Don’t know where to start? This guide is to help you have a general overview of the process to getting started in Ontario
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 may be accepted in Ontario as an alternative exam. However, all three parts must be taken and passed successfully after January 18, 2019. Passing the TMOD is required in Part 2.
- Please contact the College for latest policy to the NBEO.
The College of Optometrists of Ontario is the regulatory board responsible for registration. There are two classes of registration certificates: General or Academic.
General: every-day optometrist looking to practice in general (applies to most ODs)
Academic: can only work and teach at the University of Waterloo (ie. professors)
Your application to the College of Optometrists of Ontario is active for 24 months. That means you can begin your application anytime in fourth year and keep submitting documents until you have completed registration (when you are issued a letter of completion). Keep in mind that the jurisprudence exam must be successfully completed within 12 months of registration and the vulnerable police check must be dated no more than 6 months from registration.
Completing the College of Optometrists of Ontario (COO) General Certificate Application and Application Fee ($474.60) with notarized documents (application, proof of CDN citizenship, photo, university diplomas)
(administered six times per year, now online )
Complete the Vulnerable Sector Police Check
Submit Exam Results from OEBC
Important College of Optometrists of Ontario Links:
After the registrar determines that you have met the registration requirements, they will issue you an inactive registration number.
Complete Payment of Pro-Rated Registration Fee (variable) + Certificate Fee ($29.38)
Apply for an OE Tracker # from ARBO or call: 866-869-6852
(needed to keep track of CE hours)
Proof of Professional Liability Insurance*
Issuance of Active College Registration Number and Eligible Practise Date (process: ~10 business days)
Pro Tip: OAO members get a graduate special offer of $50 flat rate for first year of PLI. You will need to apply for membership with the OAO once you have your inactive college number. Typical yearly PLI rates can range from $600-800 per year.
Once you have been issued your College registration certificate and is active, you may begin to work as an optometrist in Ontario.
You will need to report any new practice locations within 14 days to the College. It is your duty to keep the college informed of changes to your practice locations.
You may apply for OHIP number ONLY after you have been issued a copy of your registration certificate AND you have determined your location of practice(s)
- Application for OHIP Billing Number for Health Professionals
- You can expect to receive your billing number in approximately 15 business days (4-5 weeks).
- Don’t worry! OHIP billing claims can be backdated up to 6 months, so start practising!
- Guide to Registering for MC EDT
- You will need to have an MC EDT account to submit your billings after being issued your OHIP number.
Group OHIP Billing Numbers
- If you are working at a practice that has a group OHIP billing account, you will need to authorize payment to the group billing number by completing an application.
Your provincial association is your voice in the profession! The OAO 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 campaigns and EyeSee EyeLearn. The OAO meets with the provincial government on your behalf to advocate for OHIP coverage, optometric billing codes and expanding scope of practice. Other membership perks include:
- Discounted CE opportunities, select free CE webinars
- TPA Drug App (guide to know what drugs are available in Ontario
- Special Group Discounts (ie. Goodlife, Health Benefits etc)
- Billing App (to assist you with any OHIP billing issues)
- Professional Liability Insurance special rates
- $50 flat rate for first year graduates!
- You may join the OAO after getting inactive College number.
Complete OAO Online Application Form
The OAO offers phased in membership fees for new grads:
2020 New Grad Membership Dues:
- Year 1 10% ($281.50)
- Year 2 25% ($703.75)
- Year 3 50% ($1407.50)
- Year 4 75% ($2111.25)
- Year 5 and beyond ($2815.00)
Last Updated: May 18 2020