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NEW JERSEY REGISTER
VOLUME 37, NUMBER 7
MONDAY, APRIL 4, 2005
RULE PROPOSAL

LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
ORTHOTICS AND PROSTHETICS BOARD OF EXAMINERS
CONTINUING EDUCATION

Proposed Amendment: N.J.A.C. 13:44H-10.1

Proposed New Rule: N.J.A.C. 13:44H-6.3

Authorized By: Orthotics and Prosthetics Board of Examiners, Laura Anderson, Executive Director.

Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:12B-19 and 45:12B-26.
Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.
Proposal Number: PRN 2005-119.

Submit written comments by June 3, 2005 to:

Laura Anderson, Executive Director

Orthotics and Prosthetics Board of Examiners

PO Box 45034

124 Halsey Street

Newark, NJ 07101

The agency proposal follows:

Summary

Pursuant to its rulemaking authority, N.J.S.A. 45:12B-26, and N.J.S.A. 45:12B-19, the Orthotics and Prosthetics Board of Examiners (the Board) proposes new rule N.J.A.C. 13:44H-6.3 and an amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:44H-10.1 in order to impose continuing education requirements on licensees.

N.J.A.C. 13:44H-6.3 is a proposed new rule which requires all licensees, commencing with the 2007 biennial renewal, to complete continuing education credits during each biennial renewal period. Licensees who are applying for their first renewal are not required to complete continuing education requirements. Licensees who complete more than the required credits in a biennial period may apply a limited number of these credits to the succeeding biennial period. The rule permits licensees to obtain continuing education credits through different avenues, such as attending continuing education courses, attending college courses, teaching continuing education courses or authoring articles. The rule also sets up procedures by which continuing education sponsors may obtain Board approval for specific courses and by which licensees may obtain continuing education credit for research projects.

The Board will perform audits on randomly selected licensees to determine if these licensees are in compliance with the continuing education requirements. The Board is permitted to waive continuing education requirements for a licensee who is experiencing a hardship such as severe illness, disability or military service. The Board is also permitted to order a licensee to complete continuing education credits as part of a disciplinary action or to correct a deficiency in the licensee's continuing education requirements.

The Board proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:44H-10.1 to add a fee of $100.00 for continuing education sponsors.

As the Board has provided a 60-day comment period on this notice of proposal, this notice is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5.

Social Impact

The proposed new rule benefits the public by ensuring that licensees maintain continuing proficiency in the use and application of new techniques and advancements in the profession. The proposed new rule affects licensees who must now commit time to complete the continuing education requirement and must maintain appropriate documentation. The proposed new rule, however, benefits licensees by assuring that they will enhance their knowledge of professional standards.

Economic Impact

The Board believes that the proposed new rule will have an economic impact upon its licensees since they will have to pay a fee for the continuing education courses that this rule requires them to take. The Board, however, does not impose nor control the fees for such courses and is unable to estimate what the cost will be. The proposed amendment imposes a fee on continuing education sponsors who wish to obtain Board approval for courses.

Federal Standards Statement

A Federal standards analysis is not required because there are no Federal standards or requirements applicable to the proposed new rule and amendment.

Jobs Impact

The Board believes that the proposed new rule and amendment may increase jobs in the State in that there may be a need for sponsors to hire instructors to teach continuing education courses. The Board does not anticipate that the proposed new rule and amendment will have any other impact on jobs.

Agriculture Industry Impact

The Board does not believe that the proposed new rule and amendment will have any impact on the agriculture industry of this State.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (the Act), N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., requires the Board to give a description of the types and an estimate of the number of small businesses to which the proposal will apply. If any of the potential applicants for licensure are considered "small businesses" for the purposes of the Act, then the following analysis applies.

The Act requires the Board to set forth the reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance requirements of the proposal including the kinds of professional services likely to be needed to comply with the requirements. The Act further requires the Board to estimate the initial and annual compliance costs of the proposal with an indication of the varying impact on small businesses of differing types and sizes and to outline the manner in which the rules have been designed to minimize any adverse economic impact upon small businesses.

The costs imposed on small businesses by the proposed new rule and amendment are the same costs that are imposed on all businesses as outlined in the Economic Impact statement.

The Board does not believe that licensees will need to employ any professional services to comply with the requirements of the proposed new rule and amendment.

