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RULE ADOPTIONS
VOLUME 43, ISSUE 05
ISSUE DATE: MARCH 7, 2011
LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
NEW JERSEY BOARD OF EXAMINERS OF OPHTHALMIC DISPENSERS
AND OPHTHALMIC TECHNICIANS

Readoption with Amendments: N.J.A.C. 13:33

State Board of Examiners of Ophthalmic Dispensers and Ophthalmic Technicians Rules
 
Proposed: September 7, 2010 at 42 N.J.R. 1994(b).
 
Adopted: December 22, 2010 by the State Board of Examiners of Ophthalmic Dispensers and Ophthalmic Technicians, Linda Cohen, President.
 
Filed: February 1, 2011 as R.2011 d.074, with substantive changes not requiring additional public notice and comment (see N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.6).
 
Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:1-15 and 52:17B-41.13.
 
Effective Dates:   February 1, 2011, Readoption;
 
                            March 7, 2011, Amendments.
 
Expiration Date:  February 1, 2016.
 
Federal Standards Statement
A Federal standards analysis is not required because there are no Federal laws or standards applicable to the rules readopted with amendments and as changed upon adoption.
 
Full text of the readopted rules can be found in the New Jersey Administrative Code at N.J.A.C. 13:33.
 
Full text of the adopted amendments follows (additions to proposal in boldface with asterisks *thus*; deletions from proposal in brackets with asterisks *[thus]*):
 
[page=645] SUBCHAPTER 1.          APPRENTICESHIPS
 
13:33-1.3   Ophthalmic dispenser apprentice certificate
 
An ophthalmic dispenser apprentice certificate shall expire four years after date of issue.
 
13:33-1.5   Supervision of apprentice ophthalmic dispensers and technicians
 
(a) Apprentice ophthalmic dispensers shall dispense ophthalmic appliances, eyeglasses or ophthalmic lenses as set forth in N.J.S.A. 52:17B-41.5, only under the immediate supervision of a licensed ophthalmic dispenser. Apprentice ophthalmic dispensers and technicians may produce, prepare and process ophthalmic lenses only under the immediate supervision of a licensed ophthalmic dispenser or a licensed ophthalmic technician. For the purpose of this subsection "immediate supervision" shall mean that a supervising preceptor shall be in the laboratory or dispensing area with the apprentice at all times during which the apprentice is engaged in apprentice functions.
 
(b) During an apprenticeship, a supervising preceptor shall be qualified to instruct and train an apprentice in the requisite skills, methods and techniques, so as to assure that an apprentice is competent in producing and reproducing ophthalmic lenses and kindred products and mounting the same to supporting materials. In addition, a preceptor must be qualified to afford training and instruction in the following areas:
 
1. With regard to ophthalmic dispenser apprentices:
 
i.-iv. (No change.)
 
v. Use of all required equipment pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:33-3.5, including vertometer, lensometer or any other automatic electron equipment to measure the power of a lens, a lens clock and millimeter ruler, hand or automatic protractor for marking up lenses, automatic edger and handfinishing stone; and
 
vi. Frames: mountings, sizes, measurements and types of temples; and
 
2. With regard to ophthalmic technician apprentices:
 
i.-ii. (No change.)
 
iii. Use of all required equipment pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:33-3.5, including vertometer, lensometer or any other automatic electronic equipment to measure the power of a lens, a lens clock and millimeter ruler, hand or automatic protractor for marking up lenses, automatic edger and hand-finishing stone; and
 
iv. (No change.)
 
(c)-(d) (No change.)
 
*(e) A work-study program is defined as that activity, which places students enrolled in the Ophthalmic Science curriculum of any school approved by the National Commission on Accreditation into the optical field on a limited basis under the supervision of a college-approved preceptor for the purpose of gaining college-supervised practical experience. A college-approved preceptor is that individual licensed in New Jersey as an ophthalmic dispenser or ophthalmic technician who meets the conditions established by the college in the development of its work-study program.
 
1. Where a licensed ophthalmic dispenser or a licensed ophthalmic technician qualifies as a college-approved preceptor in a work-study program, he or she shall be permitted to supervise additionally a maximum of two work-study students who shall be registered with the State Board of Examiners. The work-study time accumulated by students will not be credited to apprenticeship time required by statute to qualify for licensure.*
 
13:33-1.6   Preparation of apprentice ophthalmic dispensers for examination
 
(a) It shall be the responsibility of preceptors of apprentice ophthalmic dispensers to provide instruction to apprentices in the following areas:
 
1.-6. (No change.)
 
7. Knowledge of fitting a pair of eyeglasses to a person;
 
8. Knowledge of bench work and edge grinding in order to make a complete pair of eyeglasses, given a frame and uncut lenses; and
 
9. The statutes (N.J.S.A. 52:17B-41.1 et seq.) and rules (this chapter) governing the practice of ophthalmic dispensers and ophthalmic technicians in New Jersey.
 
