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Registration with the Optometry Board of Australia

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Luke Arundel
National Professional Services Manager

Updated 3 September 2015

Key points

  • All optometrists must be registered with the Optometry Board of Australia to practise. It is illegal to practise optometry without being registered and your indemnity insurance will not cover you if you practise while unregistered.
  • Each year your registration will need to be renewed by 30 November. There is a one-month grace period before you are officially removed from the register and Medicare is notified that you are no longer able to claim benefits. Late registration fees apply during this one-month period.
    • If you wish to keep practising and do not renew registration by 31 December, you must submit a fast-track application for registration. Fast-track application forms are available on the OBA website or by phoning the Customer Service Team on 1300 419 495 during January.
    • If submitting a fast-track application, you cannot practise until your application is processed and your registration details are updated on the national register.
  • Ensure your contact details with AHPRA are up to date as they will send you an email reminder. If you are travelling overseas during this period, consider contacting AHPRA before leaving to renew your registration early. You can check your details online at any time through the OBA website.

Registration fees

Payment of a renewal fee is required each year. The fees may change each year and you can find the current fees on the OBA website. You will need a VISA card or MasterCard when paying online.

Changing registration type

You may wish to change your registration type if you are temporarily not practising, for example, on maternity or paternity leave, or are practising overseas. In this situation you can change your registration to ‘Non-practising’. Optometrists with non-practising registration cannot undertake any practice of optometry in Australia regardless of whether or not they are being remunerated.

There is a reduced fee for non-practising registration. The OBA’s professional indemnity insurance registration standard and continuing professional development registration standard do not apply to optometrists holding non-practising registration.

However, the OBA advises all optometrists considering moving to non-practising registration to consider their circumstances and the requirements for applying for general registration again in the future.

This may involve returning to work under supervision. More information can be found in the ‘Recency of Practice Registration Standard’ and ‘Optometrists returning to practice or significantly altering their scope of practice fact sheet’ on this page.

Audit

Each year when renewing your registration you are stating that you comply with each of the OBA’s registration standards, which can be found on this page.

If you do not meet one of these standards, for example, if you have not done enough CPD, it is better to declare this to AHPRA than for this fact to be discovered in its yearly random audit of optometrists. Penalties apply for false declarations and your future registration may be affected.

Contact Optometry Australia for advice before renewal time if you have any concerns about meeting the registration standards. Email l.arundel@optometry.org.au or phone 03 9668 8560.

CPD can be easily tracked in the Member Hub at MyCPD (login required). New graduates are reminded that in their first year of graduation, they are still expected to complete CPD, with the requirements pro-rated for the points required over the rolling AHPRA two-year CPD period compared to the period for which they have been registered.

For example, if you graduated in January you will need 11/24 x 80 points = 37 CPD points by the time your first AHPRA renewal is due on 30 November in the same year in which you graduated. An exemption on CPD may be granted by the OBA for periods of up to 12 months for circumstances such as maternity or paternity leave. Information on applying for an exemption can be found on this page.

One of the other areas of common non-compliance in audits is the CPR certificate. Remember to renew this every three years. Your local Optometry Australia state organisation will hold regular CPR courses or you can undertake a course with approved providers such as the Australian Red Cross, Surf Lifesaving Australia, St John Ambulance Australia and Royal Life Saving Australia.

If you are audited, Optometry Australia will assist you through this process. Simply call 03 9668 8500.



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