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.
The minimum English language requirements for immigration to Canada are a Canadian Language Benchmark score of 4, but for an optician it is:
*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:
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.
Toll Free 1-888-771-6755
Saskatchewan College of Opticians
#13-350 103rd Street East
The College of Opticians of Ontario
#300 – 90 Adelaide St. West
Nova Scotia College of Dispensing Opticians
Halifax Professional Centre
Suite 342, 5991 Spring Garden Road
The Dispensing Opticians Board of Newfoundland and Labrador
P.O. Box 2552
St. Johns, NL
Alberta College & Association of Opticians
Suite 201, 2528 Ellwood Dr.
The Opticians of Manitoba
215-1080 Portage Ave.
Toll Free: 1-855-346-3715
Opticians Association of New Brunswick
P.O. Box 6743,
RPO Brunswick Square
Saint John, NB
P.E.I. Board of Dispensing Opticians
P.O. Box 20140, RPO Sherwood