COPE's requirements have changed as of February 1, 2017. New accreditation criteria have been implemented and COPE administrators/providers are now required to demonstrate compliance with the criteria in their organizational planning and analysis of an educational activity.
COPE offers two options for accreditation of optometric continuing education:
CE providers are free to choose either accreditation option. Larger providers (e.g., more than ten activities per year) are more likely to benefit from choosing provider accreditation. Smaller administrators will likely choose to continue having each activity accredited individually.
The accreditation criteria require CE programs to be designed to change optometrists, competence (teaching strategies for translating new knowledge into action), performance (what they actually do in practice), or patient outcomes. COPE administrators and accredited providers will also be asked to evaluate the effectiveness of their programs.