AOA House of Delegates approves new paraoptometric membership program for staff

A new AOA Paraoptometric Membership classification for the office staff of AOA-member optometrists was officially created by AOA House of Delegates with a series of resolutions during Optometry's Meeting®.

AOA paraoptometric members will have access to all current Paraoptometric Section (PS) member benefits through a new Paraoptometric Resource Center. However, no membership dues will be required of either the paraoptometric staff or the optometrist. With this change, the doors to education and training can be opened to approximately 75,000 paraoptometrics/optometric staff across the country.

Applications for AOA Paraoptometric Membership will be accepted beginning Jan. 1, 2014. (For additional information, see the May 2013 edition of AOA News.)

The AOA House of Delegates also approved a bylaws change for ascending dues payments under which new optometry school graduates will pay no association dues during the year in which they receive their degree from an optometry school or complete an approved residency. Dues will then be assessed beginning the following year based on the association's graduate dues structure. In the past, the graduated dues structure took effect during the year after the new optometrist achieved licensure. The dues schedule change also takes effect January 2014 and applies only to ascending dues for active members.

In the sole resolution approved by the AOA House this year, delegates formally reaffirmed previous House action supporting continuing education, as currently required in all U.S. jurisdictions, for license renewal. The resolution formally opposes additional mandatory requirements such as Maintenance of Licensure (MOL), Continuing Professional Development (CPD), Board Certification (BC) and/or Maintenance of Certification (MOC), Self-Assessment Modules (SAM), or similar "maintenance of competency evaluation tools" that have "not been proven to substantially enhance patient care."