Don’t know where to start? This guide will give you a general overview on getting started in Nova Scotia.

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. 

Board Exam
Apply to College
Complete Registration
Start to Work!
Apply for MSI ID
Join the NSAO

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 university transcript 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. 


Board Exam


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). 


Application Process:

  • 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 Nova Scotia. 
Apply to College

The Nova Scotia College of Optometrists (NSCO) is the regulatory board responsible for registration.

There are two membership classes: practicing and non-practicing. 


The NSCO advises candidates to apply beginning last semester of 4th year and budget approximate a three- month process from board exam until registration.

Complete the Online Application Form and pay the $500.00 Application Fee (includes $200 jurisprudence fee) with notarized documents (proof of CDN citizenship, application), official university transcript

Submit Board Exam Results from the OEBC (must be received before writing exam)

Write the NSCO Jurisprudence Exam

(administered via email, to be completed within 10 days; open book 40 MCQ)


Complete Registration

After passing the jurisprudence exam, a licensing application will be sent to you.


Complete the NSCO Licensing Application

Payment of Prorated NSCO Registration Fee ($1553 full fee)

Proof of Professional Liability Insurance (PLI)

Tip: the CAO offers professional liability insurance (BMI) at $58 flat rate for first year grads! You need to have PLI before your first day of work.

Issuance of College Registration Certificate

Start to Work!

Once you have been issued your College registration certificate and is active, you may begin to work as an optometrist in Nova Scotia.

Apply for MSI ID

You may apply for MSI Submitter ID  in order to bill for services covered by the provincial health plan:

Application for MSI Billing ID for Health Professionals


You can expect to receive your billing number within a few weeks, although processing times can vary. Don’t worry! MSI billing claims can be backdated up to 90 days.


Join the NSAO

The NSAO is your voice in the profession! Joining is important so that the association can negotiate and advocate for scope expansion and other legislations. The NSAO also helps promote and enhance optometry by doing outreach in the community. 


Membership perks include:

  • Continuing education 
  • Group Insurance Discounts
  • Third Party and MSI negotiations
  • TPA Drug App
  • Automatic CAO Membership

Fees: New Grads get their membership fee waived for rest of graduation year!

  • 50% fee discount for the next full calendar year after graduation


Online Application Form

Important Contact Information

Nova Scotia College of Optometrists

Sandra Williams (Admin. Assistant)
502-5657 Spring Garden Rd Box 142
Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 3R4

  • Telephone: 902-434-8810              
  • Fax: 902-425-2441                              
  • E-mail:


Nova Scotia Association of Optometrists
502-5657 Spring Garden Rd Box 142
Halifax NS B3J 3R4

  • Tel: (902) 435-2845                       
  • Fax: (902) 425-2441
  • Email:

Last Updated: May 29, 2020