National Academy of Opticianry (NAO)
The National Academy of Opticianry "The Academy" is an international organization dedicated solely to education and training for ALL opticians. Founded in 1963, the Academy offers opticianry education and training in a variety of formats. We cover all aspects of education and training from career preparation (internationally known as the Ophthalmic Career Progression Program), certification and licensing exam preparation and continuing education for beginning through advanced level opticians.
Opticians Association of America (OAA)
Established in 1926 as the Guild of Prescription Opticians, the Opticians Association of America (OAA) is the only national organization representing opticianry's business, professional, educational, legislative and regulatory interests. The Opticians Association of America's mission is to promote and expand opticianry by being the single unified voice of America's Opticians. In support of this mission we are committed to promoting professional stature through leadership, education, legislative representation and communication. Under OAA's very broad umbrella, individuals providing eyeglasses or contact lenses to consumers, as well as owners / managers of retail optical firms, state optician societies and suppliers to professional optician find a common goal in Advancing America's Opticians. OAA fosters, supports, and sponsors programs of competency certification, licensing and continuing education for professional development.
National Federation of Opticianry Schools (NFOS)
The National Federation of Opticianry Schools (NFOS) is the international organization dedicated to the promotion of formal opticianry education offered by accredited educational institutions. Formal education is fundamental to the credibility of the Optician as a vision care professional. NFOS member schools are located in the United States and Canada.
The Goals of the NFOS:
- Upgrade the standards of opticianry education
- Facilitate the exchange of teaching methods
- Achieve uniformity of formal education in opticianry
- Assist national opticianry organizations in their efforts
- Develop formal educational programs in identified areas of need
Contact Lens Society of America
CLSA is a network of highly skilled professionals making a difference in the lives of contact lens wearers every day. Members come from opticianry, optometry, ophthalmology, and the contact lens manufacturing and services industry. They educate consumers, find solutions to challenging cases, and help to increase patient comfort and satisfaction. They design and manufacture innovative lenses and products, and are on the cutting edge of contact lens technological advances. Through education, resources, and service, the Society supports these distinguished professionals and gives students and career starters the opportunity to increase their contact lens knowledge and skills.
The Vision Council
The Vision Council is a non-profit organization serving as a global voice for eyewear and eyecare.
Serving member companies in diverse segments of the optical industry—from family owned businesses to global companies—The Vision Council helps members to succeed in their businesses by providing a wide variety of resources and tools, from market research to training to industry networking events.
In addition, by sharing the latest in eyewear trends, advances in technology and advice from eyewear experts, the organization serves as a resource to the public looking to learn more about options in eyeglasses and sunglasses.
Commission on Opticianry Accreditation
The Commission on Opticianry Accreditation (COA), a not-for-profit agency, accredits Opticianry education in the United States.
The mission of the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation is to foster excellence in opticianry education by setting standards, assessing educational effectiveness, and identifying those academic programs that meet the standards, in order to aid programs to produce competent graduates who will provide professional services to the public.
Scope of accreditation: COA accredits two-year Opticianry degree programs and one-year ophthalmic laboratory technology certificate programs in the United States and Canada that are sponsored by post-secondary institutions accredited by agencies recognized by the Department of Education or CHEA.
Recognition: The COA is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation