To become a Canadian Certified Optometric Assistant, students must complete 9 course modules, a practicum, one workshop and a final examination. Participants can choose to complete the program through our standard 36 week course or through independent study over the course of 24 months.
Access to the latest edition of the textbooks is mandatory for all registrants to complete the course Modules. Textbooks may be ordered online through www.lb.ca/cao. Both textbooks are available in e-book and hardcopy versions.
2018-2019 Full Course cycle registrations closed September 7, 2018.
2019-2020 Full Course registration will be held from July 16th to September 9th. The course will begin September 16th, 2019 and will run until the end of May.
The Full Course curriculum and registration fee includes: CCOA program study guides, openbook assignments and closed book quizzes for all nine modules, Practical Skills Checklists, practical skills Workshop, and closed-book CCOA Examination. The nine module sessions are 4 weeks in duration. The schedule begins with Module 1 on September 16th, 2019. Module sessions are back-to-back, finishing with Module 9 in the spring. The online CCOA Examination is written within a 2-week period in June.
The Independent Study program allows students to advance at their own pace. Modules do not have to be taken in sequence. Each module assignment, quiz and practical skills checklist must be completed within the specified 4 weeks before registering for another module. To be eligible to write the online CCOA examination in June*, all 9 modules must be successfully completed, and a full workshop attended.
*Additional fees apply
The CCOA modules cover the full range of relevant skills and knowledge: from anatomy and physiology, to patient management, sales, customer service, frame and lens dispensing, and contact lenses. A complete overview of the content in each of the modules is available here.
The workshop is an integral component of the CCOA program. Participants benefit from experienced instructors delivering in-depth reviews of critical concepts covered in the course modules. Each workshop is 2 days in length, and is usually held on Saturday or Sunday. Workshop attendance is necessary in order to be eligible to sit for the CCOA Examination.
Registration: October 1, 2018 – November 1, 2018
The CCOA examination is written on a pre-agreed date from June 17 – 21. The final exam is unsupervised, and can be completed online. Full instructions for booking the exam date will be sent in May. The deadline to register your exam writing date is June 7, 2019.
A Canadian Certified Optometric Assistant (CCOA) certificate, valid for three years, will be issued upon successful completion of; all nine modules, full workshop attendance, and CCOA Examination. To maintain the CCOA designation, 18 hours of Continuing Education credits, including CPR, must be submitted every 3 years (fee applies). Failure to maintain current CCOA status forfeits the legal right to use the CCOA designation, and the certificate is no longer recognized.
The use of CAO’s CCOA designation is intended solely for OAs employed by an optometrist working in Canada. CAO reserves the right to revoke the CCOA designation if the OA is not compliant.