What You Need to Practice Opticianry in Alberta


You’ve got the skills, even if you don’t have 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 Opticianry Regulations govern the practice of opticianry in Alberta. Due to these regulations, 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


You still want to be an optician? Great! It’s time to apply for registration with the ACAO…

We require all applicants from non-accredited education institutions to complete the following steps in order to become Registered Opticians:

  1. Application: Apply for registration with the ACAO by completing the Registration Application Form . Submit it with all additional documentation required by the registration committee.
  2. Preliminary Assessment: The Registration Committee will begin preliminary assessment and will review the following: your resume, relevant work experience, and any transcripts, letters of personal reference, letters of professional competence, letters of good standing, and language proficiency. We will interview you to determine your level of competency.
  3. Competency Gap Analysis: In addition to the interview, you will take the Competency Gap Analysis test, an online tool which will help determine any gaps in your knowledge that you need to improve on.
  4. Bridging: If gaps in learning are identified at any point in the process, the Registration Committee may ask you to complete a specified bridging program.
  5. Registration: After you successfully complete any assigned bridging, or if the Registration Committee has determined that you do not require any bridging, you will be able to register with the ACAO as a Provisional Optician. At that time, you must pay your Provisional fees and will practice under supervision until you successfully challenge the NACOR national licensing exam for opticians.
  6. Examination: After you have met Canadian standards through a combination of prior education and gap bridging courses, and are registered as Provisional with the ACAO you may proceed to take the NACOR exam.