About the Program
Please note: Given that distance learning does not require one to be in Canada, foreign nationals wanting to complete this online program in Canada are not eligible for a study permit. For further details, please review Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada’s website.
This program is only available to those already working in the optical industry. The ability to dispense contact lenses is a specialized skill, one that employers recognize as a great asset. This one-year, independent study program is an advanced practice intended for licensed opticians. A qualified preceptor in your workplace will guide and directly supervise your clinical training, which consists of 500 hours over two (2) clinical levels.
To obtain a NAIT Optical Sciences Advanced Practice Contact Lens Certificate, students must successfully complete:
- Five (5) online theory courses
- Two (2) clinical levels of 250 hours each, under the direct supervision of a qualified preceptor
How to Register
Submit a complete paper application package (pdf) to the Optical Sciences program office. The program office will review your application package and e-mail you further instructions. If you meet the entrance requirements, the program office will grant you conditional acceptance and ask you to finalize your application through the Alberta Post-Secondary Application System (APAS). Do not apply online through APAS until the program office grants you conditional acceptance and instructs you to do so.
For more information, please contact the program office directly.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 780.378.2800
- Toll Free: 1.888.491.3130
- Fax: 780.471.8377
Canadian Residents outside Alberta
To register, please contact the Opticians Association of Canada. Canadian residents outside of Alberta do not apply through the Alberta Post-Secondary Application System (APAS).
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 1.800.847.3155
Please note that this program can only accept persons already employed in the Optical field. As such, any foreign national wanting to be admitted into this program must hold a valid work permit issued by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). There are three valid work permit categories:
- Temporary foreign worker program: Eligible foreign nationals may be issued a work permit issued on the basis of a valid labor market impact assessment (LMIA).
- International Experience Canada (IEC): Eligible participants in the IEC program may obtain a work permit without having to apply for an LMIA. If the participant is not able to secure authorization to work for more than one year in Canada, s/he is responsible for securing additional authorization to work in Canada through other IRCC work permit programs.
- Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP): Eligible participants may obtain a work permit after graduating from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution without having to apply for an LMIA.
Since by definition distance learning does not require one to be in Canada, IRRC will not issue study permits or Co-Op work permits for this program.
Tuition & Fees (Cost per semester)
Cost Per Credit: $180
Tuition Cap: $1,940
Health & Dental: $128
Rec. & Athletics: $70
Books, Supplies & Program Fees (est.)
Semester 1: $1,000
Semester 2: $1,000
Please note: This information is provided to help you estimate your costs for student financing. Some courses may also have additional expenses. Students who take all of their courses online are exempt from U-Pass, Health & Dental, and Recreation & Athletics fees. All fees are subject to change.
- Completion of the NAIT Optical Sciences Eyeglasses Diploma or assessed equivalent.
- Applicant must be a registered Optician, provide proof of license and a letter of good standing from the provincial association.
- Applicant must be working in the field and have someone qualified to oversee their practical training such as a licensed optician, optometrist or ophthalmologist
View the English Language Proficiency Requirements for the Program: NAIT | English Language Proficiency
- Applicants must be a registered optician, able to dispense eyeglasses (proof of licensure is required).
- In addition, the applicant must be employed within the optical industry, with a qualified preceptor willing to supervise the practicum component. The preceptor must be a practicing contact lens practitioner, optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Through the clinical component, students can put their knowledge of contact lens theory to use by working with patients and equipment. Each level of the clinical requires 250 hours to be documented under the direct supervision of a qualified preceptor. The preceptor must be a practicing contact lens practitioner, optometrist or ophthalmologist.
There is also an accompanying clinical manual to be completed during this time.
Accreditation & Industry Certification
Certification as a Registered Contact Lens Practitioner will be awarded to students who pass the National Licensing Exam. Students must apply to write the exam, which is administered by the National Association of Canadian Optician Regulators (NACOR).
Scholarships & Bursaries
For general application and special selections, ranging from $500 to $5,000, see Scholarships & Bursaries.