The period of certification is five years. Prior to the expiration of the certification period, a certified specialist who desires continued certification must apply for continued certification within the time limit described in Rule .2706(d) below. No examination will be required for continued certification. However, each applicant for continued certification as a specialist shall comply with the specific requirements set forth below in addition to any general standards required by the board of all applicants for continued certification.

(a)  Substantial Involvement - The specialist must demonstrate that, for each of the five years preceding application, he or she has had substantial involvement in the specialty as defined in Rule .2705(b) of this subchapter, provided, however, that a specialist who served on the Industrial Commission as a full time commissioner or deputy commissioner during the five years preceding application may substitute each year of service on the Industrial Commission for one year of practice.

(b)  Continuing Legal Education - The specialist must earn no less than 60 hours of accredited continuing legal education (CLE) credits in workers' compensation law and related fields during the five years preceding application. Of the 60 hours of CLE, at least 30 hours shall be in workers' compensation law, and the balance may be in the following related fields: civil trial practice and procedure; evidence; insurance; mediation; medical injuries, medicine, or anatomy; labor and employment law; Social Security disability law; and the law relating to long-term disability or Medicaid/Medicare claims. The specialist must earn not less than six credits in courses on workers' compensation law each year and the balance of credits may be earned in courses on workers' compensation law or any of the related fields previously listed.

(c)  Peer Review - The applicant must provide, as references, the names of at least six lawyers, commissioners or deputy commissioners of the North Carolina Industrial Commission, or judges, all of whom are licensed and currently in good standing to practice law in this state and familiar with the competence and qualification of the applicant as a specialist. For an application to be considered, completed peer reference forms must be received from at least three of the references. All other requirements relative to peer review set forth in Rule .2705(d) of this subchapter apply to this standard.

(d)  Time for Application - Application for continued certification shall be made not more than 180 days nor less than ninety days prior to the expiration of the prior period of certification.

(e)  Lapse of Certification - Failure of a specialist to apply for continued certification in a timely fashion will result in a lapse of certification. Following such lapse, recertification will require compliance with all requirements of Rule .2705 of this subchapter, including the examination.

(f)  Suspension or Revocation of Certification - If an applicant's certification has been suspended or revoked during the period of certification, then the application shall be treated as if it were for initial certification under Rule .2705 of this subchapter.


History Note:        Statutory Authority G.S. 84-23;

Adopted by the Supreme Court May 4, 2000;

Amendments Approved by the Supreme Court: March 10, 2011; March 5, 2015; September 22, 2016; March 27, 2019.