Program: OPTI
Credential: Ontario College Diploma, Co-op
Delivery: Full-time
Work Integrated Learning: 2 Co-op Work Terms
Length: 4 Semesters, plus 2 work terms
Duration: 2 Years
Effective: Fall 2024, Winter 2025
Location: Barrie


In this program, students experience a unique blend of health care and professional service. Through theory and practical experience in labs, students learn to competently dispense eyeglasses, contact lenses, low vision devices, as well as learn about basic refraction. Students gain a strong foundation of ocular sciences in optics and anatomy and are provided the expertise necessary to lay out and edge lenses for frame insertion, as well as repair, customize and modify eyewear to the patient/clients’ needs. Emphasis is also placed on critical thinking, problem solving, and entrepreneurial skills. Students learn how to use effective sales techniques and enhance communication and interpersonal skills in order to be successful in the optical retail environment.

Upon successful completion of the academic and co-operative education semesters, students are eligible to write the national registration examinations (NACOR) which allow them, if successful, to practice in Canada as a Registered Optician.

Career Opportunities

Opticians are long-standing health care professionals employed in an industry for which there is a growing universal need. Registered Opticians may dispense eyewear independently or as part of the eye care team. Consequently, graduates may aspire to operate their own businesses. As recognized professionals under the Regulated Health Professions Act, full-time career possibilities, including managerial roles, exist in large retail optical chains, independent dispensaries and medical clinics in Ontario and across Canada. 

Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. provide effective optical care that meets the ethical and legal requirements of the National professional competencies for registration as a licensed Optician;
  2. competently perform all aspects of dispensing eyewear including eyeglasses, contact lenses, low vision devices that meets the ethical and legal requirements of the National professional competencies for registration as a licensed Optician;
  3. achieve satisfactory performance related to refraction, including knowledge of ophthalmic pharmacology, knowledge of accommodation, understanding correction of visual error and principles of refraction;
  4. assess ocular pathology accurately to ensure the appropriate referral of patients, as necessary;
  5. perform a complete refraction routine accurately, efficiently, and safely, through the proficient use of diagnostic equipment;
  6. educate and advocate effectively by promoting the benefits of ocular health and eye safety for a patient/client;
  7. communicate and collaborate effectively as part of a multi-disciplinary eyecare team using professional judgment and critical thinking;
  8. embrace the principle of life-long learning, continuing education, research and professional development and apply the new knowledge to daily practice;
  9. successfully function in a diverse optical environment which could include the traditional retail model, medical clinical settings, sales, self- employment and business management;
  10. employ environmentally sustainable practices to minimize the risk of contamination and subsequent transmission of infectious agents within a professional practice;
  11. apply basic professional practice procedures suitable for an owner operated small business or within a corporate environment in accordance with the National professional competencies.

Practical Experience

All co-operative education programs at Georgian contain mandatory work term experiences aligned with program learning outcomes.  Co-op work terms are designed to integrate academic learning with work experience, supporting the development of industry specific competencies and employability skills.

Georgian College holds membership with, and endeavours to follow, the co-operative education guidelines set out by the Co-operative Education and Work Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) and Experiential and Work-Integrated Ontario (EWO) as supported by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

Co-op is facilitated as a supported, competitive job search process. Students are required to complete a Co-op and Career Preparation course scheduled prior to their first co-op work term. Students engage in an active co-op job search that includes applying to positions posted by Co-op Consultants, and personal networking.  Co-op work terms are scheduled according to a formal sequence that alternates academic and co-op semesters as shown in the program progression below.

Programs may have additional requirements such as a valid driver’s license, strong communication skills, industry specific certifications, and ability to travel. Under exceptional circumstances, a student may be unable to complete the program progression as shown below. Please refer to Georgian College Academic Regulations for details.   

International co-op work terms are supported and encouraged, when aligned with program requirements.

Further information on co-op services can be found at www.GeorgianCollege.ca/co-op

External Recognition

This program is accredited by EQual™ Accreditation Canada.

