Opticians are health professionals trained to interpret prescriptions prepared by physicians and optometrists to supply, fit and dispense eyeglasses, contact lenses and other vision aids. Opticians are often referred to as the “pharmacists of eye care”: they do not perform eye exams nor prescribe, but they can fill your prescription. Opticians in Ontario are regulated by the College of Opticians of Ontario. Only those registered are entitled to perform the Controlled Act of Dispensing.
For information on the difference between Opticians, Optometrists and Opthalmologists click here.
The process for becoming a registered optician is rigorous. In addition to completing an accredited diploma program, applicants must complete 1000 hours of verified dispensing experience, either as a student during your course of study or alternatively during the internship program. Applicants must also successfully complete the entry-to-practice examinations.
Each year Registered Opticians (ROs) are required to complete a professional portfolio. This allows ROs to reflect on their practice, enhance their competence and demonstrate continuous learning. As part of the portfolio, ROs must complete a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education (CE).