(1) Except as provided in (2) and (3), licensees are required to complete ten clock hours of continuing education (CE) each renewal period and shall affirm an understanding of their recurring duty to comply with CE requirements as a part of annual license renewal.
(2) A licensee may request an exemption from CE requirements due to certified illness or undue hardship. Requests will be considered by the board.
(3) CE is not required for licensees renewing their license for the first time.
(4) The board/staff will not preapprove CE programs or sponsors. It is the responsibility of the licensee to select quality programs that:
(a) contribute to the licensee's knowledge and professional competence;
(b) contain significant intellectual or practical content; and
(c) deal primarily with substantive issues relating to the use of hearing aids for aiding or compensating the hearing impaired and current developments in the practice of fitting, testing, or dispensing hearing aids.
(5) CE courses on fitting and dispensing hearing aids sponsored by the Montana Hearing Aid Society, the International Hearing Society, the American Speech Language Hearing Association, the American Conference of Audioprosthology, the Montana Speech and Hearing Association, the Academy of Dispensing Audiologists, and the American Academy of Audiology are preapproved.
(6) A CE program means a class, institute, lecture, conference, workshop, audio, video, internet or correspondence course, or peer-reviewed publication of a journal article(s) or textbook(s) that meets the requirements of (4). Programs that promote a company, individual, or product are excluded.
(7) Four clock hours credit will be recognized for published books and articles which contribute to the professional competence of the licensee.
(8) Four clock hours will be recognized for each year of full-time research by the licensee.
(9) Credit recognition will not be granted for course work which is substantially similar to course work which was successfully completed in the preceding two years and used to meet the CE requirements.
(10) Clock hours of CE in excess of the ten required hours per renewal period may not be accumulated and carried forward to another renewal period.
(11) The board may randomly audit up to 50 percent of renewed licensees.
(12) All CE must be documented to show proof of completion. The licensee is responsible for maintaining these records for one year following the renewal cycle reporting period and for making those records available upon request. Documentation must include the following information:
(a) licensee name;
(b) course title and description of content;
(c) presenter or sponsor;
(d) course date(s); and
(e) number of CE hours earned.
(13) Licensees found to be in noncompliance with CE requirements may be
subject to administrative suspension. Licensees may not apply CE hours used to complete delinquent CE requirements for the next education reporting period.