Applications for registration are open for a maximum of two years from the date they are received by the College. Most applicants are able to complete the application process and become registered with the College in less than one year.
Applications for registration are valid for a maximum of two years (24 months) from the date the application is received by the College. The two-year application period automatically ends when you have successfully completed the requirements for registration. The two-year timeline is provided only to give applicants adequate time to complete the registration requirements, not to allow successful applicants to delay the date they register. It is important to note that, regardless of the two-year application period, the Ontario Optometric Jurisprudence Examination must be successfully completed within 12 months of applying for registration.
A notarized copy of a document or photograph is one that has been reviewed by a Notary Public who has stamped the copy or photograph with his/her seal and then signed and dated it. A notarized copy is a legal copy of your original document.
A Certificate of Standing/letter of good standing may be submitted at any time during the application process, unless the applicant is applying under labour mobility provisions, in which case it must be submitted either with the application or shortly thereafter. However, it must be dated within six months of the applicant becoming registered. If you take more than six months to become registered after submitting a Certificate of Standing/letter of good standing, an updated Certificate of Standing/letter of good standing will be required to complete your application.
No. A Certificate of Standing/letter of good standing must be sent to the College directly from the issuing body (the regulator) and must be dated no more than six months before your Certificate of Registration is issued and activated.
You may apply for your billing number after your Certificate of Registration is issued and activated.
If the Registration Committee implements a new policy that affects applicants for registration, an individual who has already submitted an application for registration will be informed of the change and would generally be permitted to complete their application under the policies that were in effect at the time their application was submitted, or under the new policies, whichever is least onerous. However, if there is a change to the Registration Regulation that affects applicants for registration, it will apply to all applicants regardless when they submitted their application form.
For applicants who graduated from optometry programs accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE), the onus is on the applicant to ensure that the ACOE program is a fully accredited optometry program by contacting ACOE directly. Programs with a preliminary or conditional accreditation are not acceptable for registration with the College.
No. After completing the registration requirements, you will need to complete various administrative tasks such as filling out College forms and sourcing professional liability insurance, which is a requirement of our by-laws. A variety of insurance companies sell this insurance. The OAO also offers a professional liability insurance plan to its members. Accordingly, you need to build in enough time before you can start working as an optometrist in Ontario.
An applicant for registration may be referred for a practice assessment or practice evaluation if it has been more than three years since he or she successfully completed the entry-to-practice examination previously approved by the College.
The College frequently receives applications from optometrists from other jurisdictions. According to the College’s Registration Regulation, where the applicant completed the national entry-to-practice examination more than three years prior to applying to the College, he or she must, among other things, undergo either a record assessment or a practice evaluation. In some cases, an applicant may have to undergo both processes in order to satisfy the Registration Committee that they are competent to practise optometry in Ontario in accordance with the standards of practice. The practice evaluation is more thorough (and, therefore, more expensive) than the records assessment.
The Registration Committee is often unable to determine an applicant’s competence on the basis of a records assessment alone. Therefore, in order to avoid having an applicant incur the costs and additional time associated with two processes, the College is offering applicants the option to volunteer to undergo a practice evaluation at the very beginning.
To be clear, applicants do not have to do so. There is no prejudice to an applicant who undergoes a practice assessment, and an applicant who volunteers to undergo a practice evaluation will not receive any kind of preference in the handling of their application. Both processes are fair, neutral and objective.
The process is the same as for a member referred by the Registrar for a Practice Assessment for not meeting the conditions for maintaining the Certificate of Registration.
The Registration Committee conducts a practice assessment if the applicant is practising optometry in a jurisdiction outside of Canada with very similar standards of practice as Ontario at the time of the request for Ontario registration, or if a non-practising member wishes to return to practice and has some hours of the required 750 hours of direct patient care in the last consecutive 36 months. A practice evaluation is conducted if an applicant is practising optometry in a jurisdiction outside of Canada where the standards of practice are not similar to those in Ontario, or where a non-practising member wishes to return to practice and does not have any of the required 750 hours of direct patient care in the last 36 consecutive months.
If the applicant is found to have deficiencies, the Registration Committee may make recommendations for improvement in order for the applicant to meet the standards of practice set in Ontario.
Submit a completed Application for a Certificate of Registration, all required documents and a cheque for the application fee made payable to the College of Optometrists of Ontario. You will be registered for the immediate next administration of the Jurisprudence Exam unless you contact the College and let us know that you would like to sit at a later administration.
The exam is administered six times annually. Two administrations, one in the spring and one in the fall, are accompanied by a one-day seminar. The other four administrations are offered without the seminar. Information regarding the date and location for each administration of the Ontario Optometric Jurisprudence exam are located on the College website calendar.
Attendance at the seminar is recommended but not required.
Jurisprudence results are reported within 4 weeks of each exam administration. Results are reported on a pass/fail basis.
If you fail the exam, you must arrange to take it again at another administration and pay the applicable fee. It is a requirement of registration that an applicant successfully complete the Jurisprudence examination within one year (12 months) of applying for registration. If you do not pass the exam within this timeframe you may submit a new application for registration and pay the applicable fee.
The College will accept an application before you graduate from an approved program provided you include a letter from the institution confirming your expected graduation date. Once you have graduated, you must provide the College with a notarized copy of your degree certificate.
Yes. An applicant must successfully complete the Ontario Optometric Jurisprudence exam within one year (12 months) of applying for registration.
No. The jurisprudence exam shown on the Optometry Examining Board of Canada (OEBC) exam schedule is not the Ontario Optometric Jurisprudence Exam. You should only take the jurisprudence exam administered by the College of Optometrists of Ontario.
The VS check is a process that verifies whether an individual has a criminal record, as well as any record suspensions (formerly pardons) for sexual offences and local police records for information relevant to the VS check. The information that can be legally disclosed is provided to the applicant.
One of the requirements of registration as an optometrist in Ontario is that the applicant must not have been found guilty in relation to a criminal offence in any jurisdiction, or an offence under the Criminal Code (Canada), the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Canada) and the Food and Drugs Act (Canada).
To provide evidence that an applicant has met this requirement, each applicant must provide a VS check as part of the registration process from the respective jurisdiction in Canada in addition to the jurisdiction(s) in which they practised in the past. This process verifies whether an individual has a criminal record, as well as any record suspensions for sexual offences and local police records for information relevant to the VS check. The information that can be legally disclosed is provided to the applicant. The results of a VS check must be dated within six months of the applicant becoming registered. If the applicant does not become registered within six months of the date the VS check results were issued by the police, the applicant will be required to submit an updated VS check.
Contact your local police department or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police regarding the process and fees involved in obtaining a VS check.
Please check with your local police department or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police regarding the submission of fingerprints.
Yes. The VS check must be requested under your current name as well as any former or maiden names.
The results of the VS check must be dated no earlier than six months before the date you become registered. For example, if you complete all of the requirements for registration on September 1, the results of your VS check must be dated on or after March 1 of that same year. If you provide a VS check and then take longer than six months to complete the other requirements for registration, you will be required to submit an updated VS check to complete your application for registration.
The results of the VS check must be submitted to the College directly from the police or in the sealed envelope provided to you by the police.