13:33-1.7   Preparation of apprentice ophthalmic technicians for examination
 
(a) It shall be the responsibility of preceptors of apprentice ophthalmic technicians to provide instruction to apprentices in the following areas:
 
1.-4. (No change.)
 
5. The statutes (N.J.S.A. 52:17B-41.1 et seq.) and rules (this chapter) governing the practice of ophthalmic dispensers and ophthalmic technicians in New Jersey; and
 
6. (No change in text.)
 
13:33-1.8   Ophthalmic dispenser apprentice; licensing examination
 
(a) An ophthalmic dispenser apprentice shall complete not less than 12 credit hours of course work in Materials I and Materials II Lecture and Materials I and Materials II Lab. The 12 credits shall be completed within the first 12 months of the apprenticeship and shall be from a school accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation and a regional accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education.
 
(b) (No change.)
 
(c) If the ophthalmic dispenser apprentice fails the qualifying technical examination, he or she shall return the apprentice permit to the Board within five days of receipt of a notice of failure and shall no longer act as an ophthalmic dispenser apprentice. An ophthalmic dispenser apprentice who has failed the qualifying technical examination shall not accumulate time towards the three-year apprenticeship requirement until the apprentice passes the qualifying technical examination. If the ophthalmic dispenser apprentice passes the qualifying technical examination, the Board shall return his or her apprentice permit and he or she may engage in ophthalmic dispenser apprentice activities. In the event that the ophthalmic dispenser apprentice meets the requirements to sit for examination and neither applies for, appears at nor is excused from said examination, an automatic failure will be imposed.
 
(d) (No change.)
 
(e) During the 36 months of the apprenticeship, the ophthalmic dispenser apprentice shall complete at least 30 *credit-*hours of course work in ophthalmic science from a school accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation and a regional accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education. Apprentices shall obtain a grade of either a "C," or better, or a numerical grade of 70, or better, in all required optical science courses. The 30 credits shall include:
 
1. Materials I and II Lecture and Materials I and II Lab, taken within the first 12 months of the apprenticeship;
 
2. Dispensing I and II Lecture and Dispensing I and II Lab;
 
3. Principles of Optics (Theory of Optics);
 
4. Anatomy and Physiology of the Eye; and
 
5. Contact Lens Theory.
 
(f)-(h) (No change.)
 
SUBCHAPTER 2.    LICENSURE
 
13:33-2.2   Out-of-State ophthalmic dispenser application
 
(a) A Temporary Ophthalmic Dispenser Permit shall be issued to an individual from out of the State of New Jersey if the applicant is licensed as an ophthalmic dispenser in another state, has engaged in ophthalmic dispensing for a minimum of three years following the award of his or her license, the last year of ophthalmic dispensing having been acquired within five years of the date of application for the temporary permit and either:
 
1. Holds an associate degree in ophthalmic science from a school accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation and a regional accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education; or
 
2. Has completed 30 credits of course work, in which he or she obtained a grade of either a "C" or better or a numerical grade of 70 or better, which included:
 
i. Materials I and II Lecture;
 
ii. Materials I and II Lab;
 
iii. Dispensing I and II Lecture;
 
iv. Dispensing I and II Lab;
 
v. Principles of Optics (Theory of Optics);
 
[page=646] vi. Anatomy and Physiology of the Eye; and
 
vii. Contact Lens Theory.
 
(b) The holder of Temporary Ophthalmic Dispenser Permit may practice dispensing in New Jersey without supervision but may not supervise any apprentices and must take the first Ophthalmic Dispenser licensing examination following the issuance of the permit. If the holder of a permit fails to take the next scheduled examination because of illness, emergency or other good cause, he or she may apply to the Board to take another examination. Applications shall set forth the reason why the holder of a permit was not able to take the examination. A holder of a permit who fails to take the licensing examination and who has not been granted approval by the Board to take another examination shall return the permit to the Board and shall stop engaging in the practice of ophthalmic dispenser in New Jersey.
 
(c) If the holder of a Temporary Ophthalmic Dispenser Permit fails the Ophthalmic Dispenser licensing examination once, the Temporary Ophthalmic Dispenser Permit may be renewed one time. A holder of a permit working as a Temporary Ophthalmic Dispenser pursuant to a renewed permit shall take the next scheduled licensing examination. If the holder of the permit fails the second examination, or fails to take the next scheduled examination, he or she shall return the Temporary Ophthalmic Dispenser Permit and shall no longer work as an ophthalmic dispenser until he or she passes the licensing examination. If the holder of a permit fails to take the next scheduled examination because of illness, emergency or other good cause, he or she may apply to the Board to take another examination. Applications shall set forth the reason why the holder of a permit was not able to take the examination. The holder of a permit who has returned the Temporary Ophthalmic Dispenser Permit may take the Ophthalmic Dispenser Licensing examination provided that he or she practiced as an Ophthalmic Dispenser in another state within the previous five years. An individual whose last year of Ophthalmic Dispenser practice was more than five years ago may enter an apprenticeship program for licensure.
 
