACOR program course number.
5. The title of the activity (must be the same as the title given on the accreditation request form).
6. The name of the provider.
7. The date of the activity.
8. Signature of the administrator responsible for the administration of the activity.

In addition, the credit slips should be divisible into three identical sections (see below for specific sections):

1. Participants’ copy (Given to the Optician upon successful completion of the activity).
2. Participants’ records (Given to the Optician upon successful completion of the activity).
3. Sponsor’s records (Retained by sponsor)
Credit slips should be distributed only following the completion of the program. Duplicate or replacement credit slips should be clearly marked as "Replacement Copy" or "Duplicate Copy".

Promotion & Advertising

Adequate advance information should be provided by the provider to prospective participants in order to enable them to be well-informed of continuing education programs. Promotional materials (e.g., brochures, advertisements, memoranda, letters of invitation, or other announcements) should clearly and explicitly include at least the following key informational items:

1. The educational goals and specific learning objectives of the particular program;
2. The nature of the target audience(s) that may best benefit from participation in the program;
3. The name of the presenter/speaker and their credentials;
4. The fees for the program and a clear statement of the items that are and are not covered by those fees, as well as any applicable deadlines for pre-program cancellations and fee refunds;
5. The schedule of the educational activities.
6. A full description of all requirements established by the Provider for successful completion of the continuing education program and subsequent awarding of credit (e.g., passing a post-test at a pre-specified proficiency level, completing a program evaluation form, participating in all sessions or certain combinations of sessions which have been designed as a program package, etc.).
7. Acknowledgment of outside organization(s), if any, providing
financial support for any component of the educational activity.
8. In the case of ongoing programs (mediated and live), the initial
release date.
9. In the case of distance learning/distance modules and
other forms of mediated instruction all of the informational
items noted in above should be incorporated directly into the
printed, recorded and/or otherwise transmitted educational
activities and materials.
10. Promotional materials should represent the educational program being offered in a fair and responsible manner.

Record keeping

Records of participation and credit awarded should be kept for a minimum period of five years.

Monitoring

With advance notice, NACOR reserves the right to send a representative to attend any accredited courses for the purposes of reviewing the quality of the presentation and the accuracy of the information on the course submission. The review consists of ensuring that the course is taking place at the time and location and follows the submission for the accreditation as indicated on the course submission, and the relevance of the accompanying examination, if applicable.

If there are any inconsistencies between the submission and the presentation, NACOR will ask the provider/sponsor to rectify the inconsistencies. NACOR reserves the right to suspend the accreditation granted until the provider/sponsor addresses the inconsistencies.

Fees

Completed submissions received in the NACOR office 45 days or more prior to the scheduled event will be charged a fee of $75/course submission plus GST/HST.

Completed submissions received in the NACOR office less than 45 days prior to the scheduled event will be charged a fee of $150/ course submission plus GST/HST.

Completed submissions received in the NACOR office for reaccreditation will be charged a fee of $50/course submission plus GST/HST.

Payment guarantees a review of the activity by NACOR. NACOR is under no obligation to accredit, except under the conditions outlined within this document. Payment does not guarantee that the activity will receive credits.

If NACOR sends back a submission for revision the provider will not be charged again provided the revised submission is returned to NACOR within 15 days of the date of notification.

Credit definitions

EG - Eyeglass

Credits in this category represent topics associated with eyeglass technology. Fabrication, fitting techniques, emerging technology and product specific topics related to eyeglasses are all examples of this credit.

CL - Contact Lens

Credits in this category represent topics associated with contact lens technology. Fabrication, fitting techniques, emerging technology and product specific topics related to contact lenses are all examples of this credit.

EC - Eyeglass or Contact Lens

Credits in this category represent topics that are applicable to both eyeglass and contact lens dispensing. Annual General Meetings and regulatory presentations are included. Examples include, but are not limited too:

• Refraction

1. advanced level of knowledge of accommodation
2. presbyopia related to accommodation
3. hypermetropia related to accommodation
4. correction of visual error and principles of refraction
5. Demonstrate knowledge of retinoscopy in terms of the static plane mirror theory, with and against movements, speed of reflex, determination of the spectacle refraction retinoscopy in astigmatism and streak retinoscopy
6. Demonstrate understanding of the principles of phorometry
7. Explain the principles and procedures of the subjective examination
8. Assess visual function and refractive status

• Vision Screening

1. Demonstrate knowledge of instruments and procedures used in visual assessment
2. Discuss the keratometer and slit lamp as analytical instruments
3. Explain principles and procedures for use of the Topographer, Keratometer, Retinoscope, Slit lamp, Phoroptor, Autorefractor, wave front devices and Trial lens sets
4. Describe tests used to verify stereoscopic vision
5. Perform clinical procedures to assess visual function and refractive status.
 Conduct visual acuity measurements
 Conduct testing for ocular motility/versions
 Conduct cover-uncover/alternating cover testing
 Conduct corneal reflex testing
 Conduct near point convergence/accommodation test
 Conduct testing for pupillary function
 colour vision verification
 peripheral visual fields verification

• Low vision (emerging technology, techniques, etc.)

• Jurisprudence

• Patient management

1. Demonstrate knowledge of ophthalmic pharmacology

• Anatomy &/or ocular pathology

1. Apply knowledge of anatomy and physiology of the visual system to assess refractive status
2. Demonstrate an understanding of contrast sensitivity.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the use of high and low contrast sensitivity charts

RF – Related Field (General Business/Other)

Credits in this category represent topics associated with general business practices. Examples include:

• Financial and commercial services
• Sales techniques & marketing techniques
• Financial, business planning
• Management & employer specific courses
• Ophthalmic surgical techniques
• Emergency medical courses, emergency intervention, CPR & first aid courses

APPENDIX 1

Outline of Evaluation – How Course Accreditation Works

A. Course submission: the sponsor or applicant must complete an application form for each course and presenter, and submit the application in writing with the required documentation.

B. NACOR will review documents submitted by the provider.

C. NACOR will then:

• Accept and assign a CE category to the course: EG, CL, EC, or RF; or
• Reject the course submission.
• Determine the number of credits to be awarded.
• If content warrants assign a course credit multiplier to the submission.

D. NACOR will assign a course code.

E. NACOR will post the course on NACOR website, by listing the course code, title and assigned credits.

F. Send a letter, fax or email to provider to confirm the course accreditation.

G. If NACOR rejects the course submission, the provider may appeal to NACOR in writing within 10 days of receipt of rejection notice.

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CE Accreditation
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