What to Expect from Your Optician

Opticians are regulated healthcare professionals that are accountable to provide safe, ethical, and competent patient care. 

You can expect that your optician will:

  • Assist you with choosing a frame and lenses that fit your lifestyle needs, optical needs, and budget
  • Supervise non-licensed staff 
  • Verify your order before dispensing it to you
  • Adjust your eyewear upon pick-up to best fit your face
  • Provide contact lens fittings and dispense replacement contact lenses
  • Follow up with you to ensure your contact lenses are working
  • Put your needs first

Your optician must provide you with a copy of your assessment record if you’ve had an independent automated refraction. The assessment record must contain your interpupillary distance (P.D.) and be provided to you free of charge once your service has been completed. Your optician may require you to return to them for a follow-up before they consider the service completed. 

If you’ve had a contact lens fitting, your optician must provide you with a copy of your contact lens record free of charge once the service has been completed. If this is the first time you are being fitted with contact lenses, or your first time at a new location, your optician will require you to return for a follow-up before they consider the service completed. 

Opticians must display their certificates of registration issued by COBC. You should be able to see your optician’s certificate(s) clearly in their store. If you are unsure whether a staff member helping you is an optician, you can ask. Opticians are required to disclose their licensure status and licence number to clients upon request. Please note that not everyone who works at an optical store is an optician. 

Opticians are governed by provincial legislation, as well as rules and regulations set by the College of Opticians of British Columbia (COBC). The COBC Standards of Practice define the minimum levels of performance and professional required of each optician. As a client, you may also wish to refer to the Standards of Practice to better understand your optician’s obligations. We invite you to refer to Standards of Practice: A Client’s Guide (previewed below).

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If you have concerns or questions about the care you’ve received, you can contact COBC at reception@cobc.ca or 604-742-6472.