WSR 08-09-103

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH


(Veterinary Board of Governors)

[ Filed April 21, 2008, 2:13 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 07-16-138.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: New WAC 246-935-270, 246-935-280, 246-935-290, 246-935-300, and 246-935-310, related to Continuing education for veterinary technicians including purpose, basic requirement -- Amount, courses approved by the veterinary board of governors, self-study continuing veterinary technician education activities, and exceptions.

Hearing Location(s): Department of Health, Center Point Corporate Park, 20435 72nd Avenue, Conference Room One, Kent, WA 98032, on June 9, 2008, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: June 9, 2008.

Submit Written Comments to: Janette Benham, Program Manager, P.O. Box 47868, Olympia, WA 98504-7868, web site http://www3.doh.wa.gov/policyreview/, fax (360) 586-4359, by May 29, 2008.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Janette Benham by May 29, 2008, TTY (800) 833-6388 or 711.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The purpose is to implement HB 1331, chapter 235, Laws of 2007, by establishing continuing education requirements. The proposed rules would establish thirty hours of continuing education every three years. The proposed rules designate organizations as providers of continuing education for veterinary technicians. The proposed rules allow up to ten hours every three years of self-study activities including journal reading and courses offered electronically. The proposed rules limit the number of hours that can be obtained through courses on practice management to ten hours in a three-year reporting period.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: HB 1331, chapter 235, Laws of 2007, authorized continuing education for veterinary technicians. The field of veterinary medicine is constantly changing to incorporate new technology and therapies. Continuing education is already required for renewal of licensure for veterinarians. Veterinary technicians must also stay informed of changes in the field through completion of continuing education courses which will result in ensuring patient safety and client confidence.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 18.92.030 and HB 1331 (chapter 235, Laws of 2007).

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 18.92.030 and HB 1331 (chapter 235, Laws of 2007).

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Department of health, veterinary board of governors, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Janette Benham, 310 Israel Road S.E., Tumwater, WA 98501, (360) 236-4947.

A small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW.

Small Business Economic Impact Statement

Briefly Describe the Proposed Rule.

The rule provides for two categories of continuing education.
O Category one activities represent more cost because they generally require payment of a registration fee and travel to and from the meeting.
O Category two hours are most often independent and/or unsupervised and often can be accomplished during or after regular work hours at little or no cost to the participant.
Of the thirty hours required ten hours can be earned in category two.
No more than ten hours can be earned in practice management courses in any three-year reporting period.
RCW 18.93.040 allows the veterinary board of governors to adopt rules implementing continuing education requirements for renewal of the license and relicensing. The purpose of continuing education requirements is to maintain and enhance the professional competence of services provided by licensed veterinary technicians. A successful continuing education program focuses on all aspects of the practice to ensure that the practitioner is competent to provide safe and quality care to patients.

Under the proposed rules, licensed veterinary technicians would be required to accumulate a minimum for thirty continuing education hours every three years. Continuing education falls into two categories:

Category 1: Structured activities such as lecture series or education courses sponsored by organizations recognized by the industry as qualified providers. Those organizations include national certifying bodies and associations and accredited schools or colleges.

Category 2: Activities which are generally independent and/or unsupervised such as participation in peer review, mentoring, grand rounds, scientific journal review and reporting and practice management. A maximum of ten credit hours may be earned in this category in any three-year reporting period.

Practice Management: No more than ten hours can be earned in practice management courses in any three-year reporting period.

Is a Small Business Economic Impact Statement (SBEIS) Required for this Rule? Yes.

Which Industries are Affected by this Rule? Affected Industries: The proposed rules affect practitioners in independent, partnership and clinic settings.


NAICS Code DESCRIPTION
541940 Vaccination services, veterinary
541940 Veterinarians' office
541940 Veterinarians' practices
541940 Veterinary clinics
541940 Veterinary services
541940 Veterinary services, livestock
541940 Veterinary services, pets and other animal specialties

What are the Costs of Complying with this Rule for Small Business (those with Fifty or Fewer Employees) and for the largest 10% of Business Affected? Licensed veterinary technicians must complete thirty hours of continuing education every three years. Courses may be earned in either Category One (structured activities by approved sponsors) or Category Two (self-study activities including reports, video or CD Rom or courses offered electronically). Licensees may earn all thirty credits in Category One courses, or twenty credits in Category One approved courses and ten credits in Category Two self-study courses.

