23 Mar Governor Wolf Suspends Restrictions on Distance-Learning for CE Requirements
On March 22, 2020, Governor Wolf granted the Department of State’s request to suspend restrictions on distance-learning for continuing-education requirements for certain licensed professionals. Many licensing boards of the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs have ongoing continuing education requirements. Although only a few boards are currently in renewal, many “in-person” continuing education programs are canceling courses or closing education centers and it is unknown how long they may be impacted.
The Boards listed below have restrictions on the number or percentage of continuing-education hours that can be done through distance education. The governor granted a suspension of restrictions that limited the ability of licensees to take classes online or participate in distance-learning opportunities for the current biennial renewal period to permit all licensees to complete their continuing education online during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This applies to the following boards and licensees:
- STATE BOARD OF ACCOUNTANCY
- STATE BOARD OF MEDICINE – Licensed Respiratory Therapists
- STATE BOARD OF MASSAGE THERAPY
- STATE BOARD OF OPTOMETRY – Optometrists
- STATE BOARD OF PODIATRY – Podiatrists
- STATE BOARD OF VETERINARY MEDICINE – Veterinarians
- STATE BOARD OF DENTISTRY – Dentists, dental hygienists and expanded function dental assistants
- STATE BOARD OF PSYCHOLOGY – Psychologists
- STATE BOARD OF SOCIAL WORKERS, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS AND PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS – Licensed social workers, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists and professional counselors
The limits for online CE are part of the PA Veterinary Practice Act, which means changing them would be a legislative process that opens the entire practice act for change. Normally, PVMA tries to limit opening the practice act, as it could introduce other changes that we do not support. If there is a groundswell of support for opening the act to change CE requirements, PVMA will certainly look at advocating for this change.