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:

SkillCLB Level

*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.

In Quebec, language proficiency requirements are specific to the province of Quebec. For information on the skills required, we invite you to browse the page of the OODQ website : Language requirements

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

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

Ph. 1-306-652-0769
Fax. 1-306-652-0784

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

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

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

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

Ph. 1-780-429-2694
Fax. 1-780-428-5576

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

Ordre des Opticiens d’ordonnances du Québec
630 Sherbrooke Ouest
Suite 601
Montreal, Qc
H3A 1E4

Ph. 1-514-288-7542
Toll Free 1-800-563-6345

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

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


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