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Registering as an Optician

Opticianry is a protected profession in most of Canada. This means that in order to practice as an optician, you need to meet certain requirements, and register with the provincial regulatory body in your province. The process of registering as an optician will vary depending on your background and the province you choose to work in.


High School Graduates

If you are graduating from high school or have no experience in the optical or health care fields, you will first need to attend an accredited post-secondary institution in Canada for training.

For more information about optician training in Canada, please visit the Education of Opticians in Canada page on this website.


Non-Accredited Program Graduates

If you have graduated from a non-accredited optician training program in Canada, you may be eligible to become an optician through the PLAR process.

PLAR stands for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition and is a process that allows applicants who have not been educated in an accredited Canadian institution the opportunity to become a licensed optician.

For more detailed information about each of these steps visit the PLAR page on this website.


Accredited Program Graduates

If you have successfully completed optician training at an accredited post-secondary institution in Canada, you are eligible to challenge the National Optical Sciences Examination (NOSE). This practical licensing exam is often referred to as the NACOR exam because it is administered by the National Association of Canadian Optician Regulators (NACOR).

To find out more information about the national exam and how to apply, you can visit the Examinations page of this website or contact NACOR or the regulatory body for opticians in your province.

Once an applicant has successfully challenged the national licensing exam, they are considered eligible for registration across Canada. Each provincial regulatory body will have a unique registration process so it is best to contact the regulatory body in your province for more information:

Provincial Regulatory Bodies

College of Opticians of British Columbia

Alberta College and Association of Opticians

College of Opticians of Saskatchewan

The Opticians of Manitoba

College of Opticians of Ontario

Ordre d'opticiens d'ordonnances du Quebec

College of Opticians of Nova Scotia

College of Opticians of New Brunswick

Prince Edward Island: (N/A)

Newfoundland and Labrador: E-Mail, Phone/Fax: 1-709-579-2605

International Applicants

If you are an international applicant, the process will mainly depend on your work experience and educational background. There are two options for becoming an optician in Canada.

Option 1 – PLAR

If you have a background in optics or health care, you may be eligible to become an optician through the PLAR process.

PLAR stands for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition and is a process that allows applicants who have not been educated in an accredited Canadian institution the opportunity to become a licensed optician.

For more detailed information about each of these steps visit the PLAR page on this website.

Option 2 - Accredited Post-Secondary Institutions

If you do not have a background in optics or health care but think opticianry might be a good fit for you, you can apply to a Canadian institution that offers accredited optician training.

For more information about optician training in Canada, please visit the Education of Opticians in Canada page on this website.



Registering as an Optician
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