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Thread: National Practical Examination

  1. #26
    Master OptiBoarder Cindy Hamlin's Avatar
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    Re: Harry

    MVEYES said:
    Let's add NAO, CLSA and NFOS to that list. You have pinpointed a good plan that would open dialogue among all Opticians in the revamping of the organizations to better serve our profession. I have informed our state executive board of this site and some our division officers visit this site often. Each of us should bring in Opticians we know and invite them to participate as Harry submitted in his post. Apathy is an easy way to deal with the situation but we all know it has created the chaos we are experiencing in our profession.
    Join National organizations. Their dues are slightly more then yearly magazine prescriptions and the support will do you a lot more good.


    Jerry

    We have two NFOS members already on the board. Laurie, the moderator of this forum and Ed DeGennaro who has posted a time or two.
    ~Cindy

    "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." -Catherine Aird-

  2. #27
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    Re: Concentrate on the future not the past.

    The largest complaint I have had about the various organizations for opticians is that everything is done behind closed doors.None of us "working stiffs" have any input or knowledge into what goes on.I plead guilty to my apathy but thats in the past and its time for a change.Lets see what happens.

    hj


    The Leadership Conference in Charleston was all about making the business of OAA as tranparent as possible. There is much work to be done and little time to do it in. I would ask all of you who are concerned to be in Atlanta in July for the National Opticians Conference to see first hand what has been accomplished. If we are all as committed to change as we profess to be, much can be done by the membership, begining in Atlanta.

  3. #28
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    And don't forget.........

    And don't forget to join before you get there!

    Judy, is there anything we can be doing before Atlanta?

    bst harry j
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
    Lord Byron

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  4. #29
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    Good question, Harry...
    I think that the best thing we can do is pay our dues and show up. But show up with an open mind and a willingness to help heal the organization. Ask ourselves how our individual talents and interests can be of assistance and then be willing to devote that time and those talents that we will need to accomplish our goals. There's a lot of work to be done. It's often a thankless job at best and there's no pay involvedl...but outside of that, it's also a lot of fun!

  5. #30
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Are there any plans....

    Judy,
    Are there any plans for OAA workshops or "breakout" groups to meet and propose a "plan for the future"?(for lack of a better title), and if the answer is yes how will they be organized? Perhaps it is to early to ask that question but we could try to get some early volunteers so there would be a base to start with.
    best from harry
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
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  6. #31
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    I don't think that the conference schedule has been finalized as yet.

  7. #32
    Master OptiBoarder MVEYES's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Judy and all who will be at OAA convention

    Will you bring up this idea of National Practical exam at the convention?









    :cheers: Jerry
    The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground

  8. #33
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    I will if there is an appropriate forum. OAA and its leadership have a great deal on the table right now, not the least of which is determining what our next steps toward a healthy organization should be.

  9. #34
    Bad address email on file Mark Miller- POF's Avatar
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    Florida Could Use a New (private) Exam

    *The price of the Florida Practical Exam jumped to $800*

    I asked the following question of the Florida Opticianry Board and their reply is below -
    (Now would be a good time to have another exam available)

    It is my understanding that the fee to take the Opticianry exam has taken a big jump up - is this true? If so - what the new cost? and what prompted it the increase in price - new law? by policy of the Department?

    --reply---
    Mark,
    The 2001 Florida Legislature passed a number of revisions to the existing statutes governing examinations. The revision involving the examination costs is in section 456.017(1)(c)3., Florida Statutes which states "The board, or the department when there is no board, may administer a state-developed practical or clinical examination, as required by the applicable practice act, if all costs of development, purchase, validation, administration, review, and defense are paid by the examination candidate prior to the administration of the examination. If a national practical or clinical examination is available and certified by the department pursuant to this section, the board, or the department when there is no board, may administer the national examination."

    The MQA Testing Services Unit promulgated the Rule for the new examination fees which became effective on 3/14/02,

    The fees could only be reduced if the department's costs are reduced. The board has discussed the issue of exam costs at the last three board meetings.

