"For Internationally Educated Opticians"

Process Overview

You must complete the following registration and licensing process to obtain a licence from OOM:

1. Learn about becoming an Optician in Canada

2. Complete the NACOR PLAR Program

3. Pass the NACOR examination

4. Apply for registration and licensure

Registration and Licensing Process

If you were educated outside of Canada, your education program will NOT be accredited by OOM. You must therefore demonstrate that you have a combination of training and experience that is equivalent to the standards of Opticianry established in Canada. Applicants with appropriate work experience who have little or no formal training or education in opticianry are also eligible for the PLAR assessment. It should be noted however that it is more likely that the required standard will be met where the applicant has had formal education in opticianry.

These are the steps in the registration and licensing process:

Step 1: Becoming an Optician

The Opticians Council of Canada offers information about immigrating, registering, and practicing as an optician in Canada on the Become an Optician website. If you are an internationally-trained optician and have questions about working in Canada, this is the place to start.

On the Become an Optician site, you will learn about optician and alternate career paths in Canada and the registration process to practice as an optician. You can also review job opportunities on the become and Optician job board.

Step 2: NACOR PLAR Program

The PLAR program assesses the applicant’s knowledge, skills, and experience through a document review, Competency Gap Analysis (CGA), and Case-Based Interview (CBI). The CGA is a supervised online multiple-choice assessment and the CBI is conducted either in person or remotely. Both the CGA and CBI are based on the National Competencies for Canadian Opticians.

The PLAR process is administered by the National Alliance of Canadian Optician Regulators (NACOR).

To begin the process, complete the NACOR PLAR Application Form and return it to the NACOR office by mail. Applicants are required to provide the following with their application form:

  • Applicant information
  • Contact information
  • Registration information
  • Details of work experience (Dispensing Experience and Fittings Form)
  • Transcripts of formal education including course outlines
  • Letters of personal reference and professional competence
  • English language proficiency test results

If available:

  • ICES, IQAS or WES credential evaluations
  • Certification exam results from other countries
  • Letter of registration or licensure in other countries
  • Plar program fee payment
  • 2 passport-size photos

Once you have completed the PLAR propgram, NACOR will send your results to the College of Opticians of Alberta (COA).  You will receive an email from COA Staff with your results. If any gaps are identified in this process, bridging modules may be assigned to upgrade your skills and knowledge to meet the national competencies.

The NACOR PLAR program and bridging modules can be completed prior to arriving in Canada.

Step 3: NACOR Examination

Once you have successfully passed the NACOR Exam(s), you are eligible to practice as an optician in Manitoba.
You may register as a Registered Opticans (RO) after passing the Optical Sciences 1 – Eyeglass Examination and a Registered Contact Lens Practitioner (RCLP) after passing the Optical Sciences 2 – Contact Lens Examination. To apply to write the exam, complete the  the NACOR Exam Application Form and return it to the NACOR office.

The Opticians Association of Canada offers NACOR Exam Preparation sessions.

Step 4. Final Application Requirements

When the COA receives your results from NACOR, you will receive an email from COA staff with information on next steps. If you received a passing mark on the exam, you will be required to complete the following:

  • Obtain the necessary amount of professional liability insurance to practice in Manitoba
  • Complete mandatory Code of Conduct jurisprudence modules
  • Complete mandatory training to Protect Patients from Sexual Abuse and Misconduct
  • Pay Registered optician fee

After all registration requirements are met, you will be notified of your successful registration and receive your certificate via regular mail.

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