- What is a Optician?
- What is the difference between an Optician, Optometrist, and Ophthalmologist?
- What is the Guild of Prescription Opticians?
- Title Protection Act for the Profession of Opticianry Resolution
- Other Opticianry Organizations and What They Do..
What is an Optician?Back to the top
An Optician is a vision expert; a health professional specially trained to supply, prepare, and dispense optical appliances through interpretation of written prescriptions. An Optician is an integral part of the vision care experience that adheres to exacting standards in order to enhance your vision.
What is the difference between an Optician, Optometrist, and Ophthalmologist?Back to the top
Optician: A professional in the field of finishing and fitting eyeglass lenses, frames, and contact lenses. An optician turns your doctor's prescription into the glasses or contact lenses you need to make your vision the best it can be. An optician may also dispense low vision aids and artificial eyes.
Optometrist: A Doctor of Optometry is trained to examine eyes for vision problems and to diagnose and correct vision problems through eyeglasses, contact lenses, other optical aids or exercises. After an eye examination, an Optometrist provides a written prescription which you may take to your Optician.
Ophthalmologist: An Ophthalmologist is a medical doctor, who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and care of eyes and related systems. An Ophthalmologist may prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses to improve vision or medicines or surgery to restore eye health. Ophthalmologists provide a written prescription after an eye examination which you may take to your Optician.
What is the Guild of Prescription Opticians?Back to the top
Established in 1926, the Guild of Prescription Opticians (Guild) is governed by a code of ethics that requires its members to maintain the highest level of professional opticianry, thereby protecting the consumers' interests; meet the high standards of the Guild to ensure that efficiency and service are always provided; furnish a source for eyecare products and services, independent of those prescribing for eye care needs; promote the conservation of human eyesight; supply only the finest quality optical products and services, representing the state of the art of opticianry; and participate in and encourage continuing education for eye care professionals.
The Opticians Association of America's "Title Protection Act for the Profession of Opticianry Resolution"Back to the top
Whereas, the title Optician is widely used by persons in the field of opticianry, without legitimate credentialing of any kind; and
Whereas use of the title Optician by non-credentialed personnel misleadingly creates an unwarranted presumption of competence to the unknowing and unsuspecting public; and
Whereas consumers have the right to expect competent service and delivery of competently crafted eyewear products that are functional to their needs; and
Whereas the inappropriate use of the title Optician discredits conscientious professional Opticians who validate their expertise at the state and national level by obtaining and maintaining credentialing that attests to a minimum basic competence, now therefore be it;
Resolved that use of the title Optician shall be reserved exclusively to and for persons who have - at a minimum - successfully passed either the American Board of Opticianry or National Contact Lenses Examination basic competency exam or substantially equivalent state examinations, and be it further;
Resolved such credentialing shall be maintained, attesting to an ongoing effort to maintain competence and professionalism, by wearing an appropriate and visible name tag in performing the duties of opticianry and/or contact lenses applications as appropriate.
Other Opticianry Organizations and What They Do..Back to the top
American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE): ABO and NCLE are national not-for- profit organizations for the voluntary certification of ophthalmic dispensers. ABO, the American Board of Opticianry, certifies opticians those who dispense and work with spectacles. NCLE, the National Contact Lens Examiners, certifies those ophthalmic dispensers who fit and work with contact lenses.
Commission on Opticianry Accreditation (COA): COA is a not-for-profit agency, accredits Opticianry training in the United States. The mission of the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation is to foster excellence in opticianry education by setting standards, assessing educational effectiveness, and identifying those academic programs that meet the standards, in order to aid programs to produce competent graduates who will provide professional services to the public.
Contact Lens Society of America (CLSA): CLSA is dedicated to the education, evolution, and promotion of contact lens technology. The objective of the CLSA is to promote education, mutual understanding and cooperation among all persons interested in contact
National Academy of Opticianry (NAO): The National Academy of Opticianry "The Academy" is an international organization dedicated solely to education and training for all opticians. Founded in 1963, the Academy offers opticianry education and training in a variety of formats. The Academy covers all aspects of education and training from career preparation (internationally known as the Ophthalmic Career Progression Program), certification and licensing exam preparation and continuing education for beginning through advanced level opticians.
National Federation of Opticianry Schools (NFOS): The National Federation of Opticianry Schools (NFOS) is the national organization dedicated to the promotion of formal opticianry education offered by accredited educational institutions. Formal education is fundamental to the credibility of the Optician as a vision care professional.
Vision of Hope Foundation: The Vision of Hope Foundation was formed to promote opticianry education; develop future opticianry leaders; and perform international, national and community based vision related mission work.