Questions and Answers on Continuing Competency Requirements for the
Virginia Board of Medicine
1. How many hours of continuing learning activities must I have each
In order to renew an active license biennially, the practitioner
must complete the Continued Competency Activity and Assessment Form,
which is provided by the Board and must indicate completion of at
least 60 hours of continuing learning activities.
2. What is the breakdown of Type 1 versus Type 2 continuing
learning activity hours?
30 hours shall be Type 1 continuing learning activities as
documented by an accredited sponsor or organization sanctioned by
the profession to designate learning activities for credit or other
value. Of the 30 Type 1 hours, at least 15 must be earned in face-
to-face group settings, interactive courses or other interaction
with peers. Remaining hours may be gained through self-study or
other Type I activities. All 60 hours required by the Board may be
Type 1 hours.
30 of the 60 hours may be Type 2 continuing learning activities
which may or may not be approved for credit by an accredited sponsor
or organization sanctioned by the profession to designate learning
activities for credit or other value. Physicians shall document
their own participation in Type 2 learning activities.
3. When must I have the required number of continuing competency
hours completed in order to renew my license?
With the renewal of licensure beginning in 2002. You will be
required to sign a certification on your renewal form that you have
met the continuing competency requirements. Falsification on the
renewal form is a violation of law and may subject you to
4. Am I required to send in evidence of my continuing competency
hours at the time I renew?
No. The Board will randomly select licensees for a post-renewal
audit. If selected, you would be notified by mail that
documentation is required and given a time frame within which to
5. When did the continuing competency requirements begin?
Regulations became effective on December 8, 1999.
6. Who maintains the required documents for verification of
It is the practitioner's responsibility to maintain the certificates
and any other continuing competency forms or records for six years
following renewal in 2002 and thereafter. Do not send any forms or
documents to the Board of Medicine unless requested to do so.
7. What are "Type 1" hours?
Type 1 hours (at least 30 each biennium) are those that can be
documented by an accredited sponsor or organization sanctioned by
the profession. If the sponsoring organization does not award a
participant with a dated certificate indicating the activity or
course taken and the number of hours earned, the practitioner is
responsible for obtaining a letter on organizational letterhead
verifying the hours and activity. All 60 continuing competency
hours each biennium may be Type 1 hours.
8. What are "face-to-face" hours?
The Board requires that 15 of the Type 1 hours must be earned in a
face-to-face activity or course or one in which you actually
interact with your peers. An interactive course sponsored by an
accredited organization or school would be acceptable, but a
televised or computerized video course in which there is no
interaction by participants would not be acceptable for the face-to-
9. What are "Type 2" hours?
Type 2 hours (no more than 30 each biennium) are those earned in
self-study, attending professionally related meetings, research and
writing for a journal, learning a new procedure, sitting with the
hospital ethics panel, etc. They are activities chosen by the
practitioner based on assessment of his/her practice. They do not
have to be sponsored by an accrediting organization, but must be
recorded by the practitioner on the form provided by the Board.
10. Where do I obtain the instructions and forms for continuing
Forms and instructions are included in the January 2000 newsletter
from the Board of Medicine. You should retain a copy to begin
recording your hours, or you may download them from the Board's
Internet website - http://www.dhp.state.va.us/medicine/. Records
may be maintained electronically, but copies of documentation and
forms will be necessary if a practitioner is audited following a
renewal cycle. Forms may also be copied.
11. Is it possible for a practitioner to earn accredited hours that
are sanctioned by the profession but are outside the specialty area
in which he/she practices?
Yes. For example, a pediatrician or a surgeon could receive credit
for documented hours sponsored by the American Academy of Family
12. What if I have earned the AMA Physician Recognition Award or
have been recertified by my specialty board? Would that count for my
continuing competency hours?
Yes. Provided the Board has documented proof that the requirements
to obtain the AMA award (or other similar awards) or specialty board
certification are equal to or exceed those required for renewal of
licensure. It would only be necessary to submit evidence of having
such an award or certification.
13. What if I am practicing solely without pay (i.e. volunteering at
a free clinic, rescue squad, etc.)? Do I still have to obtain the
full 60 hours of continued competency?
No. There is an exemption for anyone practicing solely without pay
in a practice (free clinic, rescue squad, etc.) that is under the
direction of a fully licensed physician.
14. What if I become ill or incapacitated and unable to complete my
continuing competency requirements prior to renewal?
Upon written request from the practitioner explaining the
circumstances, the Board may grant an extension or exemption for all
or part of the required hours.
15. What if I am now retired and don't want to obtain continuing
competency hours but don't want to give up my license?
You may request an inactive license from the Board, beginning with
your next renewal. It is important to note that holding an inactive
license does not authorize anyone to engage in the practice of
medicine, osteopathy, podiatry or chiropractic in Virginia. If you
intend to practice at all in Virginia, even on a part-time or non-
compensatory basis, you must retain your active license.
16. What happens if I take inactive licensure status and later
decide to reactivate?
A practitioner seeking to reactivate a license must pay the active
renewal fee and obtain the number of hours which would have be
required for the years in which the license was inactive (not to
exceed four years). If the practitioner has not been engaged in
active practice for more than four years, he/she must pass a special
purpose examination in his area of licensure.