Certification & Education
One Vision: Working together to strengthen the standard of excellence in eye care.
The Value of Certification
Certification is a process that recognizes individuals who have met certain qualifications and demonstrated special knowledge and expertise.
IJCAHPO certification is recognized and respected internationally by physicians, employers, administrators, and other ophthalmic and medical personnel. Certified Allied Ophthalmic Personnel (AOP) bring important benefits to their patients, their employers, and themselves:
- Because of their special training and skills, certified AOP demonstrate more knowledge and confidence, enabling them to provide better patient care.
- Certified AOP are trained to perform many skilled tasks, freeing up physicians to diagnose and treat patients to make their ophthalmic practices more productive.
- Certification leads to greater professional advancement, career satisfaction, increased employability, and higher compensation.
Criteria for Certification & Recertification
IJCAHPO certification is voluntary and each candidate is responsible for assuring that eligibility requirements, procedures, and deadlines are met before applying for certification.
Eligibility for certification depends upon your full compliance with all IJCAHPO procedures and deadlines as outlined in the IJCAHPO Standards, Procedures, and Sanctions Pertaining to Certification and Recertification. As required by Accreditation Standards for Certification Programs, IJCAHPO holds all candidates for certification to the same criteria. IJCAHPO offers select certification examinations in French or Spanish. If you are interested in taking the examination in French or Spanish, or if you have questions about your eligibility to test, please contact the Certification Department.
The IJCAHPO Certification Process
- Setting specific and measurable standards for AOP knowledge and skills
- Formally recognizing the AOP who have met those standards
- Providing official confirmation of certificants’ qualifications to employers and the public
Scope of Allied Ophthalmic Personnel
As a member of the allied health profession, AOP are part of a professional team of eye care providers. They perform assigned procedures under the direction or supervision of a physician licensed to practice medicine and surgery, and are qualified in ophthalmology.
AOP possess skills and knowledge attained by didactic and clinical ophthalmic educational training. Their function is to assist the ophthalmologist by collecting data, administering treatment ordered by the ophthalmologist, and supervising patients. AOP are not independent practitioners and may not diagnose/treat eye disorders or prescribe medications. They can supply vital information to the physician who is treating patients, and may assist in areas such as surgery, patient instruction, and compliance.
Certification is an important indication of knowledge and skill. IJCAHPO does not warrant the job performance or express an opinion of the competence of individual certificants.
Some of the most common tasks performed by AOP at all levels of certification include:
- Taking patient histories
- Maintaining instruments
- Administering tests and evaluations
- Taking eye measurements
- Providing patient services
- Performing a variety of clinical tasks
Education & Training
IJCAHPO is dedicated to bringing effective and standardized training and education practices to ophthalmological care worldwide. IJCAHPO’s standards for curriculum are based on the model and international certification standards set forth by the International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (IJCAHPO). Building off 40 years of IJCAHPO’s experience in educating and training AOP, IJCAHPO provides world-leading educational and training resources to aspiring and current AOP.
International curriculum for ophthalmic assisting and refractive error was developed by IJCAHPO.