Considering paraoptometric certification? AOA offers CE-eligible webinar
Paraoptometric certification is not only about taking that next step in an individual’s professional career but also recognizing the value a skilled, cohesive team brings to any optometric practice. Toward that end, the AOA offers paraoptometrics an invaluable opportunity to prepare for this next-level commitment.
As optometric scope of practice continues advancing, permitting doctors of optometry to practice to the fullest extent of their education and training in order to meet the increasing demands on the U.S. health care system, so, too, paraoptometrics will be looked upon for even greater competencies. Increased responsibilities, procedures and demands on doctors translate into a greater need for proven, skilled support on the part of paraoptometrics—and that’s where paraoptometric certification is crucial.
Developed by a panel of AOA doctors and paraoptometrics, paraoptometric certification ensures practice staff stay up to date in contemporary, continuing education (CE) and professional development. Each level of certification requires successful completion of an exam prepared and administered by the Commission on Paraoptometric Certification (CPC), with the assistance of Professional Testing Corporation, to ensure mastery of the specific skillsets.
“For a paraoptometric, certification provides recognition, expands professional growth and acknowledges the degree of knowledge and dedication to the profession,” says Linda Rodriguez, CPO, AOA Paraoptometric Resource Center chair. And that’s why doctors and practice managers should take advantage of an upcoming educational opportunity to encourage staff down the road to certification.
Earn and learn: CE credits available for skills review course
Interested in paraoptometric certification or looking for a good staff skills refresher? The AOA Education Center offers an upcoming webinar geared toward providing paraoptometric staff the necessary skills to earn their CPO certification.
Hosted by AOA Paraoptometric Resource Center Committee member Jessica Schiffbauer, O.D., Rodriguez and AOA volunteer Jeanette Steffl, O.D., this two-hour Certified Paraoptometric Review Course is worth two CPC continuing education credits and offers attendees an invaluable opportunity to ask questions of subject-matter experts in preparation for the February 2021 CPO exam. Webinar topics will include clinical principles and procedures, ophthalmic optics and dispensing, contact lenses, and professional and business skills, Rodriguez says.
“For the paraoptometric preparing for the CPO examination, this review course will help them gain a better understanding of the different areas and skills a Certified Paraoptometric is expected to know—and this course and the CPO study guide are strongly recommended resources to prepare for this test,” Rodriguez says.
“For the experienced paraoptometric with different levels of certification, this course will serve as a refresher and may offer new information and ideas to expand their knowledge base, while receiving two CPC continuing education credits as a bonus.”
What: Certified Paraoptometric Review Course (CPO)
When: 7 p.m. CT, Thursday, Dec. 10
Register today for this live Zoom webinar.
If practice staff are on track to pursue certification, access the Paraoptometric Examination Candidate Handbook and review the eligibility requirements. Complete both steps before proceeding to the application process as applicants will be held accountable for knowing these policies and procedures.
2021 application, exam schedule
Administered quarterly during a CPC-established, two-week testing period, paraoptometric certification examinations require an application due by 9 p.m. ET of the application or late application deadline date (fees apply). The 2021 schedule is as follows:
- 13-27, 2021 Exam Period
Application deadline: Jan. 6, 2021
Late application deadline: Jan. 20, 2021
- May 1-15, 2021 Exam Period (includes CPOT testing)
Application deadline: March 17, 2021
Late application deadline: April 7, 2021
- 14-28, 2021 Exam Period
Application deadline: June 30, 2021
Late application deadline: July 21, 2021
- 6-20, 2021 Exam Period (includes CPOT testing)
Application deadline: Sept. 22, 2021
Late application deadline: Oct. 13, 2021
Please note that paraoptometrics whose renewal are due in 2021 and who wish to test in November for the next level of certification must submit their renewal to the CPC office in St. Louis for processing no later than Sept. 1, 2021, so that eligibility may be verified by the November application deadline.
Current CPO and CPOA certifications are necessary at the time of testing when attempting the next level examination (certifications expire on Oct. 31 and must be renewed prior to the November application deadline before eligibility can be verified).
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