FOCAL Education Had the opportunity to work collaboratively with Professional Opticians of Florida (POF) to produce Emergency measures concerning Continuing Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic. We want to make sure that you are safe during this crisis that we are facing. We wanted to introduce safety measures that will protect you, your loved ones, and Patients that you see day to day while at the same time obtaining your Continuing Education Credits. POF constructed a letter that the 4 major Florida Continuing Education Providers (FOCAL Education, POF, Opticial Semiars, and CEDO) all Signed and was sent to the Florida Board of Opticianry. On June 30, 2020 The Florida Board of Opticianry Held an Emergency Board Meeting, during this meeting FOCAL Education addressed the Board with the following statement (See Below)
"FOCAL Education would like to thank all Members of the Board of Opticianry for including us in the Discussion and for their hard work and dedication. We also would like to thank POF for their efforts in this matter. FOCAL Education mirrors the contents of the letter to the board which highlights the following:
1.We encourage the Board to consider and make a rule that for the remainer of this biennium only...that Opticians be allowed to take all their Continuing Education through home study. We want to encourage the board to make a program that would expedite the approcal process of home studies (all home studies have to be approved by the Board before the Opticians can take them)
2. We encourage the Board to concider and make a rule that video meeting type events such as Zoom be concidered a home study with a test at the end of the course which would require a passing grade to receive CE credit".
The Florida Board of Opticianry took all our requests into concideration and made an emergency rule (not a permmanent rule) to allow Opticians to obtain all their remaining Continuing Education Credits online in the safety of your home via Home Studies. However, this rule is in effect for only 90 days...then unless new legislation is introduced and passed everything relating to your Continuing Education will resort back to how it was originally written which is only 5 home studies are allowed and the remaining Credits must be live Continuing Education. According to the Florida Board of Opticianry an Emergency rule can not be passed consecutively for the same reason or event, which means according to the law and how it is interpreted. The Florida Board of Opticianry can not allow another 90 days after the first 90 days of allowing all Opticians to obtain all their CE credits via home studies. This rule was challenged by POF lawyers.
There is no guarantee that you as an Optician in Florida will be allowed after the 90 days to continue to obtain all your CE credits through home study.
Here are some things that FOCAL Education recommends and should be concidered...
1 Time is of the essence...If you wish to obtain you all your CE Credits via home study then you should do it ASAP FOCAL Education is in the process of providing numerous home study courses that will allow you to get all 20 hours.
2. FOCAL Education at this time is still planning on our live event in November, However...depending on the COVID-19 our November Conference could be significantly restricted in its allowed attendance or could unfortunately be cancelled. Our concern is your safety and we will do what we have to do to play our part in achieving that objective. If in the unfortunate event we have to cancel our November Conference and you have already paid for your attendance to be there we will allow one of the following (your choice)...a total refund of your money, credit towards another event that will roll over into the next biennium, or credit to be applied to home studies.
3. FOCAL Education is in the process of developing numerous home studies that will allow you to obtain all 20 CE credits. Which will include: Video home studies, written home studies, video taped live courses from previous past live conferences, Contact lens courses for the Board Certified Opticians. Technical courses, Elective courses. These courses take time to be developed and we are working around the clock on your behalf and it takes time for the Board to approve home studies (which also was a topic of discussion at the meeting and FOCAL Education addressed at the meeting) We will be providing an all in one home study package for you for all your 20 hours of Continuing Education (coming soon)
4. The laws and rules Concerning Continuing Education are still in effect...You still are required to obtain all 20 hours of CE credit from all the required categories. If you are board Certified you still are required to obtain 4 contact lens hours to maintain that certification. You still only have till December 31, 2020 to obtain all your required CE Credits after this date and you have not obtained these 20 CE credits your license will go into the delinquent status. The Florida Board of Opticianry and the Governor have not extended the date beyond December 31, 2020 for obtaing your CE Credits and from what we understand this will not happen.
We ask that you have Patience with us as we provide the necessary CE requirements for you while at the same time protecting your safety
We will continue to keep you up-to-date with the latest news as we get it.
If you have any questions you click on the Comments and questions click on the tab above our website page or click on image below
We are hopeful that by our next conference on November 13-15 2020 Things will be back to normal when it
comes to the COVED-19. But Just to be on the safe side we are taking Precautions.
Below is what FOCAL Education is doing the each day of our event to make sure your safe.
Click On Image below to access Infomation about The Board Meeting.
In the last Board Meeting one of the Items listed on the agenda was Continuing Education and more
specifically should a new rule be passed allowing all 20 hours of Continuing Education to be completed
online as a Home Study.
What seemed to prompt this dicussion was the current COVID-19 epidemic, Needless to say
It was a rather heated Debate...
At the end of the meeting the Board allowed for public opinion allowing anyone who wished to
voice their opinion concerning Continuing Education. Many individuals did just that...