(d) An individual who has worked as an ophthalmic dispenser in a state that does not license ophthalmic dispensers shall qualify to take the Ophthalmic Dispenser licensing examination in this State provided that he or she:
 
1. Holds an associate degree in Ophthalmic Science from a school accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation and a regional accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education and has four months of experience as a dispenser of prescription eyewear subsequent to the award of the degree and within the immediately preceding five-year period; or
 
2. Has worked as a dispenser of prescription eyewear for three calendar years, the last year of which shall have been within five years of the date of application for examination, and has satisfactorily completed 30 credit hours of courses in ophthalmic science, in which he or she obtained a grade of either a "C" or better or a numerical grade of 70 or better, which included:
 
i. Materials I and II Lecture;
 
ii. Materials I and II Lab;
 
iii. Dispensing I and II Lecture;
 
iv. Dispensing I and II Lab;
 
v. Principles of Optics (Theory of Optics);
 
vi. Anatomy and Physiology of the Eye; and
 
vii. Contact Lens Theory.
 
13:33-2.3   Out-of-State ophthalmic technician applicants
 
(a) A Temporary Ophthalmic Technician Permit shall be issued to an individual from out of the State of New Jersey who has completed an Ophthalmic Technician course from a school accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation, and a regional accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, and can show that he or she has completed at least one year of optical laboratory experience within five years of the date of application for such permit.
 
(b)-(c) (No change.)
 
(d) An individual who has fabricated prescription eyewear for one year in another state or has attended a course in Ophthalmic Technicianry in a school approved by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation and a regional accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education may apply for examination and licensure as an Ophthalmic Technician, without having worked in the State of New Jersey, subject to the provision that the last year of experience of fabricating prescription eyewear has been acquired within five years of the date of application for examination.
 
13:33-2.5   Failure to apply for licensure within two years of examination; reexamination required
 
If an applicant who has passed a licensing examination fails to complete the licensing process within two years of passing the examination, the applicant shall be required to reapply for licensure and retake the examination.
 
SUBCHAPTER 3.    PROFESSIONAL PRATICE
 
13:33-3.2   Display of license or permit
 
(a) Every holder of a license or permit issued by the Board shall display it to the public at the location for which it is issued.
 
(b) Renewal of licenses and permits shall be attached to the original license or permit in the lower left-hand corner.
 
13:33-3.3   Branch office license
 
(a) Licensees who practice in a location other than the office location registered with the Board shall obtain a branch office license for each such location. A branch office license will be issued for a period of two years.
 
(b) A fee will be charged for this license as indicated in N.J.A.C. 13:33-8.8.
 
(c) A licensee may work in locations that are not registered with the Board as the licensee's main office or branch offices provided the licensee notifies the Board in writing where he or she will be working. A licensee may work in unregistered locations for a maximum of 12 days in a calendar year. If a licensee has worked 12 days in a calendar year in unregistered locations, he or she shall not work in any unregistered locations until the next calendar year.
 
(d) If a licensee spends or intends to spend more than 12 days in a calendar year at unregistered locations, he or she shall notify the Board in writing. The licensee shall obtain a branch license from the Board for any location in which he or she practices and shall pay the branch office license fee pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:33-8.8.
 
13:33-3.4   Permits: registration
 
(a)-(b) (No change.)
 
13:33-3.5   Minimum optical equipment in establishments where apprentices are registered and/or where fabricating is done on the premises
 
(a) All optical establishments where apprentices are registered or where fabricating is done on the premises, shall be equipped with the following optical equipment in operating order:
 
1.-8. (No change.)
 
*(b) Notwithstanding (a) above, an apprentice may work at an optical establishment where the optical equipment required by (a) above is not in operating order if:
 
1. The establishment notifies the Board in writing that the equipment is inoperable within two days of the equipment becoming inoperable; and
 
2. A service visit to fix the equipment has been scheduled.*
 
*[(b)]* *(c)* Apprentices shall not work in a facility that does not have the equipment required by (a) above.
 
13:33-3.6   Optical equipment required for practice of ophthalmic dispensing in establishments where no fabricating is done on premises and where no apprentices are registered
 
(a) All optical establishments where ophthalmic dispensers practice and where no fabricating is done on the premises, shall be equipped with the following optical equipment in operating order:
 
1.-6. (No change.)
 
