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  • International Graduates

    International Graduates of Non-ACOE Accredited Schools

    Please read the following information if you are applying for registration in any Canadian province or territory other than Quebec.

    For registration in the province of Quebec, please visit the website of the Ordre des Optométristes du Québec.

    Pour de l’information concernant l’inscription dans la province du Québec, veuillez visiter le site internet de l’Ordre des optométristes du Québec.

    NEW – All internationally educated graduates (graduates of non-ACOE schools) must complete the approved steps in the pre-registration process approved by the Registration Committee and FORAC before being eligible to challenge the approved entry-to-practice examination.
    (updated February 1, 2019)


    Credential Assessment Process for All Provinces (except Quebec)

    (updated October 1, 2020)

    The Federation of Optometric Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FORAC) now has a national process for the credential assessment of international graduates of non-ACOE accredited schools. This flow chart (PDF) outlines the steps in the registration process for international graduates of non-ACOE accredited schools seeking registration to practise in Canada. Click here to visit FORAC’s website.

    The mailing address for FORAC is:

    FORAC Credentialing Service
    Sheppard Centre Post Office
    4841 Yonge Street – Unit 242
    PO Box 43215
    Toronto, Ontario M2N 5W0

    Please note that the FORAC office is staffed on a part-time basis. The FORAC credentialing office can be contacted at forac.credentialing@gmail.com or 647-746-2050.

    Access to Applicant Information and Records Policy

    Applicants are entitled to access documents provided to the College as part of their application process. Please refer to the following College policy.

    Touchstone Institute

    (updated April 19, 2018)

    Please refer to the Touchstone Institute website for evaluating exam (IGOEE) information.


    The College began exploring the development of an evaluating exam in 2011 to enable international applicants to bypass bridging based on a high performance on the exam. The Touchstone Institute (formerly CEHPEA) responded in 2013 to an invitation by the College for proposals for the development, implementation, and administration of an evaluating exam. The exam will include both a multiple choice component, and a clinical performance component.

    Following the approval of the College Council for the College to fund the development, implementation, and administration of the exam, the College accordingly engaged the Touchstone Institute in January 2014. The following outline illustrates the evaluating exam development process:

    • Creating a blueprint
    • Developing the exam content
    • Pilot-testing
    • Developing a registration system


    Below are the timelines for the development and implementation of the evaluating exam:

    No. Stage Timeline
    1 Blueprinting workshop February 2014
    2 Question-writing workshops for both multiple-choice question examination and performance objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) Spring and Summer 2014
    3 Pilot exam Early November 2014
    4 Implementation of evaluating exam By June 30, 2015

    Touchstone Institute convened a blueprinting workshop in February 2014 followed by a question-writing workshop for a multiple-choice question examination and objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) attended by a number of academic and practising optometrists. The evaluating exam development and implementation proceeded on schedule.

    Therapeutics Prescribing Assessment for Optometry (TPAO)

    In January 2018, the College of Optometrists of Ontario together with the Federation of Optometric Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FORAC) requested that Touchstone Institute develop a separate Therapeutics Prescribing Assessment for Optometry (TPAO) to complement the evaluating exam.

    International Optometric Bridging Program

    (updated October 27, 2017)

    Applicants who have been identified by the Registration Committee of the relevant province to require further education or training, prior to registration, will be permitted to apply to the International Optometric Bridging Program (IOBP).

    To help international graduates meet the academic equivalency requirement for registration, the College of Optometrists with the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science developed the International Optometric Bridging Program. Click here for information regarding the bridging program.

    Contact Us

    For more information regarding the above process, please contact Ms. Hanan K. Jibry, Assistant Registrar, College of Optometrists of Ontario.