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 the Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science Advanced Standing program before they can challenge the national optometric board examination, the Canadian Assessment in Competence in Optometry (OEBC exam).  

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 Optometry Examining Board of Canada exam, you may apply for license with the PEICO.

Information on the process is clearly laid out on the FORAC website at www.forac-faroc.ca and also in the Applicant Guide to Credential Assessment (http://forac-faroc.ca/index.php/international-applicants/apply.ing-in-English/ 

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

  • Review University of Waterloo optometry course descriptions and prerequisites at https://uwaterloo.ca/optometry-vision-science/courses#course.  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.
  • If your program is deemed equivalent, you will be allowed to write a test called the Internationally Graduated Optometrist Evaluating Examination (IGOEE).   Results from this test will then be used by FORAC to determine if you are eligible to apply for the Advanced Standing Program at the Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Sciences.  A score below a certain threshold will mean you will not be eligible to apply for the Advanced Standing Program.
  • Complete the Advanced Standing Program at the Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science.
  • Successful completion of the Canadian Assessment in Competence in Optometry (OEBC exam).
  • 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; Internationally Graduated Optometrist Evaluating Examination fee; the Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science Advanced Standing program enrolment fee; Canadian Assessment of Competence in Optometry exam(OEBC exam) fee; and any fees associated with the general application such as transcripts fees.

About

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


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Contact Info

  • Prince Edward Island College of Optometrists
  • 628 Water Street East
    Summerside, PE
    C1N 4H7
  • (902)436-3346
  • (902)436-4904
  • [email protected]