What is the ACAO

hands cradling the word "care"

The Alberta College and Association of Opticians (ACAO) is the regulatory body that governs the practice of Opticianry in Alberta. We are both the college and association for opticians; so as health professionals, opticians must register with us. Without a doubt, our main goal is to make sure that opticians in Alberta provide quality care to the public. The ACAO was established in 1965, and has had several names and different scopes of responsibility since then. However, our dedication to the health and safety of the public has never changed.


  • Assessing, registering, and licensing all Opticians and Contact Lens Practitioners in Alberta
  • Interpreting the Health Professions Act, and the Opticians Regulations
  • Handling public and member complaints and questions
  • Establishing standards of practice and guidelines
  • Monitoring the competence of opticians through continuing education
  • Protecting the public from unsafe or unethical practice
  • Protecting the use of regulated title designations and initials: RO and RCLP
  • Reviewing the professional conduct of members based on complaints
  • Providing continuing education to opticians to promote ethical practice and help them continue to enhance their knowledge and skills

Practice Certificates

a golden seal (emblem)

You can tell an optician’s legitimacy by their practice certificate.

The ACAO sets standards and requirements for licensing opticians. Keeping skills up to professional standard is a part of public protection, and therefore a requirement of the college. Presently, we issue a practice certificate each year to all opticians who are members in good standing. We require our members to put up these certificates at work, so that the public can verify their registration. Look for it when purchasing your next pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses.