The practice of Opticianry in British Columbia is governed under the Health Professions Act and the Opticianry Regulations. Every individual practicing in British Columbia as a License Optician or Contact Lens Student must be registered with the College of Opticians of British Columbia (College). Failure to register is a significant offence and can result in disciplinary action and/or fines.
Canadian and international applicants who have not graduated from an accredited and recognized program or are not registered in good standing with another Canadian Optician regulator may be accepted for admission where they have a combination of knowledge, skills, experience and abilities which are, in the opinion of the registration committee, substantially equivalent to the requirements set out in the Bylaws for new applicants. Such applicants, after they have completed a Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR), may be admitted with or without further examinations, education, training, experience and other upgrading and/or assessments as determined by the registration committee.
For more information on PLAR please contact the College.
All applicants from non accredited education will be required to complete the following:
1. Application for Registration with COBC
Complete and submit a COBC application in the form required by the registration committee, and submit such documentation as may be required by the registration committee
2. Preliminary Assessment of Application / Initial Intake
Committee and/or appointed interviewer will review the following:
2.1 Detail of work experience (Dispensing Experience & Fittings Form)
2.2 Transcripts of formal education
2.4 Letters of personal reference and professional competence
2.5 Letters of registration or licensure
2.6 ICES, IQAS or WES
2.7 Language proficiency
3. Assessment of Applicant (theoretical, practical and an in-person interview)
3.1 Competency Gap Analysis (CGA)
3.2 Interview and practical conducted by a panel determined by the Registration Committee
The Assessment consists of theoretical and practical sections, as well as an in-person interview. The CGA is an online tool used to assess the competencies of an applicant. The CGA, along with the interview and practical section will assist the Registration Committee in identifying any gaps in learning.
4. Registration Committee Assess Information
After the Registration Committee assesses the information they may refer the applicant to complete one or more of the following:
5. Additional Education
If gaps in learning are identified at any point in the process the Registration Committee may refer the applicant to complete a specified education program.
The applicant may proceed to challenge the National Optical Sciences (NOS) Examination.
The applicant will be entitled to proceed to step seven upon successfully completing any of the above steps as required by the Registration Committee
7. Allow the Applicant to Proceed to Registration with the COBC
The applicant must submit the following:
7.1 Proof of insurance
7.2 Solemn declaration
7.3 Criminal records check
7.4 Payment of fees
Please download the following forms and return them to the COBC as part of your PLAR application:
Information on Previous Applications
Document Assessment Form
Dispensing Experience & Fittings Form (1 per place of employment)
Please note: Your application will be considered incomplete until you have submitted all of the above forms
Foreign Credential Recognition Loan Project