Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board

Annual practising certificates

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.


General 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)

For a PDF copy of this form, click here.


APC2: Application for an annual practising certificate for new NZ or Australian graduates.

For a PDF copy of this form, click here.

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.


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


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.

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.

Some employers organise the payment of APC for practitioners. If this is the case the practitioner needs to make sure that this is carried out in a timely way, noting that the practitioner is responsible for ensuring they have a current APC.

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. 

Should your APC be lost, the Board will not issue a new copy as it is an original document. However the Board will provide a letter verifying that you hold an APC. Should you need to apply for this letter, please use this form.

Contact Us

Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board

Level 5, 22 Willeston Street,
Wellington 6011
PO Box 9644, Wellington 6141
Tel: +64 4 474 0705, Fax +64 4 474 0709

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