Optometry Graduate Intern Application

An intern is defined as an unregulated graduate of an accredited university optometry program, or, an unregulated graduate of a non-accredited optometry program who has successfully completed the International Optometric Bridging Program.  All interns must work under the supervision of a Regulated Member.

This program is usually reserved for students who have already graduated from a program and are waiting to write the OBEC exam or for students who have already written the OBEC exam and are waiting for their results.

The intern would be allowed to perform any of the restricted activities specified in the Optometrists Profession Regulation under the direct supervision of a regulated member who is authorized to perform the restricted activity and who is physically present on-site where the procedure is being performed and is available to assist as necessary.

An Intern Application Form must be completed and signed by the supervising Regulated Member and the intern. The following documentation and fees must also be provided at the time of application:

  • Copy of Diploma or final transcript
  • Proof of liability insurance coverage
  • $100.00 Initial Registration fee
  • $350.00 annual Intern Membership fee

Should the intern be successful in their first or subsequent challenge of the OBEC exams, only the membership fee paid during that calendar year is creditable against their annual ACO Practice Permit fee.

All Intern Applications must be reviewed and approved by the ACO Registrar before any patients are examined.

Graduates and supervising Regulated Members participating in the Internship Program must agree to the following:

  • Specific supervising optometrist(s) has (have) to be identified
  • Direct on-site supervision of the intern is required.
  • The supervising optometrist must ensure that clear identification is made for the benefit of the public as to the qualifications or professional designation of the intern (i.e. intern to utilize a nametag identifying him/her as an intern).
  • The supervising optometrist must review all diagnostic data and alter as required all recommended treatment procedures.
  • Assure the ACO that the supervising optometrist has adequate liability insurance covering the intern(s) during the course of the approved program.  The current minimum amount of liability insurance is $3 million.
  • The program would run for the course of time as approved by the ACO Registrar.  Program time usually extends until the next sitting of the OEBC exams and after test marks are made available by the Optometry Examining Board of Canada (OEBC) or until the end of the current calendar year.
  • If the intern is not successful in passing the OEBC by the end of the calendar year, the intern must again apply for membership in this program and pay an additional $350 annual membership fee.  If the intern is successful in passing the OEBC, only the $350 for the current calendar year is applied against the current calendar year regulated member fee.  The Intern Registration fee is only payable on the intern’s initial registration with the ACO.

Application Forms for the ACO Internship Program are available from the ACO office in Edmonton as well as being included as an attachment.  For further information, please call (780) 466-5999, or, toll free in Alberta at 1-800-668-2694, or, e-mail admin@collegeofoptometrists.ab.ca