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Frequently Asked Questions

Membership Options

How to Become a Member

Membership Cost

Member Dues Billing Schedule

What Are the OPW Societies?

Continuing Education (CE) in Washington State

Asynchronous, Synchronous in-person and Synchronous virtual CE

DEA Training Information

How to Support Optometric Physicians in Washington


Membership Options

We offer membership options to licensed and active optometrists in Washington state, retired members, students and post-graduates of optometry, and honorary associate members. 

Click here to learn more about our membership types to find the right one for you.


How to Become a Member

Applicants must complete the membership form and submit payment through the Join OPW page. Once received by the state office, the membership application shall be considered complete. A welcome email will be sent to the address on file with membership confirmation. 


Membership Cost

The cost of membership is based on membership type. Active Member dues are determined annually by the Board in an amount not to exceed five percent (5%) of the previous year's OPW annual dues. This amount includes membership dues to AOA. All other membership types pay a percentage of Active Member dues, excluding Student and Post-Graduate Members who are exempt until the end of Student and Post-Graduate status. 

Click here for a sample of the OPW dues structure.


Member Dues Billing Schedule

QUARTERLY: January, April, July, October
SEMI-ANNUAL: January, July

All membership dues are defaulted to quarterly payments with the option to pay semi-annually or in full. To make a change to your plan, contact OPW. To submit your payment, log into your MyAOA account.


What Are the OPW Societies? 

OPW’s 14 societies are composed of members practicing or living within board-designated geographical boundaries in Washington. Each society shall elect a president to organize and conduct the society's business and act as a representative of the association.

Every Active Member must affiliate with OPW through a society. Retired and Life Members affiliate with the society in which they reside. Members-only Society meetings are to be held a minimum of three times per year preferably following OPW Board Meetings. 

Society assessments are deemed dues and therefore any failure to pay will result in termination actions as stated in the Bylaws Article II, Section 10. A portion of the payment for society assessments shall be credited to that society's account maintained by the state office or remitted directly to that society except for 5% of the amount collected, which shall be retained by the state office for administrative expenses of collection.


Continuing Education (CE) in Washington State 

Updated: 1/10/24

A licensed optometrist must complete and document 50 total hours of continuing education every two years in compliance with WAC 246-12-170 through 246-12-235Of the 50 total credit hours: 

  1. A minimum of 10 credit hours must be completed through synchronous in-person learning; 
  2. A maximum of 25 credit hours may be completed through asynchronous learning; 
  3. The remaining credit hours may be completed through any combination of synchronous virtual learning and asynchronous learning; and 
  4. In the event of a declaration of emergency for the state of Washington or federal declaration of emergency affecting the state of Washington, all credit hours may be completed through synchronous virtual or asynchronous learning for the duration of the declared emergency.

You can review the updated rules at Chapter 246-851 WAC.


Asynchronous, Synchronous in-person and Synchronous virtual CE

DEFINITIONS:

"Asynchronous" means the course instructor and learner are not together at the same time, have no real-time communications, and the content is learner-paced. 

"Synchronous in-person" means the instructor is in the same room and face-to-face with the learner, even if other formats are used as audiovisual aids for teaching the course. 

"Synchronous virtual" means the course instructor is not physically present but is meeting with learners in real time and can provide immediate feedback.


DEA Training Information

Updated: 10/26/23

The board of optometry (board) amended WAC 246-851-440 through 246-851-470 to conform with technical changes made by Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 5496 (Chapter 43, Laws of 2022). Changes align the rules with currently accepted language for substance use disorders and related monitoring programs and include technical clarifications as needed without changing the rule’s effect. Click to view the CR-103 Rule-Making Order.

WAC 246-851-170 Category 5-Credit for self-directed study. (1) A maximum of 25 Category 5 credit hours may be earned in any two-year reporting period. (2) Credits may be obtained for nonsupervised individual continuing educational activities. (a) Subject matter must be from professional optometric or medical literature or multimedia material; (b) Course material may be presented in any form of printed or electronic media; (c) Courses must be approved by a category 1 organization listed in WAC 246-851-125; and (d) Successful completion of an examination or other assessment tool is required for qualifying credit. Up to 10 Category 5 credit hours may be earned by submitting in lieu of an assessment tool a non-handwritten report which includes a copy of the article, publication source and date, and at least ten descriptive statements from the article.

DEA requirements are category 2 education.  The one-time 8-hour federal requirement can be met by completing this online program: pcssnow.org/education-training/sud-core-curriculum/

This program is approved by the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (an affiliate of AMA) is asynchronous and can be counted toward their state CE requirements as long as they do not exceed 25 hours of asynchronous education.

If you have any questions about DEA training, please contact the Program Manager, Kristina Bell at Kristina.Bell@doh.wa.gov.


How to Support Optometric Physicians in Washington

Contributions to the Washington Optometric Political Action Committee (WOPAC) are critical to cultivating relationships and communication toward changing state law to serve the best interest of patient eye health, protect optometric physicians, and advance the profession of optometry. Your support helps move optometry forward in Washington and beyond.

Click here to make your online contribution to WOPAC.

Donors to WOPAC (and all PACs) must be US Citizens or permanent residents. If you do not fall into one of these categories, please do not donate.

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