Foreign Trained Applicants

All those looking to apply for a license to practice optometry in Prince Edward Island who were not trained at an institution or program accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) are considered Foreign Trained Applicants.

Foreign trained applicants must have their credentials assessed and undergo a Canadian optometric bridging program before they can challenge the national optometric board examination, the Canadian Assessment of Competence in Optometry.  

The Federation of Optometric Regulatory Authority of Canada (FORAC) handles the process of assessing Foreign Trained Applicants for the PEICO.  If you are a Foreign Trained Applicant and wish to practice in Prince Edward Island, you must first go through the FORAC process and once completed and you have successfully completed the Canadian Assessment of Competency in Optometry, you may apply for license with the PEICO.

Information on the process is clearly laid out on the FORAC website at and also in the Applicant Guide to Credential Assessment (

A summary of the steps in the FORAC process are as follows (visit the website for full details):

  • Contact the PEICO to ensure you are clear on the procedure and also to clarify any other documents you may require when you have completed the FORAC procedure.
  • Review University of Waterloo optometry course descriptions and prerequisites at  It is against this curriculum that your education will be compared.  If after comparing your education to the University of Waterloo, you feel that your degree is comparable, you should consider applying for credential assessment.
  • Obtain a World Education Services (WES-ICAP) credential evaluation report.  Details regarding this can be found on the FORAC website.
  • Confirmation of English proficiency test is required if your optometry degree program was not completed in English.  WES will confirm the language of your program and advise FORAC.  Testing requirements can be found on FORAC’s website.
  • Complete the application for credential assessment.  This application includes 8 items, all of which must be received before the application is considered active and begins to be evaluated.  The items are clearly listed on the FORAC website. One of the items is the assessment fee of $850 + HST = $960.50 in Canadian Funds.
  • If your program is deemed equivalent, you will be allowed to write a test called the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition.  Results from this test will then be used by FORAC to determine which International Optometric Bridging Program at the University of Waterloo you qualify for, if either.  A score below a certain threshold will mean you will not get the opportunity to advance to a bridging program.
  • Complete the International Optometric Bridging Program at the University of Waterloo.
  • Attempt the Canadian Assessment of Competence in Optometry and if successful, apply for licensure with the PEICO using either the Application for New Graduates or Application for Transferring Optometrists, whichever fits your situation.

Fees associated with the whole process are mainly incurred outside of the FORAC assessment fees and you should contact each individual provider for their current fees.  These fees include: WES credential assessment; Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition exam fee; International Optometric Bridging program enrollment fee; Canadian Assessment of Competence in Optometry exam fee; and any fees associated with the general application such as transcripts fees.


The Prince Edward Island College of Optometrists council is composed of four optometrists, nominated by the Prince Edward Island Association of Optometrists and two lay persons, nominated by the Department of Health and Wellness.  

The current council members and their positions are:

  • Dr. Kelly Bowes, Registrar
  • Dr. Claire Shaw, Assistant Registrar
  • Dr. Rhod MacCorquodale
  • Dr. Mark Burke
  • Harley Richardson, Treasurer
  • Merrill Wigginton

Our Role >