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Information for International Candidates

Internationally educated Orthoptists must obtain certification from the COC to practice Orthoptics in Canada. American Certified Orthoptists in good standing with the American Orthoptic Council do not require Canadian certification but must maintain certification with the American Orthoptic Council.

Orthoptists certified outside of Canada and the United States are advised to refer to the Certification for International Orthoptists Policy  (politique de certification des orthoptistes internationaux) and Application for Eligibility for the Canadian National Orthoptic Certification Exam: click here for the English Application or French Application . 

International applicants MUST have applied for and been granted eligibility BEFORE being permitted to sit the exam.

International Applications for Eligibility are only accepted between July 1st - October 31st yearly.

Eligibility Requirements:

Applications for Eligibility for the Canadian Certifying Exam are due to by October 31 of the year prior to the exam. Eligibility will be assessed based on:

1. Evidence of a university or college baccalaureate degree

2. Evidence of (minimum) 24 months of orthoptic education. Note: Proof of a 4-year degree in Orthoptics fulfills both of requirements 1 & 2

3. Proof of certification as an orthoptist, including registration with the relevant orthoptic college if applicable. The applicant must be in good standing with the Orthoptic Council, organization, or university issuing the original certificate.

Please note, additional requirements are listed on the eligibility application form.

After Meeting Eligibility:

If an International orthoptist is deemed eligible to sit the exam, the Candidate must then contact the Administrator ( to confirm interest and obtain an exam application.

Applicants who have been granted eligibility, confirmed their interest in sitting the exam, will then have until January 15 of the exam year to complete the provided exam application and pay the $400 CAD exam fee. 

Please Note: It is the responsibility of the International applicant to be aware of the above deadlines, to monitor their emails for responses to their inquiries, and to follow up as necessary. 

Please contact for further information. 

French Bridging Program

Orthoptists who certified in France are eligible to apply to the French Integration Program (Programme d'Integration Francophones des Orthoptistes, PIFO). PIFO provides clinical experience in the French language, preparing French Orthoptists for North American practice. For more information please contact the program directly.

Candidates who complete the program are eligible to apply for the Canadian Certification Exams.

Programme d’Int├ęgration Francophone des Orthoptistes (PIFO)  

Le Programme d'Int├ęgration Francophone des Orthoptistes (PIFO) | AOQ - Association des Orthoptistes du QUEBEC

Afifa Ben JaballahCoordinatrice du PIFO

Ophtalmologie, CHUM- Pavillion D

1051, Rue Sanguinet

Montreal, QC H2X0C1


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