Program Progression

The following reflects the planned progression for full-time offerings of the program.

Fall Intake

  • Sem 1: Fall 2024
  • Sem 2: Winter 2025
  • Work Term 1: Summer 2025
  • Sem 3: Fall 2025
  • Sem 4: Winter 2026
  • Work Term 2: Summer 2026

Winter Intake

  • Sem 1: Winter 2025
  • Sem 2: Summer 2025
  • Sem 3: Fall 2025
  • Sem 4: Winter 2026
  • Work Term 1: Summer 2026
  • Work Term 2: Fall 2026


A number of articulation agreements have been negotiated with universities and other institutions across Canada, North America and internationally. These agreements are assessed, revised and updated on a regular basis. Please contact the program co-ordinator for specific details if you are interested in pursuing such an option. Additional information can be found on our website at https://www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/credit-transfer/

Admission Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, or mature student status
  • Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Grade 12 Mathematics (C or U)
  • Grade 11 or 12 Biology (C or U)  
    • OR Grade 11 (U) or Grade 12 (C or U) Chemistry 
    • OR Grade 11 or 12 (U), or Grade 12 (C) Physics

Applicants must meet minimum averages to receive final acceptance.​​

First-year enrolment is limited, satisfying minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission.

Mature students, non-secondary school applicants (19 years or older), and home school applicants may also be considered for admission. Eligibility may be met by applicants who have taken equivalent courses, upgrading, completed their GED, and equivalency testing. For complete details refer to: www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/academic-regulations/

Applicants who have taken courses from a recognized and accredited post-secondary institution and/or have relevant life/learning experience may also be considered for admission; refer to the Credit for Prior Learning website for details:

Selection Process

Selection is based on admission requirements and academic grades.

Additional Information

In order for a student to register for the National examinations (NACOR) the student must have:

  • Successfully completed all academic semesters
  • Successfully completed two co-operative work terms
  • Successfully completed the practice requirements including:
    • 1000 hours of supervised dispensing experience
    • 250 eyeglass fittings broken down into specific categories
      • 15 soft contact lens fittings
      • 5 rigid lens fittings
  • Registered as an Intern Optician with the College of Opticians of Ontario

Vulnerable Sector Checks - Registered Optician - College of Opticians

All applicants to the College of Opticians of Ontario (the College) must complete the criminal record screening and mandatory reporting process as part of the Registered Optician application process. This includes:

1. Any outstanding charges or findings of guilt for an offence in Canada or any other jurisdiction.

2. Whether they are subject to any bail conditions or other restrictions that were imposed on them or agreed to by them in relation to a charge in Canada or any other jurisdiction.

3. Whether they are the subject of any allegations or findings of professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity by any body that regulates a profession inside or outside Ontario.

4. Whether they are the subject of any allegations or findings of professional negligence or malpractice in any jurisdiction. 

The College requires this information to carry out its duty to protect the public. Part of this duty entails ensuring that persons seeking registration with the College will practice the profession in accordance with the law, will display appropriate knowledge, skill and judgment and will provide safe and ethical care when registered as opticians.

Vulnerable Sector Checks

Effective January 1, 2021, applicants for a certificate of registration as a Registered Optician must also provide a Vulnerable Sector (“VS”) check as part of their application for registration with the College. A VS check verifies whether the applicant has a criminal record or any record suspension for sexual offences and searches local police records for information relevant to the VS check. The College uses the results of the VS check to verify some of the above noted information.

Important Information

The Vulnerable Sector check must meet the following requirements:

  • The VS check must be completed using all names currently used by the applicant, as well as any names the applicant has used in the past.
  • The full legal name, previous names (if applicable) and date of birth on the VS check must match the information provided to the College during the application process.
  • The VS check must have been conducted no more than six months prior to the date the application for registration is submitted to the College.
  • The original signed document obtained from the applicant’s local police service must be sent to the College by mail or courier. Faxes, scans or photographs will not be accepted.
  • The VS check must be obtained at the applicant’s own expense.

