A provisional optician and/or provisional contact lens practitioner has completed all of the training requirements to become an optician and/or contact lens practitioner but has not yet successfully completed their NACOR Exam(s). During this transitional period, provisional registrants may register with the COA and practice under supervision.
1. Applying for Registration
Provisional opticians have either completed a recognized opticianry education program or have been assessed as having substantially equivalent skills and knowledge. Recognized education programs in Canada are accredited by Accreditation Canada.
Graduates from non-accredited programs and international candidates complete a Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) program to demonstrate substantial equivalence and English language requirements.
Complete the Provisional Optician Application Form online to apply. Applicants are required to provide the following with their application form:
- Applicant information
- Contact information
- Registration information
- Criminal record check
- Declaration of good character
- Supervisor information
- Provisional optician fee payment
- Education Credentials (this may include PLAR results, transcripts or a letter of completion from the educational institution you completed it)
2.Register as Practicing or Non-Practicing
Working Under Supervision
Provisional opticians must be supervised by a licensed optician, optometrist, or ophthalmologist in order to practice. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that the provisional optician correctly performs their duties and responsibilities.
Examples of how a supervisor may work with a provisional optician include directly overseeing or verifying measurements, checking adjustments and demonstrating how to make corrections if needed, and answering questions and addressing any performance errors.
Download the COA Provisional Supervisor Form.
Applicants who would like to challenge the NACOR exam and are not currently working can apply for non-practicing registration. Non-practicing provisional registrants are eligible to take the NACOR examinations.
3. NACOR Examination(s)
The National Alliance of Canadian Optician Regulators (NACOR) is responsible for administering the national examinations required for registration as an optician in Canada. NACOR administers the Optical Sciences 1 (Eyeglass) Exam and Optical Sciences 2 (Advanced Practice, Contact Lens) Exam. The exams are based on the National Competencies for Canadian Opticians.
4. Final Application Requirements
When the COA receives your results from NACOR, you will receive an email from COA staff with information on next steps. If you received a passing mark on the exam, you will be required to complete the following:
- Obtain the necessary amount of professional liability insurance to practice in Alberta. You can obtain liability insurance through professional associations or an independent insurance provider.
- Complete mandatory Code of Conduct jurisprudence modules
- Complete mandatory training to Protect Patients from Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct
After all registration requirements are met, you will notified of your successful registration and receive your certificate via regular mail.
Timeline and Fees
The timeline to complete your full application and achieve registration as an RO/RCLP is approximately 3 months, including completion of the NACOR exam(s) which are held twice a year in Alberta.
$775 + tax (Eyeglass Exam)
$775 + tax (Contact Lens Exam)
$1,550 + taxes (Eyeglass and Contact Lens Examinations)
Registered Optician (RO)
Registered Contact Lens Practitioner (RCLP)
2 weeks (after completing all registration requirements)
The COA Registrar approves applications for registration in accordance with the requirements set out in the Health Professions Act of Alberta and the Optician Profession Regulation. If your registration application is not approved, you may appeal the decision to the COA Registration and Competence Committee by emailing email@example.com.