What is the
Australian Orthoptic Board?
The Australian Orthoptic Board is
the registration body for orthoptists in
Australia. The function of the registration board
is to regulate the profession of orthoptics in
order to protect the public. The Board holds a Register of suitably
qualified orthoptists and investigates the
professional conduct and fitness to practise of
registered orthoptists. Registration is biennial
and must be renewed every two years.
Graduates of specified
Australian undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs in
orthoptics are eligible to be registered 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 commencing 2015 (accreditation in progress).
Graduates in the current
biennium of Australian orthoptic degree
programs may apply for registration before a
degree has been conferred. A certified
university transcript of final results stating
qualified for admission to the orthoptic
degree must be provided. A legally certified
copy of the applicant's degree is required as soon as possible after
Registration will not be renewed without a
certified copy of the degree.
who have qualified in a country other than
Australia are required to submit their
qualifications and supplementary evidence to the
Australian Orthoptic Board for assessment. Refer to International
When can I register?
The Australian Orthoptic Board has
a two-year registration structure. The current
registration period is from 1 July 2013 until 30
Suitably qualified orthoptists can
apply for registration at any time. The full registration fee is
payable regardless of when application is made
during the biennial cycle. There is no provision
for pro rata or part payment of registration.
Apply - how do I
Fill in the Registration Application form, and receive a reply with instructions for completing the registration process.
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copy of qualifications
A photocopy of your degree must be
legally certified. That is, the copy must have a
statement written/stamped on the front such as "I,
_______ [insert name of authorised witness],
________ [insert occupation], hereby
certify that this is a true and complete copy of
the original certificate". The copy must be signed
and dated by the authorised witness, most
likely a doctor in your workplace, or any other
person from the authorised witness list (eg
pharmacist, teacher) who is not related to you.
Registration renewal is due at
commencement of each biennium - next renewal 1 July 2015.
Registrants who have not renewed by 30 September in the renewal
will be removed from the Register. It is the
responsibility of the
orthoptist to maintain registration.
Restore within 2 years:
If applicants (a) apply to renew within 2 years
from the date of removal from the Register; and
(b) pay the registration fee and an additional
renewal fee, the Board may restore that person's
name to the Register. (Certified copies of
qualifications will not be required if held on
How does the Board
ensure standards of practice?
The Australian Orthoptic Board was
established to protect the interests of orthoptic
patients by ensuring:
- the fitness
to practise of registered orthoptists,
- that registered
orthoptists are appropriately
- maintain up to
date clinical skills and knowledge.
Australian Orthoptic Board accredits the
orthoptic training programs in Australia and
assesses the suitability of overseas qualified
orthoptists for practice in Australia.
The Australian Orthoptic Board
also provides a mechanism for complaints (and
subsequent disciplinary action, if appropriate)
that can be initiated by patients who believe an
orthoptist has been negligent in management or
where an orthoptist does not maintain appropriate
ethical standards of practice or is found
incompetent in practice.
While registration is not
compulsory to practise, orthoptists are encouraged
to register with the Board and to participate in the
Continuing Professional Development program (CPD)
to gain credit towards a Certificate of Currency.
The Board assesses professional continuing
submitted for accreditation.
A Certificate of Currency is
accepted by a number of health funds to qualify
for a provider number for private health rebates.
Registration must be renewed every two years. A registered orthoptist is
eligible to submit a CPD claim and a Certificate
of Currency will be awarded if sufficient points
have been accrued.
is registration necessary?
There is no legislation requiring
orthoptists to be registered to work in Australia
but many employers and most public hospitals will
ask for registration with the Australian Orthoptic
Board (AOB) as a condition of employment.
Orthoptists and Prescribing
The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law
Act 2009 allows orthoptists REGISTERED with the
Australian Orthoptic Board to refract and
prescribe lenses (not contact lenses) however it is important to check adoption by each State (see Australian
Health Practitioner Regulation Agency >
Legislation & Publications) to determine eligibility to refract in a State.
Sonography: The Health
Insurance Commissison in association with the
Australasian Sonographers Accreditation Registry (ASAR)
introduced in 2002 a program of accreditation and
continuing professional development for
sonographers. The ASAR recognises registration
with the Australian Orthoptic Board as appropriate
accreditation for orthoptists to undertake
sonography in relation to ocular structures.
is continuing professional development
AOB Registration and Certificate
of Currency indicates to employers, health
insurers and patients that you are an
appropriately qualified and up-to-date practising
orthoptist. The Continuing Professional
Development (CPD) program issues a Certificate of
Currency which is a statement that the holder:
- has maintained professional
- has up-to-date practising
- provides the highest quality
care for patients/clients.
and Private Health Insurances Accreditation
Rules effective 1 July 2009:
Changes in the Private Health Insurance Act 2007
require a practitioner to be recognised by an
accredited body before a Private Health Fund can
give a rebate to patients. Orthoptists are covered
under a new rule to this Act - Rule 10 – which
came into force on 1 July 2009.
Medibank Private has acknowledged
the Australian Orthoptic Board as the suitable
body to accredit Orthoptists; Registrants who hold
a CPD Certificate of Currency are eligible for a
health provider number from Medibank Private.
All Private Health Insurers are
bound by this legislation and are likely to follow
this lead and request verification of registration
and a Certificate of Currency from the Board
before a provider number will be issued to
Better Start for Children with Disability
Children aged under six years who have been
diagnosed with sight or hearing impairments
including deaf-blindness, Down syndrome, cerebral
palsy or Fragile X syndrome can register to access
early intervention funding.
Funding is available from 1 July 2011 and includes
orthoptic services. To participate orthoptists
must be registered and hold a CPD Certificate of
For more information please visit www.fahcsia.gov.au/betterstart
or call 1800 989 530.
How do I apply for a
Certificate of Currency?
Complete this form to Join the CPD Program
A registered orthoptist records continuing development activities
undertaken in the previous two year cycle and if
sufficient CPD points have been accrued a Certificate of
Currency will be issued.
Can an orthoptist be
Yes. Incidences of unprofessional
conduct, or health issues, which impair an
orthoptist's ability to safely perform their work,
can be reported to the Board. In such cases the
Board must investigate the report and may
recommend the issue go to an informal or formal
hearing of the Board. Registration of the
orthoptist concerned may be suspended until the
hearing is complete and if the complaint is
substantiated the orthoptist may be struck from
the register or asked to complete specific
education requirements or modify their practice.
Refer to the Regulations of the AOB.
What is the
difference between the AOB and the OA?
Orthoptics Australia (OA) is the professional body
The purpose of the registration
board (AOB) is to protect the public by ensuring
all registered orthoptists are competent to
practice and provide a mechanism to receive and
investigate complaints in relation to professional
The purpose of the OA is to
support and encourage members of the orthoptic
profession to maintain their high standards of
practice and to develop the orthoptic profession.