In order to practise as an optometrist or dispensing optician in New Zealand you must be registered with the Board AND hold a current practising certificate (renewed annually). It is illegal to practise without a current practising certificate, and doing so can result in prosecution and/or disciplinary action.
Application forms are below. Please read the information carefully to ensure you complete the correct application, or seek advice from the Board if you are not sure which application form to use. Your application will be returned to you if it is incorrect or incomplete.
Important information about applications for practising certificates
In considering an application for a practising certificate, the Registrar of the Board must determine whether the requirements of section 27(1) of the Act have been met. If not, the Registrar must consider the application under delegation from the Board, or forward the application to the Board for consideration. Referrals to the Board will be made if the Registrar believes on reasonable grounds that:
- the applicant has at any time failed to maintain the required standard of competence
- the applicant has failed to fulfil or has failed to comply with a condition included in the applicant’s scope of practice
- the applicant has not satisfactorily completed the requirements of any competence programme he/she has been ordered by the Board to complete
- the applicant has not held an annual practising certificate of a kind sought by the applicant within the 3 years immediately preceding the date of the application
- the applicant is unable to perform the functions required for the applicant’s profession because of some mental or physical condition
- the applicant has not, within the 3 years immediately preceding the date of the application, lawfully practised the profession to which the applicant relates.
When considering applications referred to it under section 27 of the Act, the Board may propose to include conditions in the practitioner’s scope of practice, or to decline the application for a practising certificate. The practitioner will have an opportunity to comment before the Board makes a final decision.
Those not intending to apply for an APC, for whatever reason, must still opt for one of the following non-practising statuses:
- maintenance of registration only
- maintenance of registration and CPD-recording.
Click here to access the form to apply for one of these statuses.
This form can also be used if you would like to have your name cancelled from the Register all together.
If you are unsure whether you need an APC or not for the work you are doing, contact the Board’s office for advice on 04 474 0704.
Application forms – new registrants or those returning to practise:
APC1: Application for annual practising certificate for all practitioners except new NZ or Australian graduates (use APC2)
APC2: Application for an annual practising certificate for new NZ or Australian graduates.
Practising without a practising certificate is illegal
Every practitioner who wishes to renew or reapply for an annual practising certificate must apply to the Registrar. Click here to view the Board’s Policy on Renewal of Annual Practising Certificates.
The Board will communicate with all APC holders prior to the start of the new practising year, asking for indication of your intentions.
No person may claim to be practising as a health practitioner of a particular kind or do anything to suggest that they are practising unless the practitioner holds a current practising certificate with a scope of practice which indicates that the practitioner is of that kind.
Please include current address details, noting your legal responsibilities to notify the Registrar of any change of address or change of name.
Your APC is also your GST receipt.
Returning to the workforce
The Board has adopted policies on how it will deal with applications from practitioners rejoining the workforce after three years or more.
Click here for the Policy on Dispensing Opticians Rejoining the Workforce
Click here for the Policy on Optometrists Rejoining the Workforce