ARBO Establishes Intra-Professional COPE Advisory Committee

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CHARLOTTE, N.C.—The Association of Boards of Optometry (ARBO) has established an intra-professional Advisory Committee to act in an advisory, consultative and technical capacity to its Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE). The COPE Advisory Committee is composed of representatives from stakeholders within the optometric profession including the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE), American Academy of Optometry (AAO), American Optometric Association (AOA), Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO), continuing education providers and speakers.

“ARBO’s objective is to develop an ongoing process for continuous improvement of the COPE accreditation system and the Advisory Committee will play an important role in that,” the organization said. COPE has been working on a process for accreditation of CE providers to add to its already established process for accreditation of courses. Other planned changes for COPE involve ongoing improvements to current CE accreditation standards to incorporate educational planning and outcomes measurement.

Susy Yu, OD, MBA, FAAO, COPE committee chairperson, remarked, “Our goal is to improve knowledge, performance and patient outcomes resulting in an optometric CE accreditation process that is equivalent with the accreditation process for other health care professions, specifically medicine, nursing and pharmacy. This will be a significant milestone for COPE and also for optometry as a profession. I look forward to working with the other groups on the Advisory Committee to build trust between the organizations to assist COPE in achieving this goal.” The Advisory Committee will be having its inaugural meeting Sept. 13-14, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas.

Founded in 1919, the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry's purpose is to represent and assist member licensing agencies in regulating the practice of optometry for the public welfare. ARBO serves 66 Boards of Optometry in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Added Dr. Yu, “The key to COPE's success lies in its independence. COPE is a program of ARBO, an organization dedicated to supporting all of its constituent Regulatory Boards of Optometry. ARBO’s Member Boards ultimately answer to the public. Not to any one organization, not to any pharmaceutical company, not to any university, but to the public. That allows ARBO and COPE to keep its focus on one thing, and one thing only: the health and well-being of patients.”

For more information on ARBO, contact Lisa Fennell, ARBO executive director, 200 South College Street, Suite 2030, Charlotte, N.C. 28202; (704) 970-2710 or e-mail arbo@arbo.org.