The proposed new rule and amendment imposes several compliance, reporting and recordkeeping requirements on licensees and course sponsors. N.J.A.C. 13:44H-6.3 requires all licensees to complete continuing education every biennial period and attest on the biennial license renewal form that they have completed the continuing education requirements. Sponsors of courses who are seeking Board approval are required to submit specific information to the Board, monitor attendance in the course, issue attendance certificates to attendees, evaluate course offerings and pay the continuing education sponsor fee. Licensees who are seeking approval of a research project for continuing education credits must submit a written abstract of the project to the Board. Licensees are required to maintain records of continuing education and to submit such records to the Board upon request. Licensees seeking a waiver of the continuing education requirements must apply to the Board for the waiver at least 90 days prior to license renewal.

The Board believes that because the proposed new rule and amendment further the welfare and safety of the public, by ensuring that licensees have current knowledge as to the practice of orthotics and prosthetics, the proposed amendments and new rule must be applied uniformly to all licensees and course sponsors.

Smart Growth Impact

The Board does not anticipate that the proposed new rule and amendment will have any impact on the achievement of smart growth and implementation of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan, otherwise known as the State Plan.

Full text of the proposal follows :

<< NJ ADC 13:44H-6.3 >>

<<+13:44H-6.3 Continuing education+>>

<<+(a) Commencing with the 2007 renewal, upon biennial license renewal, a licensee shall attest that he or she has completed courses of continuing education of the types and number of credits specified in (c) below. Falsification of any information submitted on the renewal application may require an appearance before the Board and may result in penalties and/or suspension or revocation of the license pursuant to N.J.SA. 45:1-21 through 45:1-25.+>>

<<+(b) Licensees applying for their first biennial renewal are exempt from this continuing education requirement.+>>

<<+(c) Applicants for biennial license renewal shall complete the following continuing education credits during the preceding biennial period:+>>

<<+1. For prosthetist-orthotists, a minimum of 40 credits in topics related to prosthetics and orthotics;+>>

<<+2. For orthotists, a minimum of 30 credits in topics related to orthotics;+>>

<<+3. For prosthetists, a minimum of 30 credits in topics related to prosthetics;+>>

<<+4. For prosthetist-orthotist assistants, a minimum of 16 credits in topics related to prosthetics and orthotics;+>>

<<+5. For orthotist assistants, a minimum of 12 credits in topics related to orthotics; and+>>

<<+6. For prosthetist assistants, a minimum of 12 credits in topics related to prosthetics.+>>

<<+(d) A licensee who completes more than the minimum continuing education credits set forth in (c) above in any biennial registration period may carry a portion of those additional credits into the succeeding biennial period. Licensees may carry:+>>

<<+1. For prosthetist-orthotist, a maximum of 20 credits;+>>

<<+2. For orthotists and prosthetists, a maximum of 15 credits;+>>

<<+3. For prosthetist-orthotist assistants, a maximum of eight credits; and+>>

<<+4. For orthotist assistants and prosthetist assistants, a maximum of six credits.+>>

<<+(e) A licensee may obtain continuing education credits from the following:+>>

<<+1. Successful completion of continuing education courses or programs approved by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics: one credit for each hour of attendance;+>>

<<+2. Successful completion of a course related to orthotics or prosthetics given by a school accredited by the New Jersey Department of Education, a college or university accredited by the Commission on Higher Education or an agency of another state with requirements substantially similar to the requirements of the New Jersey Department of Education or the Commission on Higher Education: one credit for each course credit successfully completed;+>>

<<+3. Successful completion of continuing education courses or programs related to the practice of orthotics or prosthetics that are pre-approved by the Board pursuant to (f) below, prior to the presentation of the course: one credit for each hour of attendance;+>>

<<+4. Successful completion of an American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Online Learning Center course: one credit for each course credit;+>>

<<+5. Teaching or developing the curriculum for a new continuing education program related to orthotics or prosthetics that is approved pursuant to (e)1 or 3 above. "New" means that the licensee has never taught or developed curriculum for that course or program in any educational setting: one credit for each hour taught;+>>

<<+6. Teaching or developing the curriculum for a new course related to orthotics or prosthetics in a school accredited by the New Jersey Department of Education, a college or university accredited by the Commission on Higher Education or an agency of another state with requirements substantially similar to the requirements of the New Jersey Department of Education or Commission on Higher Education. "New" means that the licensee has never taught or developed curriculum for that course in any educational setting: one credit for each course credit taught;+>>

