Why We’re Here

The COO is one of 26 self-governing health Colleges established by law. It is not a teaching institution. The COO is dedicated to supporting opticians in their delivery of high quality, safe and ethical care to the public of Ontario. One of the ways of ensuring high standards of care is by establishing standards and guidelines for opticians.

It is important to use the services of a Registered Optician (RO), sometimes referred to as a Licensed Optician (LO) or Dispensing Optician. Only Opticians, Optometrists and Ophthalmologists are legally authorized to dispense prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses in Ontario. 

The College of Opticians of Ontario regulates the practice of opticianry to protect and serve the public interest. It’s our mandate.

Opticians play a vital role in delivering vision care in Ontario. To ensure optimal results, opticians work with patients to identify the most appropriate type of eyewear based on a patient’s prescription, individual circumstances, occupation and daily activities. There are approximately 3,000+ licensed opticians in Ontario.

The College offers these tips to help you be an informed vision care patient:
  • Look for the College of Opticians of Ontario Logo on the registration badge worn by Licensed Opticians in Ontario – the badge is issued by the College and includes the Optician’s full name and Certificate of Registration Number. Ask to see it.
  • Practicing registrants must prominently display a current Certificate of Registration (License) in their principal practice. Look for the certificate displayed in Optical Dispensaries.
  • Only Opticians, Optometrists and Ophthalmologists are legally authorized to dispense prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses in Ontario. Don’t trust your eyes to anyone else.
  • Only those registered with the College can use the title “Optician”, “Registered Optician” or “Licensed Optician”. Ask to see a Licensed Optician.
  • Search the Public Register of Members on our website to confirm that you are dealing with a Licensed Optician who is registered with the college
  • Make sure you have a prescription from an authorized prescriber: a physician (such as an Ophthalmologist) or an Optometrist
To provide public protection for you and your family, the College:
  • Develops and enforces comprehensive standards of practice that all opticians must adhere to
  • Sets rigorous educational requirements for opticians and works with teaching colleges to ensure education programs teach the core competencies required for continued public safeguarding
  • Responds to written complaints from the public about opticians
  • Regularly investigates and prosecutes unlicensed people who practice opticianry
  • Requires opticians to upgrade their knowledge and skills on a regular basis through continuing education
  • Requires opticians to carry malpractice insurance
  • Constantly monitors national and international standards for the practice of opticianry to ensure that opticians in Ontario offer the best care to their patients

Make an informed choice by

Not trusting your eyes to just anyone
Seeing a Licensed Optician
Putting your safety first

Protect yourself and your family.

Choose only a qualified Licensed Optician.

The College of Opticians of Ontario supports the National Public Awareness Initiative by the Opticians Council of Canada. Learn more about Licensed Opticians & your vision.


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