To work as an optometrist in Australia, you need to apply for and be registered with the Optometry Board of Australia. You may also need to apply for a visa issued by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (Australian Immigration Department).
These two application processes are entirely separate and success in one does not automatically guarantee success in the other.
More information on visa applications, including skills assessments and assessing authorities is available on the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.
Persons holding a qualification in optometry obtained from a School of Optometry outside Australia and New Zealand are required to pass the written component of the Competency in Optometry Examination before making application for limited registration. Further information is available in a fact sheet on limited registration.
The Competency in Optometry Examination is conducted under the auspices of the Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand (OCANZ). Further information is available at the OCANZ website. Optometrists trained outside Australia and New Zealand are required to complete a Board approved ocular therapeutics post graduate course or the examination conducted by OCANZ known as the Assessment of Competence in Ocular Therapeutics (ACOT) to demonstrate competencies in ocular therapeutics prior to making an application for general registration. Further information is available at the OCANZ website.
Further information is also available on the overseas practitioners page on the AHPRA website.
As of 4 February 2015, a new process applies for checking criminal history outside of Australia. This new approach requires certain applicants and registered practitioners to apply for an international criminal history check from an approved vendor. For more information, please refer to the international criminal history page on the AHPRA website.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) supports the 14 National Boards in their role of protecting the public and setting standards and policies that all registered health practitioners must meet.
AHPRA and the National Boards work together to register and renew health practitioners and, where required, investigate complaints or concerns regarding health practitioners.
AHPRA's operations are governed by the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law which came into effect on 1 July 2010. This law applies in each Australian state and territory, and is sometimes referred to on our sites as ‘the National Law’.
All health practitioners registered to practise are included on the national register of practitioners which is managed by AHPRA.
Find out more about AHPRA.