Language Proficiency Requirements

Canada is a multi-cultural society, which means that people from all over the world come here and are able to continue to speak their languages and practice their cultures and religions without fear of official persecution. However, the languages of business in Canada are French and English. Although your native language will be an advantage if you have patients with a shared background, it is also important to have some written and oral communication skills in English or French.

As you begin to research Canada, you will get a sense of which official language is predominant in each province, and this may even help you decide where to live. For instance, you may find that speaking French is advantageous in Quebec and New Brunswick, but English is more common in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Most Canadian optician training programs are offered in English. The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and Le Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick also offer training in French. You can also challenge the PLAR in English or French, but you should speak the language most common to the province where you intend to live.

ESL Requirements

The minimum English language requirements for immigration to Canada are a Canadian Language Benchmark score of 4, but for an optician it is:

Skill CLB Level
Speaking 7
Listening 8
Reading 6
Writing 6/7*

*Levels are based on ‘routine’ tasks; more challenging tasks may increase the demand to CLB level 8-9.

You may need to enroll in training or upgrading programs. Many of the training programs for opticians have language level requirements and each vary in the types of tests they accept and the minimum scores required.

To get started with ESL language learning, follow the links below:

Canadian Language Education

Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks (English/French)

CLB Bootcamp

Language Test Equivalency Charts

Find an Assessment Centre

As with all matters relating to registration as an optician, the most direct source of information is the provincial regulatory body for the province of your choice.

Provincial Regulatory Bodies

College of Opticians of British Columbia
Suite 900 – 200 Granville St.
Vancouver, B.C.
V6C 1S4

Ph. 1-604-278-7510
Toll Free 1-888-771-6755
Fax. 1-604-278-7594
www.cobc.ca

Saskatchewan College of Opticians
#13-350 103rd Street East
Saskatoon, SK
S7N 1Z1

Ph. 1-306-652-0769
Fax. 1-306-652-0784
www.scoptic.ca

The College of Opticians of Ontario
#300 – 90 Adelaide St. West
Toronto, ON
M5H 3V9

Ph. 1-416-368-3616
Fax 1-416-368-2713
www.coptont.org

Nova Scotia College of Dispensing Opticians
Halifax Professional Centre
Suite 342, 5991 Spring Garden Road
Halifax, NS
B3H 1Y6

Ph. 1-902-425-7928
Fax. 1-902-425-0360
www.nscdo.ca

The Dispensing Opticians Board of Newfoundland and Labrador
P.O. Box 2552
St. Johns, NL
A1C 6K1

Ph. 1-709-579-2605
Fax. 1-709-579-2605
dispensingopticiansboardnl@nl.rogers.com

Alberta College & Association of Opticians
Suite 201, 2528 Ellwood Dr.
Edmonton, Alberta
T6X 0A9

Ph. 1-780-429-2694
Fax. 1-780-428-5576
www.acao.ca

The Opticians of Manitoba
215-1080 Portage Ave.
Winnipeg, MB
R3G 3M3

Ph. 1-204-222-8404
Toll Free: 1-855-346-3715
Fax. 1-204-222-5296
www.opticiansofmanitoba.ca

Opticians Association of New Brunswick
P.O. Box 6743,
RPO Brunswick Square
Saint John, NB
E2L 4S2

Ph. 1-506-642-2878
Fax 1-506-642-7984
www.opticiansnb.com

P.E.I. Board of Dispensing Opticians
P.O. Box 20140, RPO Sherwood
Charlottetown, P.E.I.
C1A 9E3

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