CCOA Benefits

2017-2018 Full Course cycle registrations open July 5 -September 21.

CCOA graduates who work under the direct supervision of an Optometrists and who remain in good standing with all required CE and fees, have the right to use the title Canadian Certified Optometric Assistant and its initials, C.C.O.A.

If you choose not to re-certify, you must change your title to CAO Trained Optometric Assistant and remove the professional initials C.C.O.A..

Assistant's View Newsletter

The Assistant’s View newsletter is a quarterly publication on subjects of interest to Canadian Optometric Assistants.To access Assistant’s View, select it from the "Resources" section of the CCOA website.  All CAO Member OAs who sign up will receive a free subscription. If you are a CAO member's OA, you can sign up for Assistant's View by contacting us here

Issues are published at the end of:

  • February
  • May
  • September
  • December

Deadlines for submission of articles are the 15th of the month prior to the month of release.  Queries about content should be addressed to Danielle Paquette.

100% Certification Program

CAO offers a program recognizing practices whose optometric assistants are 100% Canadian Certified Optometric Assistants (includes staff currently enrolled in the CCOA Program).  If your practice qualifies, please contact Danielle Paquette and provide the following;

  • The name and address of the clinic
  • The name of the Optometrist
  • The names of all staff members (OAs)

Upon verification, an attractive certificate suitable for display will be sent to you.  Please note that the certificate will be valid for a three-year period, after which a CCOA must reapply to receive a new one.

This is a no-fee benefit to CAO members. If you have questions about the application or CAO’s 100% Certification Program, please contact Danielle Paquette.

Job Board

When CCOAs are logged into their personal online accounts, they have access to CAO’s Job and Classifieds Listings.  Click on the “Job Listings/Classified” button on the menu to the left.

Resource Library

When CCOAs are logged into their personal online accounts, they have access to CAO’s Resource Library.  Find articles, brochures, the online version of the Canadian Journal of Optometry (CJO), patient handouts, fact sheets, presentations, and more.

CAO Events

Enjoy reduced registration fees for CAO events.  Click on the “Events” button on the menu to the left for more information.

Tax Credits
The Canadian Association of Optometrists is recognized by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as a certified private educational institution. Students taking the Canadian Certified Optometric Assistant (CCOA) program who pay for their own tuition will receive an official tuition fee receipt: Canada Revenue Agency Tuition, Education, and Textbook Amounts Certificate (T2202A), which allows you to claim your CCOA tuition as a Tuition and Education Tax Credit on your personal income tax..

For more details about Tuition and Education tax credits, please visit the CRA website.