To be recognized as equivalent, a diploma in optometry issued outside of Quebec must certify that its holder has a level of knowledge equal to the knowledge of a holder of a Quebec diploma prescribed by regulation.
What are the academic prerequisites ?
In addition to the specific case of graduates of an institution accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education, holders of a diploma in optometry issued by an educational institution located outside Quebec are granted a diploma equivalence if they have obtained this diploma after completing a university program comprising the equivalent of 197 credits, 169 of which must be apportioned as follows:
- 50 credits in biological and biomedical sciences, which must pertain specifically to human and ocular anatomy, general and ocular histology, general and ocular physiology, general and ocular pharmacology, general and ocular pathology and microbiology;
- 16 credits in optics, which must pertain specifically to geometric, physical and ophthalmic optics;
- 15 credits in vision science;
- 52 credits in optometric science, which must pertain specifically to general optometry, orthoptics, contact lenses and low vision;
- 36 credits obtained from a clinical training period, which must be completed specifically in the areas of general optometry, orthoptics, contact lenses and low vision.
- 1 credit obtained for preparing for and participating in a comprehensive examination.
What is 1 university credit?
Each credit represents 15 hours of attendance in class or 45 hours worked in the course of a training period. When the diploma has been obtained three or more years prior to the date of the equivalence application, it will be rejected if the acquired knowledge no longer corresponds to the current content of educational programs.
Candidates whose diploma cannot be recognized as equivalent may be granted a training equivalence if they demonstrate that their training allowed them to acquire knowledge and skills that are equivalent to those acquired by holders of a Quebec diploma prescribed by regulation.
When evaluating training equivalence, the Order takes into account:
- the number of years of schooling,
- the courses taken (credits and marks obtained),
- the diplomas earned,
- training periods and other
- training activities,
- any relevant work experience.
For that purpose, the committee may ask candidates to give an interview, pass an examination or complete a training period. Accordingly, depending on the diplomas and training of the candidates, they may be asked to take a placement test, whose results will be used by the committee to issue a recommendation on recognition of the requested equivalence.