Optometry Board of Australia - 2021/22 annual summary
Look up a health practitioner


Check if your health practitioner is qualified, registered and their current registration status

2021/22 annual summary

Optometry in 2021/22


6,500 optometrists

  • Up 3.4% from 2020/21
  • 0.8% of all registered health practitioners

0.3% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

57.6% female; 42.4% male


Age: <25 5.2%, 25-34 34.8%, 35-44 21.1%, 45-54 18.6%, 55-64 14.6%, 65-74 5.2%, >75 0.5%



35 notifications lodged with Ahpra about

32 optometrists

  • 68 notifications about 61 optometrists made Australia-wide, including HPCA and OHO data
  • 0.9% of the profession

Sources of notifications

Sources of notifications: 74.3% Patient, relative or member of the public, 11.4% Health complaints entity, 2.9% Board initiated, 2.9% Employer, 2.9% Other practitioner, 5.7% Other

Most common types of complaint

Most common types of complaint: 57.1% Clinical care, 8.6% Breach of non-offence provision - National Law, 8.6% Documentation, 5.7% Communication, 2.9% Behaviour, 2.9% Confidentiality, 14.2% Other

1 immediate action taken

2 mandatory notifications received

  • 1 about professional standards

Notifications closed

Notifications closed: 33 notifications closed, 15.2% conditions imposed on registration, 42.4% referred to another body or retained by a health complaints entity, 42.4% no further action


10 practitioners monitored for health, performance and/or conduct during the year

10 cases being monitored at 30 June:

  • 3 for performance
  • 1 for prohibited practitioner/student
  • 6 for suitability/eligibility for registration

Criminal offence complaints

4 criminal offence complaints made

  • 1 about title protection
  • 1 about practice protection
  • 2 about advertising breaches

4 closed

Referred to an adjudication body

No matters decided by a tribunal

No matters decided by a panel


No appeals lodged

From the Chair

Issues this year

The Optometry Board of Australia continued to deal with issues related to COVID-19. However, with the lifting of state border restrictions, we met face to face in March for the first time in two years. The Board considered how regulatory approaches could be modified to accommodate exceptional circumstances, and optometrists were added to the pandemic sub-register to support Australia’s surge health workforce.

Regulatory response to COVID-19

We encouraged practitioners to continue to complete continuing professional development (CPD), while recognising the difficulty in meeting those requirements due to COVID-19. The Board issued an assurance that it would not take action if practitioners could not meet the CPD registration standard due to the pandemic and also continued its financial hardship policy. The Board approved additional English-language tests to meet the English-language skills registration standard, in recognition of the changing international environment for international applicants.


In February, the Board approved the Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand’s (OCANZ) revised standards for the accreditation of Boardapproved entry-level programs for optometry. These standards will come into effect in 2023 and include greater emphasis on the integration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural safety into optometry entry-level programs.

Policy updates

The Board released the cross-profession
Supervised practice framework.

The Board added a new medicine to the approved list of topical medicines contained in Appendix B of the Guidelines for use of scheduled medicines.

The Board released a revised Code of conduct
in partnership with several other Boards.

The Board released resources to help optometrists and their patients understand and apply the revised Code of conduct.

Stakeholder engagement

The Board once again convened its annual meeting of the Optometry Regulatory Reference Group in October, and increased its focus on engaging with consumer organisations and with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Members of the Board provided virtual lectures on professional obligations to final-year optometry students graduating from a number of Boardapproved courses in 2021.

Other news

The Board said farewell to three Board members: Mr Ian Bluntish, previous Chair and practitioner member from South Australia; Associate Professor Daryl Guest, practitioner member from Tasmania; and Ms Adrienne Farago, community member. In December the Health Ministers appointed three new members to the Board: Mr Benjamin Graham, community member; Miss Renee Slunjski, practitioner member from South Australia; and Mr Martin Robinson, practitioner member from Tasmania. I started my first term as Chair of the Board and became the first woman to chair the Optometry Board of Australia.

Mrs Judith Hannan (Irvine)

Page reviewed 9/11/2023