Any CE hours taken before December 31, 2020 can be counted for the 2018-2020 biennium. This measure was taken to help veterinarians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine met on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 in an emergency session to approve two emergency measures related to licensing and active license renewal for 2020. The Board conducted a telephone conference hearing to consider, and approve, the emergency rules, which became effective immediately after approval.
The first rule allows applicants who apply for licensure before January 1, 2021 to take an online course in “Florida Laws and Rules Governing the Practice of Veterinary Medicine,” in lieu of the laws and rules exam.
The FVMA’s 3-hour online course, which is approved by the Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine, easily satisfies this rule. The course is available to members for $99 and to non-members for $149 through the link below or by calling the FVMA at 800.992.3862.
The second rule allows active Florida licensees to obtain all CE hours required for renewal in the 2018-2020 biennium through non-interactive/correspondence/distance learning courses. Veterinarians are required to renew their licenses by May 31 of each even-numbered year, but because May 31 falls on a Sunday this year, the deadline is June 1, 2020.
Because of the extraordinary situation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the FVMA requested that the emergency rule be amended to allow veterinarians until December 31, 2020 to obtain the required 30 hours of CE. The Board was advised that it did not have the authority to extend the deadline until December 31; however, the Board did announce that it had the authority to decide when to conduct CE audits.
As a result of the FVMA’s efforts on behalf of all Florida licensed veterinarians, the Board announced that it will not conduct any CE audits before January 2021. Under the Board’s existing rules, licensees responding to an audit can submit any CE hours taken before the date of the audit. By taking this action, the Board has, in effect, announced that any CE hours taken before December 31, 2020, can be used to satisfy the 30 hours required for renewal in the current biennium. Veterinarians who need hours taken after June 1, 2020 to meet the 30 hours required in the current biennium, however, should not expect to be able to count those same hours for the 2020-2022 biennium.
On behalf of the members and all Florida licensed veterinarians, the FVMA is grateful for the Board’s consideration and approval of this emergency measure. We believe this will help ease the stress our members are experiencing as they continue to protect the health and well-being of the state’s pets and citizens. The FVMA remains hopeful that this pandemic will resolve later this year, and thanks the Board for its forbearance, as this will give veterinarians more options for obtaining CE and maintaining their license in these trying times.
Please note: Under this emergency rule, those who plan to use any CE hours accumulated after June 1, 2020 towards the 2018-2020 biennium will NOT be able to count those same hours towards the 2020-2022 biennium.