AOB Registration

Remember to advise any change
of address or contact details
.

Registration remains active for
renewal to 30 September 2015.


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.

Who can be registered?

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 conferral.  Registration will not be renewed without a certified copy of the degree.

Orthoptists 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 Registration.

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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 June 2015.

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.

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Apply - how do I register?

Fill in the Registration Application form, and receive a reply with instructions for completing the registration process.

(Please ensure your spam filter is set to accept email from aoboard@aob.org.au by adding the address to your contacts.)

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Certified 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.

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Registration Renewal

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 year 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 file.)

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 qualified, and
  • maintain up to date clinical skills and knowledge.

The 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 development activities 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.

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Why 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 - Legislation
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.

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Why is continuing professional development necessary?

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 knowledge,
  • has up-to-date practising skills, and
  • provides the highest quality care for patients/clients.

Orthoptists 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 Orthoptists.

Medicare: Better Start for Children with Disability initiative:
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 Currency.
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.

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Can an orthoptist be de-registered?

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.

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What is the difference between the AOB and the OA?

Orthoptics Australia (OA) is the professional body representing orthoptists.

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 conduct.

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.

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Mar-14