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

Alberta College and Association of Opticians

College of Opticians of Saskatchewan

Opticians of Manitoba

College of Opticians of Ontario

Ordre des opticiens d’ordonnances du Québec

Opticians Association of New Brunswick

Nova Scotia College of Dispensing Opticians

Prince Edward Island:

Newfoundland and LabradorE-Mail, Phone/Fax: 1-709-579-2605