PLAR

International applicants applying for a Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) may be accepted for admission if they have a combination of knowledge, skills, experience, and abilities which are substantially equivalent to the requirements set out in the Bylaws for new applicants.

Preliminary Assessment of Application

*PLEASE NOTE: Prior to forwarding an assessment application, or any information, potential applicants must have completed a recent International English Language Testing System (IELTS) General, with minimum scores:

Speaking (6.0); Listening (7.5); Reading (6.0); and Writing (6.0). Potential applicants who have not taken the IELTS may register with IELTS Saskatchewan at www.ieltssaskatchewan.ca. A potential applicant who has taken the IELTS General Assessment but has not achieved the minimum scores will be required to improve their English skills to meet the minimum standards prior to submitting an application.

The PLAR process is now completed by the National Alliance of Canadian Optician Regulators (NACOR) on behalf of the College. The PLAR steps include a document review, a competency gap analysis (CGA), and a Case-Based Interview (CBI). The CGA is a supervised online multiple-choice assessment. The CBI is an interview that is completed remotely on an electronic platform. The CGA and CBI are based on the National Competencies for Canadian Opticians. The scores from the CGA and CBI are combined into an Integrated Candidate Scorecard (ICS). The results from the ICS are used to identify any gaps in the applicant's knowledge or skills. If further education is required, bridging modules will be assigned to address the gaps.

Successful PLAR candidates will be required to pass the NACOR National Examination(s) prior to being eligible for licensure.

Please note that PLAR and bridging modules can be completed prior to arriving in Canada.

To start the PLAR process, complete the PLAR Application Form, including the required additional information, and return it to the NACOR office. Please note applications must be received at the NACOR office by mail.

Don't hesitate to get in touch with NACOR if you require any assistance at general@nacor.ca.

Assessment of Application

After you submit your application, it will be reviewed by NACOR to determine if you are eligible.

If you are eligible, you will be contacted with available times and dates to complete your CGA and interview.

The CGA
The Competency Gap Analysis is an online tool that will help determine any gaps in your knowledge that you need to improve. It is important to note that the CGA is not a test; you do not simply pass or fail. Instead, the CGA is a way to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses according to the NACOR list of the National Competencies for Canadian opticians. Because of this, the CGA is divided into three sections:

  • Core
  • Eyeglasses
  • Contact Lenses

In Saskatchewan, you are not required to be a contact lens practitioner to be a licensed optician. As such, you are only required to complete the Core and Eyeglasses sections. However, you can challenge all three sections if you have education and experience in fitting contact lenses.

Each section will provide you with a series of multiple-choice questions. You will have 5 hours to complete the three sections with an optional short break after each section. You are not required to complete the Contact Lenses section if you are not planning on licensing as a contact lens practitioner.

The Interview
The CBI is also divided into the same three sections as the CGA. You will be asked about your experiences with dispensing eyeglasses and, if applicable, dispensing contact lenses. You will also be provided with hypothetical scenarios, where you will explain how you would address these scenarios. Each section takes approximately 1 hour to complete.

The fee for the document assessment is $225.00. The CGA and CBI assessment fees are $650.00 per practice area (opticianry, contact lens practice). GST is applicable on the above-noted fees.

Bridging
If gaps in learning are identified, the Registration Committee may refer the applicant to complete specified bridging modules.

The National Examination
Once the applicant has completed any bridging - if required, the applicant may then proceed to write the NACOR National Examination.

Application and Registration for PLAR Applicants with the SCO

Once NACOR has accepted and approved your PLAR application, you will need to apply for registration with the SCO. Click on the following link to see the steps to register with the SCO.