    At the January meeting, representatives from the ABO/NCLE and Capitol Hill Testing Service attended an examination committee meeting. The board will continue to search for cost saving measures.

    The new examination fees are:

    Neutralization= $190.00;
    Opticianry Laws & Rules= $115.00;
    Practical= $395.00;
    Application fee= $100.00

    Total = $800.00

    _____end reply___

    These fees do not include the cost of the ABO and NCLE exams that are also required.

  10. #35
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    I didn't want to BUY the state......

    Mark, sounds like
    "I didn't want to BUY the state, I just want to practice there!"

    You were unclear as to whose test this was.Was this, in fact, the Capital Hill test? I don't think they pay that much for it in NY.If you could find the answer to that question it would be helpful.Also helpful would be the words for which MQA stands. We don't know who you are talking about.

    Thanks from harry j
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
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  11. #36
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    This appears to me to be a rather bold attempt to end licensure in FL by pricing it out of the reach of the average apprentice/student Optician.

    Does FL have statutes that deal with restricting entry to an occupation? Here in VA, our attempts to identify an AAS in Opticianry as the only acceptable prerequisite for taking the State Board exams has been countered with the arguement that it unfairly restricts entry to the field.

  12. #37
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Lauries suggestion was.,...

    Judy,

    Laurie's suggestion was that the ABO require an associates to sit for the exam.It makes perfect sense in that the licensed states have accepted ABO for at least the written exam.If ABO does this it would solve the problem.As long as they phased it in to allow anyone NOW in the system to be grandfathered.The states would have to change nothing because passage of ABO would still be the requirement.It would be a simple solution to a rather complex problem.

    I think we can all see what trying to change by legislation will do by what is happening in Alaska now.We are not strong enough to survive opening that can of worms.There are too many sharks in the ocean.

    Thoughts?

    hj
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
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  13. #38
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    Harry,
    I don't see it happening. ABO/NCLE makes a LOT of money on exam and renewal fees. I can't see them doing anything that will diminish those numbers.

  14. #39
    Master OptiBoarder MVEYES's Avatar
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    Question What are we missing here

    I would think that certification could be tiered to include different levels of competency and that one of the levels that licensing boards would have available would be a practical/written that ABO/NCLE could offer. No reason for the fear of income loss if planned and approached correctly. This entity sets standards for the profession and should look at advancing the profession despite economic consequence. NAO and CLSA should stand strongly behind ABO/NCLE in their attempts at raising the bar on standards. Budgets are a problem but should not stop the mission.


    :cheers: Jerry
    The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground

  15. #40
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    I don't see how it could diminish revenues

    Judy,
    If all current members of ABO are grandfathered, and a 3 year grace period for those in the apprenticeship programs now in place, why would the ABO's revenues decline if they required an AS to sit for exam in 3 years? I am making a basic assumption that there will still be people wanting to become opticians.They will still need certification if they are to practice in licensed states.How could that hurt ABO?

    What will affect ABO a lot is a sucessful challenge
    to licensing.They should be all over this thing in Alaska like flypaper.Are you in touch with anyone in ABO to find out if and how they are dealing with that?

    still waiting to light your cigar, I remain, hj
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
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  16. #41
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    Harry,
    Right now you need a high school diploma or equivalent and
    about $100 to qualify to take the ABO exam. The ABO is unfortunately an exam with little standing nationally. Many licensed states use it in conjuntion with it's own practical exam, some do not. It is nice to have in a state that does not regulate the profession but it will not affect an Optician's right to practice. If you add to these minimal qualifications, the necessity of spending several thousand dollars on a college degree, the number of potential certificants will drop. After all, this is a profession that is largely unregulated across the country and until the marketplace, both consumers and employers, refuse to patronize or hire an uneducated, uncertified Optician, it will remain so.
    As an aside, here in VA we have required licensure since 1954 and have an outstanding Opticianry program at J. Sargent Reynolds Community College in Richmond and a small apprenticeship education program at Northern Virginia Community College. However, many of the chain retailers have discovered a home study program offered through a technical center in Harrisonburg using texts and tests written more than 15 years ago. Testing is done on the "honor system" with the apprentice sponsor administering the test to the apprentice and then mailing the paperwork back to Harrisonburg. With the exception of the apprentice sponsor, no licensed Optician is involved in the entire process. Because our regulations permit home study, the minimal requirement of 1 year of related instruction can be circumvented and reduced to the speed of the US Postal system in returning these tests. There is no oversight regarding how and where the tests are administered. I have asked that our State Board review this procedure, but have little hope that it will change. Major changes in our regulations will not happen, period. Real change will occur when employers demand and will pay comensuate salaries for college-educated Opticians, knowing that they will enhance the quality of their practices.

