Becoming an Optician in BC

In BC, opticians, dispensing opticians, and contact lens fitters are reserved titles. In addition, contact lens fitting and automated refraction are restricted activities. Anyone wishing to practice opticianry, identify with these titles, and conduct restricted activities is required to register with us. 

How do you become an optician? 

The opticianry programs of the following education providers are recognized by COBC for registration:
Once you have successfully completed a recognized opticianry program, the next step is writing the national licensing examination. You have one year after successfully completing the national licensing examination to register with COBC. 

What are practice competencies?

National Competencies for Canadian Opticians outline skills and standards that newly graduated Licensed Opticians would need to acquire before entering the profession. The national competencies provides an understanding of the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for competent practice of opticianry in British Columbia and in other jurisdictions in Canada.

The national competencies provides a tool to assist opticianry educators in the development of programs and curriculum that continues to meet the changing demands of modern practice. In the interest of public protection, COBC must ensure that individuals applying to use the title of optician in British Columbia are qualified to do so. National competencies set standards for professional qualification that all Licensed Opticians in British Columbia must meet for their initial registration. 

National Licensing Examination

To apply for the exams, please contact National Alliance for Canadian Optician Regulators (NACOR) office for the application form and apply early to reserve your seat. If candidates need any special arrangements (e.g. travel and/or medical), please notify both NACOR office and the COBC in writing as soon as possible. Please visit the NACOR website - it has more information on registering for the exam and details on writing the exam. Examinations are held throughout Canada, applicants are free to apply to challenge the examination in any province.

During past examinations in British Columbia, Saturdays have typically been set aside for the Eyeglass Examination, while Sundays have typically been set aside for the Contact Lens Examination. The location of the examinations will be at David Lam Campus, Douglas College in Coquitlam, BC.
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