Based on information provided to the department during the stakeholder process, the minimum cost possible to a licensee is by completing twenty hours of Category One credit by attending evening courses offered quarterly through approved veterinary technician program. These courses are approximately $8.00 per quarter for three credits, for a total of about $54.00 for twenty credits. The remaining ten hours can be completed through free courses offered by pharmaceutical companies at the practice location, or relevant courses offered on-line, or provided on CD.

There are also other more expensive options available to licensees which are not documented here.

Does the Rule Impose a Disproportionate Impact on Small Businesses? No. All businesses are small businesses in this industry.

What Cost of Minimizing Features Have Been Included in the Rule? Licensees may receive Category 2 hours for some activities that occur during regular business hours such as practice management at no additional cost to the licensee. Some on-line courses are free, particularly when sponsored by pharmaceutical companies or by animal product companies.

Involvement of Small Business in the Rule Making: Development of continuing education rules has taken place in open public meetings both in Eastern and Western Washington. Notice of meetings have been sent to all persons who have expressed an interest in participating in the rule-making process. The mailing lists consist of 185 individuals.

A copy of the statement may be obtained by contacting Janette Benham, Program Manager, P.O. Box 47868, Olympia, WA 98504-7868, phone (360) 236-4947, fax (360) 586-4359, e-mail janette.benham@doh.wa.gov.

A cost-benefit analysis is required under RCW 34.05.328. A preliminary cost-benefit analysis may be obtained by contacting Janette Benham, Program Manager, P.O. Box 47868, Olympia, WA 98504-7868, phone (360) 236-4947, fax (360) 586-4359, e-mail janette.benham@doh.wa.gov.

April 21, 2008

Judy Haenke

Acting Executive Director

OTS-1119.5

CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
NEW SECTION
WAC 246-935-270   Purpose.   The purpose of these rules is to establish standards of continuing education for licensed veterinary technicians. The rules designate approved training methods, identify continuing education providers and set minimum continuing education credit requirements.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-935-280   Basic requirement -- Amount.   Continuing education consists of programs of learning which contribute directly to the advancement or enhancement of the skills of licensed veterinary technicians. Beginning with license renewals on or after July 23, 2008, licensed veterinary technicians must complete thirty hours of continuing education every three years. No more than ten hours can be earned in practice management courses in any three-year reporting period. Licensed veterinary technicians must comply with chapter 246-12 WAC relating to continuing education requirements.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-935-290   Qualified organizations approved by the veterinary board of governors.   Courses offered by the following organizations qualify as continuing education courses for veterinary technicians.

(1) The Washington State Association of Veterinary Technicians.

(2) National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America.

(3) All veterinary technician specialty academies recognized by the North American Veterinary Technician Association.

(4) The American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB).

(5) The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

(6) The Washington State Veterinary Medical Association.

(7) Any board approved college or school of veterinary medical technology.

(8) Any state or regional veterinary association which is recognized by the licensing authority of its state as a qualified professional association or educational organization.

(9) The American Animal Hospital Association.

(10) Veterinary specialty boards recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

(11) Regional veterinary conferences and allied organizations recognized by AAVSB.

(12) The Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE).

(13) Other courses as approved by the board.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-935-300   Self-study continuing veterinary technician education activities.   The board may grant continuing education credit for participation in self-study educational activities. The board may grant a licensee a total of ten credit hours under this section for any three-year reporting period. Self-study educational activities may include:

(1) Credit for reports. The board may grant continuing education credit for reports on professional veterinary literature. Licensees must submit requests for credit to the veterinary board of governors at least sixty days prior to the end of the reporting period. The request must include a copy of the article, including publication source, date and author. The report must be typewritten and include at least ten descriptive statements about the article.

(a) Professional literature approved for these reports are peer reviewed veterinary medical journals.

(b) Each report qualifies for one credit hour. The board may grant a licensee up to five credit hours of continuing veterinary technician education under this subsection if the combined total of ten hours for all types of self-study continuing veterinary medical education is not exceeded.

(2) Credit for preprogrammed educational materials. The board may grant a licensee continuing education credit for viewing and participating in board-approved formal preprogrammed veterinary technician educational materials. The preprogrammed materials must be approved by an organization listed in WAC 246-935-290, and must require successful completion of an examination. Preprogrammed educational materials include, but are not limited to:

(a) Correspondence courses offered through journals or other sources;

(b) Cassettes;

(c) Videotapes;

(d) CD-ROM;

(e) Internet.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 246-935-310   Exceptions.   The board may excuse from or grant an extension of continuing education requirements to a licensed veterinary technician due to illness or other extenuating circumstances.

Licensees seeking an extension must petition the board, in writing, at least forty-five days prior to the end of the reporting period.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office