High School and Non-Health Professional Applicants

If you’re thinking about becoming an optician but you have no prior training or experience in an optical environment or related health field, consider an opticianry program from an accredited institution. Not sure whether you have the skills or interests required to excel in the field of opticianry? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have an interest in Maths and Science?
  • Are you creative and do you have an interest in design or fashion?
  • Do you like the idea of managing your own business?
  • Are you passionate about healthcare and patient satisfaction?
  • Do you enjoy finding creative solutions to unique problems?

Before you apply to an accredited institution, you can complete the Competency Self-Assessment. This tool will give you an idea of what is required from Canadian opticians.

International, Health Professional, and Non-Accredited Applicants

If you are an internationally trained optician or have a background in optics or health care, you may be eligible to become an optician through the PLAR process.

Before you apply for the PLAR process, you can complete the Competency Self-Assessment and Knowledge Self-Assessment. These tools will give you an idea of what is required from Canadian opticians and how your skills and knowledge compare.

For examples of the types of questions you will be asked during the CGA portion of the PLAR process, complete the PLAR Sample Quiz on this website.

Competencies for Opticianry in Canada

To be an effective optician in Canada, many different skills and abilities (called “competencies”) are expected and needed. Competencies are learned either through education, training, or on the job and are refined and improved over the course of an optician’s career. No one is expected to be an expert in all competencies, but every optician is expected to be able to safely perform every one of these tasks if required.

You can find a complete list of the Competencies for Opticianry in Canada at the NACOR website.

The following self-assessments are for your purposes only; your results will not be accessible to any regulator or licensing body. The more accurate you are in your ratings, the more useful the feedback is to you.

What is the Competency Self-Assessment?

The Competency Self-Assessment is a general overview of the competencies expected of Canadian opticians. With this self-assessment you will discover what skills that opticians in Canada are expected to have, and discover areas where you may need to gain more knowledge or experience. Many applicants will find that they are very skilled in some, but not all, competencies.

When you have completed the self-assessment, you will receive a profile of your strengths and areas that may require further development. You can use this information as you plan your next steps in becoming an optician in Canada.

How to Complete the Competency Self-Assessment

The Competency Self-Assessment can be found on this website and completed online. For each competency, you will be asked to assess your level of ability:

1. None (I have no ability in this area)
2. Basic (I have ability in this area, but still need to improve my skills)
3. Proficient (I am competent in this area)
4. Expert (I have advanced skills in this area)

What is the Knowledge Self-Assessment?

The Knowledge Self-Assessment is a more specific set of questions similar to those asked of students in accredited optician training programs in Canada.

This self-assessment is designed to help you evaluate your knowledge of optics and opticianry. Many applicants will find that they have knowledge and experience related to some, but not all, of the questions in this self-assessment.

When you have completed the self-assessment, you will receive a profile of your strengths and areas that may require further development. You can use this information as you plan your next steps in becoming an optician in Canada.

How to Complete the Knowledge Self-Assessment

The Knowledge Self-Assessment can be found on this website and completed online. For each question, you will be given three possible answers. These answers are designed to seem plausible, but you should choose the best one.

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