Working overseas as an optometrist

History of optometry

Australia is one of several nations that recognise formal optometry, and require practising optometrists to be qualified and registered by a state or national authority.  Others include New Zealand, U.S.A., United Kingdom, Canada, Singapore and South Africa.

At present the Australian optometry authority has a reciprocal arrangement with that of New Zealand, so Australian-qualified optometrists are automatically able to register in New Zealand. These arrangements do not currently exist for the U.S.A., Canada or the United Kingdom, though this is quite likely in the coming 5 – 10 years.

Many Australian optometrists have worked in the United Kingdom, after registering with the General Optical Council. This requires a period of supervised practice and both written and practical examinations.


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