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  • International Graduates

    Optometrists and eye care professionals with training from outside of North America (i.e., not accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE)) must complete an assessment from the Federation of Optometric Regulatory Authorities of Canada prior to registering in any jurisdiction except Quebec. For registration in Quebec, contact the Ordre des Optométristes du Québec.

    Pre-Registration Process

    Before applying for registration with the College of Optometrists of Ontario, internationally educated professionals who wish to practise optometry in Ontario must complete the following pre-registration process:

    1. Undergo a credential assessment (assessment of your education) by FORAC.
    2. Successfully challenge the Internationally Graduated Optometrist Evaluating Examination (IGOEE) offered by Touchstone Institute. The College contracted Touchstone Institute to develop the IGOEE, which was launched in 2015, to enable international students to bypass the International Optometric Bridging Program. In 2018, a separate Therapeutics Assessment was developed to complement the existing exam.You need to be referred by FORAC to challenge the IGOEE and cannot apply directly to the IGOEE.  Learn more about becoming eligible to challenge the IGOEE from FORAC. Learn more about the IGOEE from Touchstone Institute.

    Contact FORAC directly to begin the pre-registration process. The FORAC credentialing office is only staffed on a part-time basis and best reached by email. They can also be reached by phone at 647-746-2050 or mail:

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

    Entry-to-Practice Exam

    Once you have successfully completed the pre-registration process, you must challenge an entry-to-practice exam to register with the College of Optometrists of Ontario.

    There are two entry-to-practice exams available to applicants wishing to register with the College:

    1. the Optometry Examining Board of Canada (OEBC) exam; and
    2. the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO).

    Although it is not indicated on the FORAC website, applicants looking to register with the College can challenge either the OEBC or NBEO exam.

    International Optometric Bridging

    The College of Optometrists of Ontario and the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science developed the International Optometric Bridging Program (IOBP) to help international graduates meet the academic equivalency requirement for registration. Candidates who performed well at the IGOEE were accepted into the International Optometric Bridging Program (IOBP) offered by the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science.

    The IOBP has been discontinued and a new Advanced Optometric Program is under development, with the earliest expected start date of spring 2022. Details of the new program are not currently available. Check with the University of Waterloo for updates.

    Contact Us

    Contact Hanan Jibry, Assistant Registrar, for more information on the College’s registration process.