<<+7. Authorship of a published article related to orthotics or prosthetics which has been refereed through peer review, in a professional refereed journal: 15 credits for an article, up to 15 credits per biennial period;+>>

<<+8. Presenting a new seminar or lecture related to orthotics or prosthetics to professional peers or other health professional provided the seminar or lecture is at least one hour long. "New" means that the licensee has never taught or developed curriculum for that seminar or lecture in any educational setting: one credit for each 50 minutes of presentation; and+>>

<<+9. Completion of a research project which has been approved by the Board pursuant to (g) below: five credits.+>>

<<+(f) Sponsors of continuing education programs or courses seeking Board approval shall obtain Board approval every biennial period prior to representing that any course, program or seminar fulfills the requirements of (e) above and shall:+>>

<<+1. At least 90 days prior to the date of the course, submit the following for each course, program or seminar offered for evaluation by the Board:+>>

<<+i. A detailed descriptive outline of course content and estimated hours of instruction; and+>>

<<+ii. The curriculum vitae of each lecturer, including specific background which qualifies the individual as a lecturer in the area of instruction;+>>

<<+2. Monitor the attendance at each approved course, program or seminar and furnish to each enrollee a written verification of attendance, which shall include at least the following information:+>>

<<+i. The title, date and location of the course, program or seminar offering;+>>

<<+ii. The name and license number of the attendee;+>>

<<+iii. The number of credits awarded; and+>>

<<+iv. The name and signature of the sponsor and the seal of the organization;+>>

<<+3. Evaluate course offerings. Evaluations shall be solicited from both the attendees and the instructors; and+>>

<<+4. Submit a fee pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:44H-10.1(a)13 for each submission of new courses, programs or seminars reviewed by the Board during the biennial licensing period.+>>

<<+(g) A licensee who wishes to have a research project approved by the Board shall submit a written abstract on the project that includes:+>>

<<+1. The parameters of the research project;+>>

<<+2. The results of the research project, if any;+>>

<<+3. An indication of possible future publication, if any;+>>

<<+4. An indication of whether the research project will lead to the production of a product after research; and+>>

<<+5. The methodology used to evaluate the research.+>>

<<+(h) The Board shall perform audits on randomly selected licensees to determine compliance with continuing education requirements. A licensee shall maintain the following documentation for a period of four years after completion of the credits and shall submit the documentation to the Board upon request:+>>

<<+1. For attendance at programs or courses: a certificate of completion from the provider;+>>

<<+2. For publication of an article: the published item, including the date of publication;+>>

<<+3. For developing curriculum or teaching a course or program: a copy of the curriculum: location, date and time of course; duration of course by hour; and letter from provider confirming that the licensee developed or taught the course or program;+>>

<<+4. For presenting a lecture or seminar: the location, date and duration of the lecture or seminar; and+>>

<<+5. For a research project: evidence of Board approval.+>>

<<+(i) The Board may waive the continuing education requirements of this section on an individual basis for reasons of hardship, such as severe illness, disability, or military service.+>>

<<+1. A licensee seeking a waiver of the continuing education requirements shall apply to the Board in writing at least 90 days prior to license renewal and set forth in specific detail the reasons for requesting the waiver. The licensee shall provide the Board with such supplemental materials as will support the request for waiver.+>>

<<+2. A waiver of continuing education requirements granted pursuant to this subsection shall be effective only for the biennial period in which such waiver is granted. If the condition(s) which necessitated the waiver continue into the next biennial period, a licensee shall apply to the Board for the renewal of such waiver for the new biennial period.+>>

<<+(j) The Board may direct or order a licensee to successfully complete continuing education credits:+>>

<<+1. As part of a disciplinary or remedial measure in addition to the required credits of continuing education; or+>>

<<+2. To correct a deficiency in the licensee's continuing education requirements.+>>

<<+(k) Any continuing education credits completed by the licensee in compliance with an order or directive from the Board as set forth in (j) above shall not be used to satisfy the minimum continuing education requirements as set forth in this section.+>>

<< NJ ADC 13:44H-10.1 >>

13:44H-10.1 Fee schedule

(a) The following fees shall be charged by the Orthotics and Prosthetics Board of Examiners:

1.-12. (No change.)

13. Continuing education sponsor fee .......................... $100.00



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