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Register as an Optometrist

Important information for all applicants

To practise as an optometrist in New Zealand, you must be registered with the Board AND hold a current practising certificate.  You are welcome to apply for your practising certificate at the same time that you apply for registration.  The Board will not process your practising certificate fee until you have been registered.

Currently there are two scopes of practice for optometry, as follows:

  • Optometrist
  • Provisional Optometrist

Click here for definitions of these scopes of practice.

If you hold a qualification that has been prescribed by the Board for registration within one of these scopes of practice, you are eligible to apply for registration within that scope of practice.

Click here to view a copy of the Board’s scopes of practice and prescribed qualifications, as published in the New Zealand Gazette, effective from 10 December 2020.

In accordance with the Board’s core functions under section 118(i) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCA Act), the Board has set standards of clinical competence to be observed by the profession of optometry. These clinical standards are closely aligned with, and should be read in conjunction with, the Optometrist Scope of Practice. 

Click here to view the associated Registration Pathways document referred to in the New Zealand Gazette.

If you hold a qualification that may have been superceded by a qualification currently accepted for registration and listed in the New Zealand Gazette, please email the Deputy Registrar for further advice on whether your qualification can be accepted for registration in New Zealand.

All applications must be accompanied by the correct fee. Please check the Fees of our website, or check with our staff if you are unsure which fee you should pay, as an incorrect fee will delay your application.

Please ensure you attach all requested documentation, including the correct fee.  Incomplete applications will be returned.

The Board timeframe guideline for processing completed applications is 10-20 working days. In the event that there are any anomalies in the documentation provided, this timeframe is likely to increase.

Please do not send your application in parts. Send one complete application with all relevant documentation attached.


New Zealand, Australian and overseas trained applicants

I am a new graduate from University of Auckland or from an Australian university and have not already registered in Australia

I passed the Competence in Optometry Examination administered by OCANZ

I am applying for registration as an Optometrist working specifically in an educational institution


Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition applicants

If you are currently registered as an optometrist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), you are eligible to apply for registration under the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997 (TTMRA).  Please ensure you attach all requested documentation, including the correct fee.  Incomplete applications will be returned.

I am currently registered in Australia and wish to apply for registration under the TTMRA


Restoring your name to the Register

Click here to apply to have your name restored to the Register of Optometrists if you have previously been registered with the Board, but your registration was cancelled under the HPCA Act.

If you were removed from the Register prior to 18 September 2004, you must submit a brand new application for registration. Refer to the links above to select which pathway applies to you.