Graduation Requirements

34 Program Courses
2 Communications Courses
3 General Education Courses
2 Co-op Work Terms

Graduation Eligibility

To graduate from this program, the passing weighted average for promotion through each semester, from year to year, and to graduate is 60%. Additionally, a student must attain a minimum of 50% or a letter grade of P (Pass) or S (Satisfactory) in each course in each semester unless otherwise stated on the course outline.

Program Tracking

The following reflects the planned course sequence for full-time offerings of the Fall intake of the program. Where more  than one intake is offered  contact the program co-ordinator for the program tracking.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Hours
Program Courses  
OPTI 1022 Eyeglass Dispensing Lab 1 42
OPTI 1023 Eyeglass Dispensing Theory 1 28
OPTI 1024 Eyeglass Fabrication and Customization 1 28
OPTI 1025 Contact Lens Dispensing Lab 1 42
OPTI 1026 Contact Lens Dispensing Theory 1 28
OPTI 1027 Ocular Science for Contact Lenses 1 28
OPTI 1028 Applied Optics 1 28
OPTI 1037 Ethics and Professional Standards of Practice For Opticianry 28
Communications Course  
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration. 42
General Education Course  
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Semester 2
Program Courses  
BUSI 1026 Professional Business Practice for Opticianry 28
OPTI 1030 Eyeglass Dispensing Lab 2 42
OPTI 1031 Eyeglass Dispensing Theory 2 28
OPTI 1034 Contact Lens Dispensing Theory 2 28
OPTI 1035 Ocular Science for Contact Lenses 2 28
OPTI 1036 Applied Optics 2 28
OPTI 1038 Eyeglass Fabrication and Customization 2 42
OPTI 1039 Contact Lens Dispensing Lab 2 56
Communications Course  
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration. 42
General Education Course  
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Semester 3
Program Courses  
OPTI 1029 Professional Services 28
OPTI 2032 Eyeglass Dispensing Theory 3 28
OPTI 2034 Contact Lens Dispensing Theory 3 28
OPTI 2035 Ocular Science for Refraction and Low Vision 28
OPTI 2036 Applied Optics for Refraction and Low Vision 1 28
OPTI 2037 Refraction Lab 1 28
OPTI 2038 Refraction Theory 1 28
OPTI 2049 Eyeglass Dispensing, Fabrication and Customization Lab 3 56
OPTI 2050 Contact Lens Dispensing Lab 3 56
General Education Course  
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Semester 4
Program Courses  
OPTI 2039 Low Vision Dispensing Theory 1 28
OPTI 2041 Eyeglass Dispensing Theory 4 28
OPTI 2042 Contact Lens Dispensing Lab 4 84
OPTI 2043 Contact Lens Dispensing Theory 4 28
OPTI 2045 Applied Optics for Refraction and Low Vision 2 28
OPTI 2046 Refraction Lab 2 28
OPTI 2047 Refraction Theory 2 28
OPTI 2051 Consolidation Prep Course for Opticianry 28
OPTI 2052 Eyeglass Dispensing, Fabrication and Customization Lab 4 56
 Total Hours1386
Plan of Study Grid
Co-op Work TermsHours
COOP 1047 Opticianry Work Term 1 (Fall Intake occurs after Semester 2, Winter Intake occurs after Semester 4) 500
COOP 2038 Opticianry Work Term 2 (occurs after Semester 4) 500
 Total Hours1000

Graduation Window

Students unable to adhere to the program duration of two years (as stated above) may take a maximum of four years to complete their credential. After this time, students must be re-admitted into the program, and follow the curriculum in place at the time of re-admission.

Disclaimer: The information in this document is correct at the time of publication. Academic content of programs and courses is revised on an ongoing basis to ensure relevance to changing educational objectives and employment market needs. 

Program outlines may be subject to change in response to emerging situations, in order to facilitate student achievement of the learning outcomes required for graduation. Components such as courses, progression, coop work terms, placements, internships and other requirements may be delivered differently than published.

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