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Continuing Education for Surgical Assistants

As a prerequisite for surgical assistant registration, licensees are required to complete continuing education.  Current requirements for surgical assistants are summarized below. If you would like to review the current rule, these requirements are currently listed Board rule 184.25 available on our website at: .


Surgical assistants need to complete at least 36 hours of continuing education every 24 months (24 month timeline is in relation to the biennial registration period, not the calendar year).  At least half of these hours must be formal Category I  or 1-A credit.  The remaining hours may be from Category II.  Completion of required CE is reported during registration.


New Human Trafficking Prevention Requirement

House Bill 2059 (86th Legislature) requires physicians, physician assistants, and any licensee of the TMB’s advisory boards or committees that provide direct patient care, to complete a human trafficking prevention course approved by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). This requirement applies to the renewal of a license on or after September 1, 2020.

HHSC is the approving body for the human trafficking prevention requirement. HB 2059 requires HHSC to approve training courses on human trafficking, including at least one that is free of charge, post a list of approved trainings on its website and update the list of approved trainings as necessary.

HHSC now has an approved course available, which is free of charge, that satisfies the requirements for all licensees impacted by HB 2059.


Documentation of CE courses shall be made available to the Board upon request, but should not be submitted with the registration. Random audits will be made to assure compliance.


If you have any questions regarding continuing education requirements, please email us at .


Surgical Assistant CE Requirements (per biennium)


18 Formal Category 1 or 1A hours:

  • designated for AMA/PRA Category I credit by a CE sponsor accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education;
  • approved for prescribed credit by the Association of Surgical Technologists/ Association of Surgical Assistants, the American Board of Surgical Assistants, or the National Surgical Assistants Association;
  • approved by the Texas Medical Association based on standards established by the AMA; or
  • designated for AOA Category 1-A credit approved by the American Osteopathic Association. 

       Medical Ethics and/or Professional Responsibility

  • At least 2 of the formal hours must involve the study of medical ethics and/or professional responsibility. Whether a particular hour of CE involves the study of medical ethics and/or professional responsibility shall be determined by the organizations which are enumerated above as part of their course planning.

        Human Trafficking Prevention

  • The formal hours must include a course in human trafficking prevention approved by the executive commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. The course shall be approved by the Board to be credited toward the required medical ethics or professional responsibility hours.


18 Informal Hours:

  • Composed of informal self-study,
  • attendance at hospital lectures or grand rounds not approved for formal CE, or
  • case conferences, and
  • shall be recorded in a manner that can be easily transmitted to the board upon request. 


There is a maximum of 36 total excess credit hours that may be carried forward and a limit of two years from the date of the registration following the period during which the hours were earned, except for the required course in human trafficking prevention.  The course in human trafficking prevention must be completed prior to each renewal. Excess hours are applied/reported according to their Category.   See Board Rule 184.25 for additional information.




A licensed surgical assistant may request in writing an exemption* for the following reasons:

  • the licensee's catastrophic illness;
  • the licensee's military service of longer than one year's duration outside the state;
  • the licensee's residence of longer than one year's duration outside the United States; or
  • good cause shown submitted in writing by the licensee that gives satisfactory evidence to the board that the licensee is unable to comply with the requirement for continuing education.

*Exemptions are subject to the approval of the executive director of the board and must be requested in writing at least 30 days prior to the expiration date of the license.   An exemption may not exceed one registration period, but may be renewed, subject to approval.


Continuing Education Exemption Request Form - Surgical Assistant