Transition from the ACAO to the COA

On January 1, 2022, the Alberta College and Association of Opticians (ACAO) became the College of Opticians of Alberta (COA) with the sole mandate to protect the Alberta public. 

Bill 46 introduced by the Government of Alberta in December 2020 requires all dual mandate health colleges and associations to separate. Opticians in Alberta will continue to be licensed and regulated by the COA, but all association-specific activities will be discontinued. 

What does this mean for licensed opticians? 

One of the main impacts of this change is a reduction in licensure fees for Alberta’s opticians. As a result of streamlining our operations, the COA Council approved a 20% fee reduction, effective for the 2022 renewal period. 

However, the separation process also means that the COA can no longer offer member programs such as professional liability insurance, home and auto insurance, and retirement benefits. These benefits will remain accessible to members in 2022 while the COA explores the transition of these services to another optician association. 

For questions about the transition process, please contact our Chief Executive Officer and Registrar, Jennifer Bertrand, at

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