What You Need to Practice Opticianry in Alberta


You’ve got the skills, but not the papers to prove it?  There might be a way.

Canadian and international applicants who haven’t graduated from an accredited program may still be able to take the NACOR exam.

The registration committee will decide if your combination of knowledge, skills, and experience equals the requirements of opticianry students. The committee may then either recommend bridging courses or approve you for the NACOR exam.

 Why You Need to Register


Practicing unlicensed is illegal; we are here to keep you and the public safe.

The Health Professions Act and the Opticians Regulations govern the practice of opticianry in Alberta.

Due to this legislation, everyone practicing in Alberta as an RO, RCLP, and Provisional Optician must be registered with the ACAO. Failure to register is a significant offense and can result in disciplinary action and/or fines.

Steps to Registration

Canadian and international applicants who have not graduated from a Canadian accredited program may be accepted for registration when they have a combination of knowledge, skills, experience and abilities, which are substantially equivalent to the requirements for new applicants.

These applicants will complete a Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition process (PLAR). This process is completed by the National Alliance of Canadian Optician Regulators (NACOR). The PLAR process consists of a document review, Competency Gap Analysis (CGA) and Case-Based Interview. The CGA is a supervised online multiple choice assessment, the Case-Based interview (CBI) is an interview which is conducted either in person or remotely through electronic methods. Both the CGA and CBI are based on the competencies in the National Competencies for Canadian Opticians. The scores on the CGA and CBI are combined in a computer generated score card known as an Integrated Candidate Scorecard (ICS). The results are used to determine if there are any gaps in the candidate’s knowledge and skills. If additional education is required bridging modules will be assigned to upgrade the candidate’s knowledge and skills.

To begin the process, complete the 2021 PLAR Application Form including the required additional information and return it to the NACOR office.

For more information on the PLAR process and the National Competencies for Canadian Opticians click here.

Please contact general@nacor.ca  if you have any questions or require assistance.