Continuing Education

Optical Sciences - Refraction


The location where your NAIT courses will be held.


The type of certification (degree, diploma, certificate) you will earn after completing your program.

  • Degree - NAIT offers a number of business degrees and applied science and technology degrees accredited by Alberta Advanced Education.
    Applied degree programs offer a stronger emphasis on practical applications of the concepts learned in the classroom
  • Diplomas & Certificates - These credit programs take 1 or 2 years and lead to government approved and industry-recognized credentials.
  • Journeyman Certificate - Hands-on and expert-led apprenticeship and industry training for skilled trades and technology professionals.
  • Continuing Education/Non-Credit - NAIT offers a wide range of non-credit programs and courses for personal and professional development in a number of interesting and exciting fields. These options are great for people who may be working but are interested in studying as well.

Delivery Options

The flexible schedule options for this course including time of day and full/part-time.

  • Day - Courses taking place between Monday - Friday, before 5 PM.
  • Evening/Weekend - Courses taking place on weekdays from 5 PM or later, or Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Online - Sometimes called "Home Study" or "Computer-Based Learning"
  • Blended - A combination of online and in-class components.
  • Distance - Traditional correspondence format. These courses work best if you can't get to a campus or if your schedule can't accommodate fixed class times

Advance your knowledge in foundational optical science theory

Our Refraction Continuing Education program is intended for contact lens fitters who wish to enrich their professional development and flexibility in the job market by learning theories and methodologies involved in refraction.

As a scientific term, refraction refers to the way wave transmissions (such as light) change direction when passed through a medium (such as a lens). In opticianry, a refraction test determines the eye's refractive error. This allows an optician to suggest the best corrective lenses to provide the patient with the sharpest and clearest vision.

Our program is split between 2 courses designed to be taken at the same time. The first walks you through theoretical concepts to prepare you for on-the-job training. The second course puts your knowledge to the test and helps you enhance your opticianry skill set through hands-on ocular assessment practice.

Flexible Delivery To better fit your schedule, this course can be taken online. Access course material at your own pace using Moodle, our online elearning system. This can be done from the comfort of your own home, office or local coffee shop.

Hands-on, industry-relevant skills

You can use a variety of tools and methods to determine the best possible prescriptive lenses for patients. For instance, the autorefractor and retinoscope help eye care professionals determine the eye’s refractive error without feedback from patients (objective refraction) while the phoropter is used to test the refractive error with the help of a patient (subjective refraction). 

Our program is divided into 4 outcomes that explore these tools and methods in detail. By the end of the program, you will have a body of knowledge and level of confidence in the following areas:

  • objective refraction
  • subjective refraction
  • binocular vision testing
  • refraction analysis 

After each outcome, you will be required to complete an online assessment that will test your understanding of key terms, topics and learning objectives. 

For the Refraction Clinical course, all training will take place in the student’s workplace under the direct supervision of a certified refracting optician or certified ophthalmic medical technologist, optometrist or ophthalmologist. Students will complete a clinical manual within the six-month time frame.

Our program is accredited by the National Association of Canadian Opticians Regulators (NACOR); successful completion of both the theory and clinical courses will allow you to take the National Refraction exam. 

Flexible programming

To better fit your schedule, this course can be taken online. 

Access course material at your own pace using Moodle, our online eLearning system. This can be done from the comfort of your own home, office or local coffee shop.  

Apply today!

If you are an Albertan resident, you can apply to our Refraction Certificate program by completing our form and sending it directly to the Optical Sciences Program Office by email or fax.

  1. Download the Refraction Application Form (pdf)
  2. Complete the form
  3. Send the completed form to our office by fax or email
    Fax: 780.471.8377

If you have any questions about the program or application process, please call our office at 780.378.2800 (toll-free 1.888.491.3130) or email us at

For Canadian residents outside Alberta, please contact the Opticians Association of Canada at, or toll-free at 1.800.847.3155.

Contact information

Alberta residents

  • Office Email:
  • Phone: 780.378.2800
  • Toll Free: 1.888.491.3130
  • Fax: 780.471.8377

Canadian residents outside Alberta

Advanced credit

Department consent is required to enroll. Please contact the NAIT Optical Sciences Program Office to register.