Registration - Frequently Asked Questions

ELIGIBILITY FOR REGISTRATION:
Who can be registered?

Graduates of specified Australian undergraduate degree programs in orthoptics are eligible for registration with the Australian Orthoptic Board. Currently recognised degree programs are offered by La Trobe University (Victoria) and The University of Sydney (NSW)
University of Technology, Sydney from 2015 (accreditation  in progress).

Registration is independent of the CPD program and Certificate of Currency. Even though participation in the CPD program is encouraged it is not mandatory at this time.

 

Australian qualified orthoptists:

Complete the Registration Application form.

 

Overseas trained orthoptists:

Eligibility requirements:

  •  undergraduate or postgraduate degree in the discipline of Orthoptics, OR
  • orthoptic qualification recognised by the International Orthoptic Association.

Orthoptists who have qualified in a country other than Australia will need to supply detailed information about their qualifications as the Board needs to map competencies against those required for registration in Australia. Currently recognised undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs are offered by La Trobe University (Melbourne) and University of Technology, Sydney (from 2015 - accreditation in progress)

 Refer to International Registration.

APPLYING FOR REGISTRATION:
When and how do I apply for Registration?

The Australian Orthoptic Board adopted a two-year registration structure. The current Registration period is from 1 July 2013 until 30 June 2015.

The full registration fee (currently AU$210) is payable regardless of when application is made during the biennial cycle. There is no provision for pro rata or part payment of registration.

RECENT GRADUATES:
I've finished my course but don't have my degree yet. Can I apply to be registered now?

Yes. Recent graduates of Australian undergraduate orthoptic degree programs may apply before a degree has been conferred and will be considered:
a) if a legally certified copy of the student's academic transcript stating that the applicant has successfully completed the degree course is enclosed with the application; or
b) after written notification to the AOB by the university that the degree program has been successfully completed and that the applicant is eligible for admission to the Degree.

A legally certified copy of the applicant's degree is required immediately after conferral and within 12 months of registration. Registration will not be renewed if a copy of the certificate is not provided.

QUALIFICATIONS:
I know that orthoptists are not required to be registered but do they still need to have formal qualifications to practice?

Whilst orthoptists do not have legislated registration in Australia the public hospital sector, many private ophthalmology clinics and specialist rehabilitation agencies amongst other employing groups do require orthoptists to be registered with the Australian Orthoptic Board. This trend is increasing with the increased demands on practice and hospital accreditation.

In addition, changes to the Private Health Funds legislation requires orthoptists to be registered for their patients to claim on private health insurance and there are legislated requirements for registration to perform A and B scans and in some states to prescribe glasses.

Orthoptists are required to undertake an undergraduate degree or postgraduate masters degree to qualify for practice. The courses are required to be accredited by the Australian Orthoptic Board for recognition for registration. Currently recognised degree programs are offered by LaTrobe University (Victoria), The University of Sydney (NSW).  University of Technology, Sydney from 2015 (accreditation in progress).

QUALIFICATIONS:
Is a receptionist in an optometrist's practice allowed to perform duties such as insertion of contact lenses and checking of eye pressure for glaucoma and other eye tests if they are not an orthoptist?

There is no legislation to prevent a receptionist from undertaking the duties you outline, however the practitioner is taking a large risk in using unqualified personnel performing testing procedures without appropriate knowledge of the processes they are testing for or full understanding of the testing procedures and interpretation of results.

Anyone in this situation would be well advised to carry indemnity insurance as they can be personally sued along with their employer in the case of error.

PARTICIPATION IN CPD PROGRAM:
Do I have to participate in Continuing Professional Development activities to be registered?


No, participation in the Continuing Professional Development program is voluntary. It is in addition to AOB Registration and is not mandatory. If you choose not to participate in the CPD program there is no penalty and no exemption is required.

However, changes to the Private Health Funds legislation requires orthoptists to be registered for their patients to claim on private health insurance and there are legislated requirements for registration to perform A and B scans and in some states to prescribe glasses.

A Certificate of Currency indicates to employers, the public and other professional bodies that you have kept up to date with professional education and undertaken activities in the previous two years. The Certificate is awarded to orthoptists who accrue the prescribed number of CPD points in the biennium preceding re-registration.

The CPD program can be taken up at any time. To qualify for a Certificate of Currency 50 points must be acquired from activities undertaken in the previous two years. There is no requirement that points be accumulated across the entire two year period.

ASAR:
Should I be registered to perform B scan ultrasonography?

The Health Insurance Commissison in association with the Australasian Sonographers Accreditation Registry (ASAR) introduced in 2002 a program of accreditation and continuing professional education for sonographers.

There are legislated requirements for registration to perform A and B scans.

The ASAR recognises registration with the Australian Orthoptic Board as appropriate accreditation for orthoptists to undertake sonography in relation to ocular structures.

Orthoptists wishing to be included on the ASAR Membership Register to perform B scan ultrasonography should download the Request for Information collected by the AOB on behalf of the ASAR and return with a payment of $20 for two years made payable to the ASAR.

 [25-Sep-14  ]