Download a PDF copy of these FAQ on the Registration standard for general registration for initial applications (256 KB,PDF)
At its meeting on 27 April 2012, the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council approved the Optometry Board of Australia’s (Board) Registration standard for general registration for initial applicants. This standard is in effect from 1 December 2014. Standards are published on the Registration standards page.
The Board has developed these frequently asked questions (FAQ) to guide applicants, registrants and their employers. The FAQ aim to answer common queries you might have about the requirements for an initial application for general registration or the addition of a notation.
The intent of general registration under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law), is to specify the qualifications for general registration.
The registration standard applies to individuals applying for:
It allows optometry students who have completed a Board-approved program of study, or previously registered optometrists returning to the practice of optometry, to practise as an optometrist in Australia.
If an overseas-trained optometrist wishes to take up employment, depending on the type of employment, they can apply for either limited registration for teaching or research purposes or limited registration for postgraduate training or supervised practice.
If granted limited registration for postgraduate training or supervised practice, an application for general registration can be made later once the requirements of the limited registration have been met.
Before applying for registration, practitioners should review the Board’s advice on ‘When it is necessary to be registered as an optometrist?’ published on the Registration page.
If you have graduated from a Board-approved program from 2013 you are automatically eligible for an endorsement for scheduled medicines. The competencies for the qualification that leads to endorsement have been incorporated into all of the current Board-approved programs that lead to general registration.
Yes. The information on the public register will also indicate that you have an endorsement. The endorsement will state, ‘endorsed as qualified to obtain, possess, administer, prescribe or supply schedule 2, 3 or 4 medicines for the treatment of conditions of the eye.’
If you held general registration with an endorsement for scheduled medicines prior to 1 December 2014 there will be no change to your registration status. The endorsement for scheduled medicines will remain on the public register and your registration certificate.
If you held general registration without an endorsement for scheduled medicines a notation will be added to your registration status that states ‘the optometrist is not qualified for endorsement for scheduled medicines and is not able to prescribe Schedule 4 medicines for the treatment of conditions of the eye.’
It will appear on the back of the registration certificate and on the public register.
To remove the notation on your general registration you will need to make an application for endorsement and provide evidence you have completed a Board-approved program in ocular therapeutics.
The Board has published an application form, available on the Registration page. You will be required to provide the requested documents together with your completed application form.
Under the National Law, the general registration period is for 12 months. Once registered you are required to annually renew your registration on 30 November each year. You will be sent reminders when the renewal of your registration is due. It is important your contact details, including email, are kept up to date so you can receive these reminders.