Pharmacists who are applying for renewal after Oct. 1, 2020, will be required to have completed all requisite continuing education (CE) credits, and will not be exempted based on previous pandemic orders, according to additional guidance from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA) received clarification about the guidance this morning.
For pharmacists in need of additional CE, the MPA Annual Convention & Exposition offers up to 13 hours of live credit during the virtual event, plus an additional 15.75 hours of non-live credit after the event. Registration closes Thursday, Feb. 25, at noon.
During the pandemic, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order that, among other things, allowed pharmacists to count hours worked toward their live CE requirement. However, the Michigan Supreme Court in October struck down the governor’s executive orders, immediately nullifying them.
According to LARA’s new guidance, “Although previous Executive Orders allowed the Bureau to waive continuing education (CE) requirements for health professionals licensed under the Public Health Code, effective Oct. 2, 2020, BPL (the Bureau of Professional Licensing) no longer has this legal authority. Therefore, health licensees renewing after 11:59 p.m. Oct. 1, 2020, are required to have completed all required CEs or request a waiver as permitted under the Michigan Public Health Code.”
This guidance affirms that any licensee who applied for renewal before Oct. 2, 2020, would be allowed to count their hours worked toward their CE requirement. However, anyone who applied after that date would need to receive their CE in the usual manner, consisting of board-approved live educational programming.
Health licensees are able to request a waiver of continuing education by their profession’s board – for pharmacists, the Michigan Board of Pharmacy – as laid out in MCL 333.16205
of the Michigan Public Health Code. Please note, requests must be received before the expiration date of the license. However, approval of a waiver is not guaranteed and the final determination rests with the board. If requesting a waiver, a licensee is encouraged to provide documentation to support his or her written request.