What is a Provisional Optician?

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The NACOR is months away, but you’re ready to get out there now? We’ve got you covered…

A provisional optician is someone who has completed all the training requirements to become an optician, but has not yet successfully completed the NACOR exam. Congratulations! You’re almost there.

Once you have passed all of the required courses at an accredited institution, there is a gap between the end of the school year and when you can take the NACOR exam. During this time, your school is no longer able to regulate you, but you are not yet a fully licensed optician. Rather than leave you in limbo, the ACAO instituted the category of Provisional Optician to bridge that gap.

Provisional Registration How-To…

Your step by step guide to the provisional registration process is a click away! This flowchart, complete with links to relevant information, will guide you through the steps to becoming a Provisional Optician.

You can also watch this quick overview of the process:



You Need a Supervisor

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So you’re provisional and you want to start using your new skills? You can! Just not alone…

As a provisional optician you must be supervised by a licensed optician, optometrist, or ophthalmologist in order to practice. When you were a student, your supervision was managed by your educational institution, but now that you are Provisional, your supervisor needs to be handled through the ACAO.

Your supervisor must be on hand and available to guide you and offer expertise whenever you are working.




Provisional Non-Practicing

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Not planning to work? Register as Provisional Non-Practicing…

If you decide that you will not be working during your time as provisional, for whatever reason, you may register as Provisional Non-Practicing, and pay non-practicing fees. As non-practicing, you may not work in the field. For more information, visit our Transition to Non-Practicing page, or call the college office.




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Wouldn’t it be great if everything were free? But to keep things running, you’ve got to pay a fee…

After the school year ends and before you can take the NACOR exam, there is approximately half a year during which time you must be registered as Provisional. Because you are not registered for the full year, the ACAO has decided to halve the fees for this provisional time period.

Provisional registration expires each year on November 30th. If you are unable to complete and pass the NACOR exam before your provisional registration expires, you may re-register as Provisional, but the fees will be for the full year, rather than the half year of your first provisional period. All of your fees come back to serve you!



Registration Package

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Download the Registration Package…

For first time registrants, you need to fill out and send in the  Provisional Registration Package. After you have been added to our database, you will get a username and password for your online profile. After you register as provisional, you’ll be able to renew your registration online every year!





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Plan ahead; don’t be caught off guard…

If you are re-registering as Provisional for the next year, you must do it before December 1st.

You must pay your fees by November 30th, or you will be required to pay a 10% late fee during the month of December.

Unfortunately, you will be suspended if you still have not registered and paid all outstanding fees by December 31st. After that, we will require you to pay an additional reinstatement fee on or after January 1st.

For more detailed information about fees, please visit our Registration and Fees section.