AOB Registration

REGISTER of qualified Orthoptists

Current biennium 1 July 2019 - 30 June 2021
(remains active for renewal to 30 September 2021)

Remember to advise any change
of address or contact details.

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 University of Technology, Sydney (NSW).

Graduates in the current biennium of Australian orthoptic degree programs may apply for registration before a degree has been conferred. A university transcript of final results stating qualified or completed can by submitted via My eQuals (My eQuals student/graduate information) and followed by the My eQuals link to testamur/degree certificate when conferred.

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.


When can I register?

The Australian Orthoptic Board has a two-year registration structure. The current registration period is from 1 July 2019 until 30 June 2021.

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 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 by adding the address to your contacts/whitelist.)


Certified copy of qualifications

We will accept an email link to your testamur/degree certificate in My eQuals (My eQuals student/graduate information),
A photocopy of your testamur/degree certificate which 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

Registration renewal is due at commencement of each biennium - next renewal 1 July 2021.  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 apply to restore registration within 2 years from the date of removal from the Register, satisfy the CPD requirements, and pay the registration fee plus readmission 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.

CPD is compulsory to maintain Registration. The Board assesses professional continuing development activities submitted for accreditation.

Registration 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 with 50 points of approved CPD activity accrued in the expiring biennium.


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 Australian Sonographer 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 register with ASAR to undertake sonography in relation to ocular structures.


Why is Continuing Professional Development (CPD) necessary?

Participation in the CPD Program is compulsory to maintain registration. AOB Registration indicates to employers, health insurers and patients that you are an appropriately qualified and up-to-date practising orthoptist.

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 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; Registered Orthoptists are eligible for a health provider number from Medibank Private.

All Private Health Insurers are bound by this legislation and may request verification of registration 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.
For more information refer to Department of Social Services


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.


What is the difference between the AOB and the OA?

The Australian Orthoptic Board (AOB) is the registration body for orthoptists in Australia.
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.

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