"An Act relating to dispensing opticians, to dispensing optician apprentices, to the Board of Dispensing Opticians, and to the practice of dispensing opticianry; and providing for an effective date. "
"We see all these changes as positive moves for the industry, by maintaining quality through licensing and ensuring consumer protection for Alaskans who need eyewear services in our state."
- Sen. Bunde
The legislature created the Board of Dispensing Opticians in 1973 to regulate the practice of opticianry and administer the optician licensing practical examination. In 2002 the legislature repealed the requirement for a practical examination, and legislative auditors then determined that the remaining functions of the board could be more efficiently handled by the Division of Occupational Licensing. So this bill will follow that recommendation and create a smooth transition of oversight from the board to the department.
This bill sunsets the Board of Dispensing Opticians (BDO) and transfers authority for regulating opticians to the Division of Occupational Licensing in the Department of Community and Economic Development. It will continue to license dispensing opticians. It will increase from 2 to 4 the number of apprentices that can work under one licensed optician, optometrist, or medical doctor, allowing for more individuals to enter into the profession. The bill will simplify licensure for opticians wanting to practice in Alaska to do so.
This bill will transfer the administration of the optician's apprenticeship program from the state to the US Department of Labor. USDOL administers a number of apprenticeship programs and the Division of Occupational Licensing will use its standards and requirements as guidelines for issuing licenses to qualified opticians.
We see all these changes as positive moves for the industry, by maintaining quality through licensing and ensuring consumer protection for Alaskans who need eyewear services in our state.