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What’s the whole story on online CEs?
By the FCA   
Friday, 22 April 2016
Some individuals are only telling part of the story and are misrepresenting that the Florida Board of Chiropractic Medicine (BOCM) recently took a stand against allowing online courses for chiropractic license renewal continuing education (CE).  In fact, that board acted in favor of allowing some online CEs.  We asked Paul Lambert, FCA General Counsel, who represented the FCA at the most recent BOCM meeting, to provide the whole story and the reason why the licensing board doesn’t have authority to simply adopt a board rule allowing for online CEs. Read the facts.
Board of Chiropractic Medicine Acts in Support of Online CEs

By Paul Watson Lambert, FCA General Counsel
On April 9, the Board of Chiropractic Medicine denied a petition asking the board to initiate adoption of a rule that would allow online continuing education course credits for license renewal purposes. Currently, Chapter 460 and a board rule require CE to be obtained by classroom attendance at which each attendee provides photo identification and physical presence is verified, creating a record of attendance.  Florida Statute §460.408(1) requires in pertinent part: The board shall require licensees to periodically demonstrate their professional competence as a condition of renewal of a license by completing up to 40 contact classroom hours of continuing education. (Emphasis supplied.)

Florida Statute §460.408(3) authorizes the board to adopt rules within the requirements of §460.403 that are necessary for its implementation, but, that does not give the board the authority to interpret the statute with the effect of changing, modifying or amending it. Only the legislature may amend a statute. 

A rule that interprets the words contact classroom hours to mean by online methods is an “invalid exercise of delegated legislative authority” that goes beyond the powers, functions, and duties delegated by the Legislature to the Board of Chiropractic Medicine.   It is for this reason that the Board of Chiropractic Medicine declined to pursue adoption of such a rule.  
The Board of Chiropractic Medicine appointed Dr. Ken Dougherty to head a task force to make recommendations to the board at its August meeting about proposed amendments to Chapter 460 authorizing on-line CE credits. Paul Lambert, FCA General Counsel, who testified before the BOCM on the current statutory provisions, is serving on the task force, which is expected to meet in June.  
  1See Rule 64B2-13.004, Rules of the Board of Chiropractic Medicine
  2See §120.52(8), Florida Statutes.