Optometry Board of Australia - Optometry regulation at work: Protecting the public in 2015/16
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Optometry regulation at work: Protecting the public in 2015/16

09 Mar 2017

A profession-specific annual report summary that looks into the work of the Optometry Board of Australia over the year to 30 June 2016 has now been published.

The report draws on data from the 2015/16 annual report by AHPRA and the National Boards. This information provides a snapshot of the profession as at 30 June 2016, and includes the number of applications for registration as an optometrist, outcomes of criminal history checks and segmentation of the registrant base by gender, age and principal place of practice.

Notifications information includes the number of complaints or concerns received about optometrists, matters opened and closed during the year, types of complaint, monitoring and compliance and matters involving immediate action.

Insights into the profession include:

  • Of the 657,621 registered health practitioners in Australia during the year, 5,142 were optometrists (0.8% of the total registrant base). 
  • 339 new applications for registration as an optometrist were received. 
  • Registration for the optometry profession grew by 4.6% from 2014/15. 
  • Student registration increased by 3.9%, to 1,652 registrants. 
  • 52% of optometrists are women; 48% are men. 
  • New South Wales was the principal place of practice for most optometrists (1,743). 
  • The Northern Territory (NT) was home to the fewest (30). 
  • The age bracket with the most optometrists was 25-29 (765 registrants). 
  • 297 optometrists were under 25 years of age; three were aged 80 or over. 
  • As part of the registration process, 408 criminal history checks were carried out for optometrists. Of five disclosable court outcomes, none required regulatory action. 
  • 39 notifications (complaints or concerns) were lodged about optometrists during the year, equating to 0.8% of the profession. 
  • Immediate action to suspend or limit an optometrist’s registration needed to be taken once in 2015/16. 
  • There were 19 active monitoring cases, with most relating to suitability/eligibility for registration. 
  • Nine new complaints were made about possible statutory offences relating to optometry services. Almost all matters related to advertising concerns.

To download this report, or to view the main 2015/16 annual report and summary reports by state or territory, visit our microsite.

For more information

  • Visit the AHPRA website 
  • Lodge an online enquiry form 
  • For registration enquiries: 1300 419 495 (within Australia) +61 3 9275 9009 (overseas callers) 
  • For media enquiries: (03) 8708 9200
Page reviewed 9/03/2017