An optometrist must complete 45 hours of continuing education as defined within each three-year period after the date of initial licensure. Of the 45 hours of continuing education required each cycle, 30 hours must be live, where the lecturer and learner are physically present at the same location. The remaining 15 continuing education hours may be completed live or by self-directed learning as specified in § 20:50:08:02.01.
An optometrist must complete five hours annually of continuing pharmaceutical education in the area of diagnosis and treatment of ocular disease. The five hours of annual pharmaceutical education count toward the 45 hours required each three years.
Current Continuing Education Requirements
- 45 CE hours needed every 3-year period (30 must be live and 15 must be self-directed)
- Five TPA hours are required each year
- No more than 8 hours of practice management
- No more than 15 hours of self-directed learning
- Surgical / Ophthalmologist Observation: 1 hour for every 2 hours of observation - 4 hours maximum
- All other forms of online / correspondence courses
Limits on self-directed learning
20:50:08:02.01. No more than 15 hours of self-directed learning may be credited to an optometrist in a three-year period to fulfill continuing education requirements as follows:
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, the optometrist must provide evidence to the board that the subject of the observation is other than the optometrist's regular practice expertise. The optometrist must provide the board 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.
Video, recorded webinars, live webinars, and teleconferences
The optometrist must provide the board with a certificate of attendance indicating the learning format. In the event of an emergency or situation not within the control of the optometrist, and for good cause shown, the optometrist may petition the board to approve a live webinar for credit as a live presentation.
Correspondence courses from colleges or occupational journals must have self-testing
In the event of an emergency or situation not within the control of the optometrist, 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).
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.
36-7-20.2. Courses of continuing education specified by board--Certification of attendance--Waiver:
The board shall establish requirements for continuing education by rules promulgated pursuant to chapters 1-26. Any continuing education course must be certified by the Council of Optometric Practitioner Education or approved by the board. Attendance at any course must be submitted by each optometrist when renewing a license pursuant to § 36-7-20. The board may waive any or all of this requirement in case of certified illness or undue hardship.
Does South Dakota have a continuing education requirement for licensed optometrists?
Yes. All licensees must complete 45 hours of continuing education classes every three years beginning the date the license is issued. Optometrists certified to use topical pharmaceutical agents (DPA or TPA) must complete five (5) hours annually of continuing education related to ocular disease. The five (5) hours of annual ocular disease education count toward the 45 hours per three years