(b) All optical establishments that do not have a laboratory on the premises shall conspicuously display to the public a sign stating, in a font [page=647] that is at least 14-point, "No laboratory on the premises." The size of the sign shall be a minimum of eight inches by 10 inches.
 
SUBCHAPTER 4.    DISPENSING OF CONTACT LENSES
 
13:33-4.1   Dispensing of contact lenses
 
(a) An ophthalmic dispenser may dispense contact lenses upon presentation of a valid contact lens prescription written by a licensed optometrist or physician. The prescription shall contain the name, address and phone number of the prescriber.
 
(b) (No change.)
 
(c) Contact lenses shall be dispensed upon the following conditions:
 
1. (No change.)
 
2. Any contact lenses dispensed shall be in exact conformity with the prescription presented. *The licensed ophthalmic dispenser shall not alter or substitute the lenses prescribed.*
 
3.-5. (No change.)
 
(d) Concurrent with the dispensing of contact lenses, an individual patient record shall be created and be maintained for a period of four years from the date of the last entry in the record, and shall contain the following information:
 
1.-4. (No change.)
 
(e)-(f) (No change.)
 
(g) Ophthalmic dispensers shall complete a minimum of three classroom hours of continuing education covering the dispensing of contact lenses pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:33-6.2 every biennial period.
 
SUBCHAPTER 5.    PRACTICE STANDARDS
 
13:33-5.2   Minimum standards and tolerances
 
(a) Every prepared pair of lenses, spectacles, eyeglasses or appurtenances thereto dispensed to the intended wearers thereof on written prescriptions from physicians or optometrists duly licensed to practice their profession, or duplication, replacement, reproduction or repetitions, must conform to the following minimum standards and tolerances:

 

 

 

 

Physical Quality and

Tolerance

 

Appearance

 

 

 

 

1.-10.

(No change.)

 

 

 

 

11.

Heat-treated and

Tolerance for power, size and the like

 

chemically-treated

shall be as above, except that

 

industrial safety

minimum thickness edge or center shall

 

eyewear

meet the requirements of American

 

 

Standard Z87.1-1972 and subsequent

 

 

revisions.

 

 

 

12.-13.

(No change.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
(b) (No change.)
 
13:33-5.5   Ophthalmic dispenser: definition; scope of practice
 
(a) (No change.)
 
(b) The following functions are within the scope of practice of a licensed ophthalmic dispenser:
 
1.-3. (No change.)
 
4. The taking of interpupillary distances and placement measurements of all lenses;
 
5.-9. (No change.)
 
13:33-6.1   Continuing education requirements
 
(a) (No change.)
 
(b) Each ophthalmic dispenser licensed by the Board shall successfully complete 12 credits per biennial period of approved continuing education course work, of which a minimum of three such credits shall be in the dispensing of contact lenses in compliance with N.J.A.C. 13:33-6.2. One credit shall equal one hour of attendance at an approved course. Two credits may be carried over into a succeeding biennial period only if earned during the last six months of the preceding biennial period.
 
(c) The ophthalmic dispenser shall maintain sponsor verifications that he or she has completed the continuing education courses as part of his or her records for a period of four years. The Board may request a review of an ophthalmic dispenser's continuing education records at any time. Any ophthalmic dispenser who is unable to verify that he or she has completed the continuing education requirements shall be subject to disciplinary action.
 
(d) Falsification of sponsor verifications shall be deemed professional misconduct.
 
Recodify existing (d) and (e) as (e) and (f) (No change in text.)
 
(g) Any person desiring approval as a sponsor of a continuing education course, seminar or program shall:
 
1. Complete and submit the written application form provided by the Board and submit the continuing education sponsor fee pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:33-8.8(a)11. The application form shall provide the following:
 
i.-v. (No change.)
 
2.-4. (No change.)
 
(h) An ophthalmic dispenser on inactive status who seeks to return to active status shall submit proof to the Board of successful completion of 12 credits of approved continuing education course work, a minimum of three of which shall be in the dispensing of contact lenses, for each biennial period of approved inactive status.
 
SUBCHAPTER 8.    GENERAL PROVISIONS
 
13:33-8.5   Replacement licenses
 
If a licensee's license has been lost or destroyed, the licensee may request that the Board provide a replacement license. Such request shall be in writing, include the license replacement fee pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:33-8.8 and the licensee shall certify on a Board-provided form that the license has been lost or destroyed and has not been given to another person.
 
13:33-8.8   Fee schedule
 
(a) The following fees shall be charged by the Board effective upon promulgation.
 
1.-8. (No change.)
 
9. Replacement license:
 
i.-iii. (No change.)
 
10.-13. (No change.)

 

   
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