Don’t know where to start? This guide is to help you have a general overview of the process to getting started in Alberta
Disclaimer: the information presented may change without notice. Always consult with the latest updates from the college, ministry of health and the association and use at your own risk.
Congratulations! You are on your way to becoming an OD in Canada.
Only graduates from an ACOE-accredited school* are recognized for registration. If you studied in Canada and USA, chances are your school is accredited.
For international applicants (including UK, Australia), please consult FORAC for the latest requirements. International applicants may require further education.
Make sure you have a copy of your diploma notarized and ready to submit.
* As of 2020, the only schools that have not received full accreditation are Chicago College of Optometry and Kentucky College of Optometry (Preliminary Approval). Their status may change in the future.
The OEBC Written Exam and Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) is recognized by all 10 provinces for registration.
The OSCE is an objective assessment that has been widely adopted by health profession examining boards across the country and its aim is to provide a fair and standardized experience for all candidates. It includes 12 stations, where the candidate has two minutes to read a case and eight minutes to interact with a standardized patient (SP).
- Total cost is $5100 for both written and OSCE.
- Spring 2020 examination has been delayed due to the pandemic. Registration opens June 25 2020 for Fall 2020 exam. Please check the OEBC website for the latest updates
- Option 1: Complete the OEBC Written Exam in the Fall Session of 4th year and challenge the OSCE practicals in Spring Session after 4th year
- Option 2: Complete the OEBC Written Exam AND OSCE practicals both in the Spring Session after 4th year
The NBEO Exam
- The NBEO is NOT accepted in Alberta.
The Alberta College of Optometrists (ACO) acts as the regulatory board responsible for registration.
Preliminary Application Form & Fee ($400.00), Statutory Declaration, Notarized Photo,
Submit Official University Transcripts
(both pre-optometry and optometry transcripts)
Vulnerable Sector Police Check (original sealed envelope)
Proof of CPR certification- HCP Level C
Write the ACO Jurisprudence Exam
(taken anytime at ACO office in Edmonton or office of a member of Registration Committee in Calgary; closed book, MCQ exam in 1 hour)
Notarized Copy of Optometry Degree (~June)
Submit OEBC Board Exam Results (~July)
Once your preliminary application is complete, and all the documents have been received, you may proceed:
Submit ACO Practice Permit Application and Fee ($550- 50% discount for new grads)
Proof of Professional Liability Insurance ($2 million liability insurance per practitioner per occurrence)
Issuance of College Registration Certificate
(1-2 days notification of the Alberta Health Care Practitioner Registry and the Alberta College of Pharmacists)
Once you have been issued your College registration certificate and is active, you may begin to work as an optometrist in Alberta.
You may apply for a PRAC ID from Alberta Health in order to bill for services covered by the provincial health plan (AHCIP):
- Practitioner Information Application (include a copy of your college certificate)
- H-Link Form (system to submit billing claims)
- You can submit your forms via email to email@example.com or fax them to (780) 422-3552
- Inquiries: Alberta Health (780) 422-1522
- You can expect to receive your PRAC ID number in approximately 7-10 business days.
Your provincial association is your voice in the profession! It is imperative that you join and get involved! They work to increase awareness and understanding of the role that Doctors of Optometry through education campaigns and provide you with tools to do so through social media. The AAO is your voice in optometry and meets with the provincial government on its members’ behalf concerning health coverage, optometric billing codes and procedures, and other services. You will automatically become a member of the national optometry body, the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO).
The AAO perks include public education advertising, member benefits and discounts, access to programs such as EyeSeeEyeLearn, eyesafe programs, billing guide TPA Drug App and more!
Join the AAO Mentorship Program and attend the New Grad Orientation in September!
New Grad PLI Discount with BMS Insurance: $58 flat rate
2020 Membership Dues:
- New Graduate: $50 flat fee
- New Graduate Year 1: 25%
- New Graduate Year 2: 50%
Contact: Tina Arsenault (to request member applications)
- Member Services & Events Coordinator