Opticians, Optometrist, Board Members and also Continuing Education Providers all chimed in
on where they stood on how an Optician learns better... whether it be through in class room with an instructor or
online through reading numerous pages on a paticular subject or Video on a subject.
It was true democracy and what our founding fathers intended it to be. If you listen to the audio that we provided
you will hear what seemed to be a one sided opinion from those individuals speaking, in paticular other CE providers...either they were for it or against it
and whether they thought an Optician learned better in a home learning environment or through in class room environment.
Many seemed to come up with statistics backing their opinion. Some stated that Opticians learned better one way vs.. the other way.
To say that all individuals learn better in only one way is irresponsible and wrong and makes you wonder whose interest they have at heart...yours or theirs?
Several CE Providers even sent emails out to you trying to validate their opinion to you and trying to get you to believe one way of learning is better vs. another.
To say that all Opticians learn better Through Home Study environment is not true...
or there would no need for Teachers, Speakers, Instructors, and Mentors...
To say that Opticians learns better through in Class room envionment is not true...
or there would need for books, Computers, Work Books,etc.
We believe that there needs to be a balance of both, after all when you went to school wasn't there a balance of both.
You went to school for a set number of hours being taught by a Teacher then you would come home to do Home studying (Home work)
Also, We find that some People learn better in one capacity vs. another... We all are not created the same and are different in how we learn.
That is why FOCAL Education offers different packages to suit your needs.
1. In Class Room With Highly Educated Instructors (Opticians, Optometrists, Ophthalmologist, Lens Specialist, Frame Specialist)
2. Interactive In Class Room Courses
3. Hands On WorkShops Courses. One of our courses involved having an Optometrist bringing in optometric machines and doing an on Hands instruction.
4. Reading Booklet for Home Study
5. Video for Home Study (Coming Soon)
During the meeting when the public was allowed to voice their opinion there was nothing
that we could have said that had not already been said... so we decided to remain neutral because we as an Educational organization
want to focus on bringing you the best Education, in the best venues and making it fun and enjoyable (see our reviews) (scroll down this has been
our mission from the start and it will always be. We did make one comment...and that was if a rule was passed that all 20 hours of
education can be done online how fast can a CE Provider get these classes approved?
By Law online courses have to be approved by the Board of Opticianry
and through our experience getting these courses approved can take a very very long time
and to have multiple CE Providers all send in Home Study Courses at the same time could present huge delays
in Getting these Online Courses to you as an Optician. We are preparing for this Possible Law change by creating online Videos for you to watch
and get credit for but from beginning to end takes a lot of time.
As a Result of the State shut down due to the COVID-19...You Being able to get your Continuing Education has been Cut by a few months
and we feel an extention of our renewal CE Requirements is a better option.
Please keep in mind that we still have approximately 6 months before December 31, 2020
and I'm sure things will be back to normal by then...
We have a huge event planned for November and it is our best Event to date and you do not want to miss it.
We have a special Guest Speaker...John Girdler, Our very own Chairman of the Board of Opticianry.
This may be your one and only chance to learn from the best when it comes to Laws and Rules and Medical Errors.
It will be our one and only event this year...
So, There you have it...FOCAL Education will continue to be there for you...Giving you the Best Continuing Education.
We believe as a democracy all of our opinions count and all voices deserve to be heard...We also support all
those Opinions made at the meeting but thought it was important that you know what ours is...
God Bless all of you and God Bless America.
If you wish for us to post your comments anonymously on our website, just type post comments at the end of your message.
Also type whether you want it to be anonymously or if you want you first name posted with comment...your voice matters...
We want to know what you thoughts, concerns, and what you think of our opinion...(Click on Questions, comments concern image)
FOCAL Education is Celebrating our 11th Biennium, thats a total of 21 years of Educating Florida Opticians with the best Education in the industry. Visit our Review page and see what your fellow Opticians are saying about FOCAL Education. Our Motivation for creating FOCAL Education was being very disappointed with the quality of continuing education for Opticians. Not only do we offer the best education, but we have the best Speakers. We have Opticians, Optometrist, Ophthalmologist, and Leading Company Product Consultants sharing their expertise with you. Our Venues and locations of our Conferences are second to none. We select high end Hotels and Resorts for you to enjoy, such as Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee, Don Cesar at St.Petersburg Beach, Hilton in Tampa, Hyatt Regency Riverfront in Jacksonville. Many of our Opticians that attend our Conferences bring their familes with them so they can have a mini vacation at the same time. We have lots of fun at our Conferences, with great music, drawings, and goodies and some of our Conferences include a Continental Breakfast. We are not your typical and ordinary Continuing Education Provider, we have set the standards higher and to the next level, (We have had other CE Providers attend/visit our conferences to see what we are doing different and what is attracting such a large attendance only to have them try to replicate what we do) Our Strong attention to the best education puts you on the next level as an Optician and the word is getting around that we are here on a mission to do just that. Give us a try...Join our family...you will not be disapointed...