  17. #42
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Help me with this....

    Judy,
    Are you saying the number of candidates will drop because they will need a collegiate education in order to do sit for a competency exam?

    That hasn't seemed to have been the case with other professions.We are treading a fine line here.Either we are a profession or we are a trade.If we wish to be a profession, not just act like one, then we must require education...period.If things are left the way they are now, our profession will be left in the dust created by its own implosion.Should the interests who have attacked licensing in Alaska succeed, how long do you think it will be till they are knocking on the doors of the Commonwealths of Massachusetts AND Virginia?

    We're going to HAVE to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps.Requiring education is the ONLY way this can be accomplished.The fact that education costs money will not diminish the amount of candidates because the low compensation, and lack of professional regard has already accomplished that.

    If ABO/NCLE/NAO are not willing to stand in the forefront of this movement they had best get out of the way to make room those who do.I cannot believe they could be that shortsighted.

    best from harry
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  18. #43
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    Harry,
    That's not the point I'm arguing. My reality is that some of us regard ourselves as professionals, others regard us as skilled labor, and still others don't care so long as they get paid. My point is that it's about the money. It's ALWAYS about the money.

  19. #44
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    I think we can get beyond the money..

    Judy,
    I think we can get beyond the money if we make education a priority. I'm not just talking about educating optical students, I'm talking about educating the existing opticians as well.Someone (perhaps you...I don't recall) recently posted that 28,000 of our fellow citizens listed their occupations as opticians.If you multipy that times the annual dues for OAA you come up with a healthy sum of money.About $1,820,000.00 to be correct.

    That would go a long way in easing the financial struggles of today's organization.What has to happen is that opticians must be educated as to the importance of a National organization.Remember how Jerry Miller did it in the olden days? By going out there and doing it, from state, to state, to state.There are enough interested members today to mount a drive across the country.It won't happen overnight.....but it won't happen at all until someone does it.Opticians need to be educated as well as optical students.

    I read what you have written as your sig, at the bottom of each of your messages.I was begining to think I was too old to feel guilty about anything.

    Harry

    BTW I did re-up by sending my check to VA!:D

    PS now that you've gone and changed your sig again, part of my post makes no sense to anyone else.I still feel guilty however!
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
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  20. #45
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    Harry,
    It's more like 30,000+ folks who identify themselves as Opticians according to their tax forms. It's a figure that I have used often in posts on OptiBoard for several years and it does represent a huge amount of money that OAA could use to benefit Opticianry and Opticians. But just look at the response from this forum when I asked who was going to our national convention, you, me, Karlen and Diane. We're passionate enough when it's easy, like posting our various outrages here, but not enough where it really counts, like being actively involved in strengthing our only national voice. I'm tired of listening to "what have they done for me lately?" They haven't done anything lately, they can't because "we" didn't give them any money to do it with. At this point when I'm waving bye-bye to my license, I can do it knowing that I at least tried to do something.

  21. #46
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    I hope you're not tossing in the towel just yet!

    Judith,

    I hope you're not tossing in the towel just yet.Last year I decided to test the depth of the water with both feet! (Against Ioconnell's advice :D )I'd rather not be swimming by myself :(

    hj
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  22. #47
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    Harry,
    I'm not throwing in the towel just yet. I am glad to know that you can swim, though. I can't and I may just need rescuing from time to time. ;) Anyway, I rather enjoy being a "squeeky wheel" from time to time.

    See you and Ian in Atlanta...

    Judy

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