Joan Adam, Secretary of Health


South Dakota Board of Examiners in Optometry

Continuing Education

ARSD 20:50:08:01. Continuing education requirements. To be eligible for the renewal of the initial license to practice in this state and for each annual renewal thereafter, an optometrist must complete 45 hours of continuing education as defined in SDCL 36-7-20.1 and SDCL 36-7-20.4 within each three-year period after the date of initial licensure. The board shall make at least 12 hours of continuing education courses available each year.

Those optometrists certified to use pharmaceutical agents for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes must complete 5 hours annually of continuing pharmaceutical education in the area of diagnosis and treatment of ocular disease to be eligible for renewal of certification. The 5 hours of annual pharmaceutical education count toward the 45 hours required each three years.

20:50:08:02.01. Limits on self-directed learning. No more than nine hours of self-directed learning may be credited to a licensee in a three-year period to fulfill continuing education requirements. The number of credit hours is limited for each self-directed learning category as follows:

(1)  Surgical/ophthalmologist observation (form) – one hour credit for every two hours of observation, up to four hours credit. If the location of the observation being submitted for credit is the optometrist's regular office, evidence must be provided to the board that the subject of the observation is other than the optometrist's regular practice expertise. The board must be provided with documentation signed by the ophthalmologist evidencing the observation, including a summary detailing the type of observation and the educational goal and outcome of the observation on a form provided by the board;

(2)  Video, recorded webinars, and teleconferences – up to two hours credit. The course must be proctored to receive credit;

(3)  Correspondence courses from colleges or occupational journals – up to four hours credit. The course must have self-testing to receive credit; and

(4)  Live webinars – up to four hours credit. A certificate of attendance stating it is a live webinar must be provided to the board in order to receive live webinar credit.

In the event of an emergency or situation not within the control of the licensee, and for good cause shown, a live stream presentation may receive credit as a live presentation.

Source: 24 SDR 91, effective January 6, 1998; 37 SDR 133, effective January 18, 2011; 44 SDR 99, effective December 11, 2017; 46 SDR 119, effective May 4, 2020.
General Authority: SDCL 36-7-15(4).
Law Implemented: SDCL 36-7-20.1, 36-7-20.2.


ARSD 20:50:08:02.02. Limits on self-directed learning for continuing pharmaceutical education. Subject to ARSD 20:50:08:02.01, those optometrists certified to use pharmaceutical agents for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes may not use more than two hours of instruction obtained through self-directed learning, to fulfill the annual requirement of five hours of continuing pharmaceutical education.

ARSD 20:50:08:02.03. Limits on continuing education courses in practice management and patient protection and compliance issues. In a three-year period, up to eight hours of instruction in the management of an optometric practice, including patient protection and compliance issues, may be used to fulfill continuing education requirements.