THE BOARD OFFICE IS OPERATING ON LIMITED HOURS

in compliance with Governor Cooper's Executive Order No. 138. https://files.nc.gov/governor/documents/files/EO138-Phase-1.pdf

Please leave messages at 919-420-1390 for staff members' call-back or to schedule an office appointment.

 

Board Actions Taken to Aid Licensees, Trainees, Businesses and Training Establishments

Even before the NC General Assembly drafted and passed legislation to help businesses, public facilities and NC citizens that have been so greatly affected by COVID-19 concerns, the State Board of Opticians reviewed news information and data, discussed options with neighboring states and considered options for how to ease burdens for those regulated by Board statute and rule.

Having received approval on April 9 for Emergency Rule 21 NCAC 40 .0113 Waiver, the Board took the following actions at its meeting on April 22:

  • Licensee ConEd Requirements Waived for 2020 - Attendance at ConEd seminars, and obtaining CE hours for renewal is not required during 2020.

    • Licensees who obtained CECs prior to issuance of Stay at Home Order may use the credits for renewal before December 31, 2021.
    • Education providers may, at their discretion, reschedule and conduct earlier-approved but cancelled seminars, so long as they adhere to any continuing State and/or Local Orders regarding seminar capacity, environmental hygiene and attendee distancing. As seminars are rescheduled, the Board will update the Approved CE Events listing information found on this site.
      • Licensees who attend such seminars after the easing or cancellation of State and/or Local Orders may use the credits for renewal before December 31, 2021.

Rulemaking is underway...

...for permanent changes to Business/OIC rule, and changes to licensees' ConEd requirements, all proposed to be effective November, 2020.


Rule 21 NCAC 40 .0202 Registration of Place of Business and Optician in Charge
was inadvertently not completed as Permanent, being resubmitted with this action for completion as Permanent Rule.

Rule 21 NCAC 40 .0206 Professional Responsibility; Continuing Education has revisions proposed for changes to licensees' required continuing education, allowing a maximum of 50% of total required ConEd hours to be obtained online. Categorization of required hours, methods for attendance-verification and course approval are contained in the revision. Licensees received an e-blast with details on July 15.

The Public Comment Period for these two actions has ended. Once the Rule Review Commission has completed it's work the revised rules will be available on this website.


Opticianry Emerging from the Pandemic

The State Board of Opticians encourages optical places of business to adhere to all State and Local Orders regarding distancing and hygiene practices. Though public protection is foremost among the Board's responsibilities, it recognizes that the dispensaries keeping to quality protective-practices will benefit both the facilities, the employees and the public.

COVID-19 information and safe guards Click Here.


The Opticians Association of America (OAA) has published guidance for dispensaries as they transition into operation in the post-COVID world. It contains helpful info from the CDC, and some educational articles and suggestions from peer-opticians.

Dispensary Operational Changes

Anyone needing help from an optical dispensary should first call to see if they're open, able to assist and have specific requirements for visiting the dispensary.

 

Precautions for Certification and Licensure Testing

Working with Prometrics, the ABO/NCLE has made registration, testing-date and testing-processes changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prometrics has initiated remote-proctoring availability for portions of the testing. These changes have been approved by the NC State Board of Opticians.

Testing registrants are encouraged to go directly to the ABO/NCLE site for the latest info on schedules and processes. https://www.abo-ncle.org/ABO/Default.aspx?hkey=ef58974b-0beb-4053-83b3-af6d27b911fd&WebsiteKey=d5d228e8-d8eb-4bf2-b9ae-b3574a126f73

 

Click Here for General Eye Health Information during COVID-19

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The NC State Board of Opticians welcomes you to information regarding training, licensure and opticianry regulations and education in the state. Check us out often for a "clear vision" of opticianry in North Carolina.

Established by the NC General Assembly in 1951, the seven-member Board is comprised of five (5) dispensing opticians, and two (2) public members, all of whom serve three-year terms. Members are appointed by the Governor.

The Board's primary functions, defined by state statute and administrative rule, are the administration of the licensure process (including the licensure exam), and the oversight of regulations pertaining to optical businesses and training establishments. The Board has disciplinary authority over licensees and those participating in opticianry training processes. It reviews continuing education hours submitted by educational entities, and approves those hours it considers appropriate to enhance NC opticians' professional knowledge while complying with statutory requirements regarding CECs.

In accordance with the Open Meetings Law, the Board's meetings are open to the public, and minutes are recorded and available by written request.

The offices and staff of the Board are headquartered in Raleigh; hours can vary with staff assignments and availability. The office is closed for State holidays. If you're planning an office visit, please call ahead for staff assistance.

The Board invites your comments on this site, and how it can be made more productive and informative.