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Chapter 420-8 PRACTICAL TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE

Rule 420-8-.01 Practical Training and Experience

In order to be admitted to the examination pursuant to that provision of O.C.G.A. § 43-29-7(b)(4) which provides "practical training and experience of a grade and character satisfactory to the Board for not less than two years under the supervision of a dispensing optician, a licensed physician, or a licensed optometrist: Provided, however, that any time spent in a recognized school shall be considered as a part of the apprenticeship period provided herein", the applicant must submit documentation to the Board with his/her application to establish the satisfaction of such provisions, the satisfaction of which will be determined under the following standards:

(a) Effective July 1, 2008, any person wishing to qualify under the apprenticeship statute shall make application to register with the Board prior to beginning the apprenticeship along with the application fee as determined by the Board. The registration shall identify the supervising licensed physician, licensed optometrist, or licensed dispensing optician and the mailing address and telephone number of the primary location where the apprenticeship training shall occur; provided, however, that in addition to the primary location, such training may be furnished at other locations under proper supervision.
(b) "Practical training and experience of a grade and character satisfactory to the Board for not less than two years" means two (2) calendar years and shall include, at a minimum, 3,000 hours experience engaged in apprenticeship functions and studies which shall include (but not be limited to) instruction in ophthalmic optics, optical laboratory materials and techniques, eye anatomy and physiology, related laws and regulations, ophthalmic dispensing theory and application, and basic contact lens theory.
(c) Instruction may also be evidenced by certificates from recognized schools of opticianry with the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education or formal home study programs through the Career Progression Program with the National Academy of Opticianry or other programs approved in advance by the Board.
(d) "Under the supervision of a licensed dispensing optician, licensed physician or a licensed optometrist" means that the appropriate licensed practitioner(s) must be on the premises where the practical training and experience is being acquired for every hour of apprenticeship sought to be considered in fulfillment of this requirement.
(e) There may be no more than three (3) apprentices under a supervising sponsor at any given time.

Apprentices must cause a current supervising sponsor to submit to the Board in writing that they are no longer the apprentices sponsor, and the reason for the disassociation in order for an apprentice to obtain a new supervising sponsor.

In order for an apprentice's hours earned under a prior supervising sponsor to be counted, the apprentice must cause the prior supervising sponsor to sign off on a board approved form to be submitted with the application for licensure.

The forms for supervising sponsors are available on the Board's website, www.sos.ga.gov/plb/opticians .

(f) Upon completion by the applicant, such training and experience shall be certified by the supervising licensed dispensing optician, licensed physician or licensed optometrist to the board.
(g) Applicants who have received practical training and experience in the trade or occupation of dispensing optician prior to July 1, 2008, shall receive credit toward the practical training and experience requirements if they register with the board in accordance with the provisions of this rule no later than August 31, 2008 and such training and experience is deemed satisfactory by the board.
(h) The date that the application is received by the Georgia State Board of Dispensing Opticians will designate the actual commence date of the apprenticeship pending approval of the application.