Optometrist Continuing Education 2022


  • It’s important to stay informed about optometrist continuing education for 2022 to be sure you understand state requirements and changes since COVID-19.
  • All states require an optometrist to earn CE credits to maintain licensure.
  • Each state carries its own optometrist CE requirements that licensed professionals must meet.
  • Online and live CE opportunities are available but count differently towards recertification.
  • Know your state’s CE requirements and plan ahead to ensure you complete your credits on time.

Pandemic-related travel restrictions have transformed optometrist continuing education opportunities, and each state maintains varying requirements regarding licensure. Understand optometry best practices for continuing education in 2022 to maintain your qualifications without interruption.

Optometrist Continuing Education 2022

Optometrist continuing education (CE) ensures that all optometrists stay up-to-date on topics, research, and best practices in optometry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, all states require optometrists to hold a license to practice.

This license is earned by completing an exam conducted by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO). Optometrists can also become board certified by taking an exam through the American Board of Optometry (ABO).

All states also require optometrists to take CE courses to renew their licenses. CE requirements vary by state for licensed optometrists. Board certified optometrists must meet additional CE requirements set forth by the ABO.

The Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO) founded the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE) to act as an accreditation body for optometrist CE classes. Most licensing boards accept accredited optometrist CE courses to maintain an optometry license.

Examples of State-Level CE Requirements

ARBO maintains a searchable database for each state’s optometrist CE requirements. Each entry explains the required CE credits needed to maintain a therapeutic pharmaceutical agent (TPA) designation and any specifics related to those requirements.

For example, in Colorado, optometrists must achieve 24 hours of CE within two years. They can get up to 8 hours in online or correspondence courses and may earn CE credits by observing at a clinical facility; however, there are strict limits on earning credits this way.

Additionally, Colorado states that study groups, drug company sales pitches, and practice management topics don’t qualify for CE credits.

ABO Continuing Education Requirements

Board certified optometrists must participate in ABO’s Continuous Assessment Program (CAP) to maintain certification. The CAP follows a four-year cycle that includes CE courses, triannual mini-assessments, self-assessment modules, and attestation of quality improvement activity.

Specific requirements of the CAP program for board certified optometrists include:

  • 100 CE hours
  • Two self-assessment modules (SAMs)
  • One quality improvement activity (QIA)
  • Nine mini-assessments
  • Passing an evaluation at the end of three years

working on a couch

Optometrist CE Opportunities

Optometrists have numerous CE opportunities, both online and in person. In the past, ARBO defined CE courses as “live” or “online.” But in 2020, it began allowing COPE providers to hold live interactive online events that counted toward in-person credit. This ended in December 2021.

Currently, ARBO has instituted a transitional period lasting from January 1, 2022, through June 30, 2022, during which several criteria must be met for a COPE course to qualify for a live CE credit.

Synchronous online CE opportunities and CE events that promote direct, live interaction between the instructor and participants will count as live CE credit without a post-CE test. Asynchronous or extended distance learning will require a post-course test to count toward CE credits.

Despite the guidelines outlined by ARBO, COPE recommends that all optometrists check with their state licensing boards to define what courses count toward live versus online learning and how many CE credits they can earn from specific opportunities.

Online CE Opportunities

Online CE opportunities include pre-recorded videos, webinars, and online courses. You can use the following resources to find up-to-date information on online CE opportunities.

  • ABO events calendar. The ABO events calendar provides details on webinars throughout the year that you can use towards your CE credits.
  • Review Education Group. This resource lists online opportunities, pricing, and the number of CE credits you can earn under the Study Center tab.
  • MedEdicus. MedEdicus is COPE accredited and offers various online CE opportunities under the Online Opportunities tab.
  • Optocase. Optocase offers CE credits through hundreds of video courses and case studies.
  • Helio. Helio offers CE credits that can apply to COPE and ABO requirements for optometrists looking for convenient CE opportunities.
  • Optometry schools. Optometry schools often provide online CE opportunities, so visit a few and check out their options.

Eyes On Eyecare. Eyes On Eyecare offers virtual CE opportunities throughout the year.

Live Optometrist CE

Live optometrist CE opportunities include interactive online events and in-person conferences or meetings. Most optometrists meet their live CE requirements through the Big Six optometrical organizations.

These organizations include:

In addition to these options, you might also attend your local society or association meetings. These sometimes offer CE credits just for showing up to meetings. You might also check if large practices or laser corrective centers near you offer CE credits.

If you haven’t already, join the AOA and your local optometrist organizations to learn about additional CE opportunities.

working at a desk

Optometrist Continuing Education 2022

As an optometry professional, you must receive CE credits to maintain your certification and industry knowledge. To implement the progressive eye care practices you learn about in CE courses, use an up-to-date optometry practice management software that can meet your practice’s needs.

The right optometry EHR can simplify your administrative tasks, like scheduling, intake, and billing and insurance processing. This enables you to spend more time providing quality eye care to patients in your optometry practice.

RevolutionEHR is an all-in-one, cloud-based optometry EHR that offers you automated features to streamline your practice’s workflow. With RevolutionEHR, you can better connect with patients and provide them with educational information regarding their eye care.

Request a demo today to discover how our optometry practice management software can give you the freedom to focus on what matters most — caring for your patients.

join the revolution


We love sharing tips and tricks from our experts. Get our latest articles straight to your inbox.