American Optometric Association - Commission on Paraoptometric Certification (AOA-CPC)

Certified Paraoptometric Assistant (CPOA)


Credential: Certified Paraoptometric Assistant (CPOA)  GI Bill resource  NCCA resource CA Eligible
Credentialing Agency: American Optometric Association - Commission on Paraoptometric Certification (AOA-CPC)

Renewal Period: 3 years

The Certified Paraoptometric Assistant (CPOA) is a mid-level credential. This certification validates individual's ability to apply the concepts used in optometric care. The CPOA may perform technical duties such as taking detailed patient histories, measuring visual acuity, measuring the curvature of the cornea (Keratometry), glaucoma screening; blood pressure testing, and measuring the distance between the pupils of the eye under supervision of an optometrist. Applicants must meet any one of the several eligibility options and pass an exam. The examination consists of questions related to practice management, basic and special procedures, ophthalmic optics and dispensing, refractive status of the eye, and basic ocular anatomy and physiology.

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Certified Paraoptometric Assistant (CPOA)

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

Attainability:    high

Eligibility Requirements (View Details)

  • Credential Prerequisite
  • Experience: 6 months
  • Education
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Note: This credential may have multiple options for becoming eligible. Listed are the minimum requirements based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

Exam Requirements (View Details)

  • Exam
  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

RECERTIFICATION SUMMARY

Renewal Period: 3 years

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

AGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION

American Optometric Association - Commission on Paraoptometric Certification (AOA-CPC)

243 North Lindbergh Blvd
St Louis, MO  63141

Phone: (800) 365-2219

Fax: (314) 991-4101
Contact Page

Option 1:

Applicants must have earned the CPO title, hold a current CPO designation, and verify a minimum of six months additional employment in the eye care field as a Certified Paraoptometric (CPO).

Option 2:

Applicants must be graduates or students currently enrolled and in good standing in their last semester of study at an approved optometric assistant program

Note: Tri-Service Optician School (TOPS) program has been approved by Commission on Paraoptometric Certification (CPC). 

Option 3:

Aplicants  must have three (3) years or more work experience in the eye care field; employer must attest to this experience by completing the CPOA Reference Form

The American Optometric Association - Commission on Paraoptometric Certification (AOA-CPC) has approved Tri-Service Optician School (TOPS) program as a CPC-approved paraoptometric assistant program. Navy, Army and Air Force Opticians who have attended the Tri-Service Optician School after August 5, 2015 are eligible to bypass the first level and sit directly for the Certified Paraoptometric Assistant (CPOA) exam. For additional details, see the AOA-CPC Approval Letter.

Note: This opportunity is extended to graduates of the program for period of three years following completion of their program. During this time, graduates may register as "students" in order to receive the discounted student examination fees.

The Certified Paraoptometric Assistant (CPOA) credential has the following other requirements:

  • Paraoptometric Assistants who have been certified by the Commission on Paraoptometric Certification are expected to abide by the APO-CPC Code of Conduct Code of Conduct.

Written Exam

  • Office Operations (13%)
    • Practice Management
    • Records Management
    • Telephone Techniques
    • Recall
    • Office Finances
    • Professional Issues
    • Health Information Technology
  • Ophthalmic Optics and Dispensing (20%)
    • Prescriptions
    • Lenses
    • Frame Selection
    • Adjustment and Dispensing
  • Testing and Procedures (20%)
    • Purpose and Preliminary Testing
    • Pupillary Responses
    • Case History
    • Visual Acuity
    • Color Vision
    • Stereo Acuity
    • Examination Instrumentation
  • Special Procedures (17%)
    • Contact Lenses
    • Tonometry
    • Visual Fields
    • Sphygmomanometry
    • First Aid/CPR/Emergencies
    • Vision Rehabilitation
    • Surgery
  • Refractive Status of the Eye and Binocularity (13%)
    • Refractive Errors
    • Refractive Conditions
    • Eye Movements
  • Basic Ocular Anatomy and Physiology (17%)
    • General Anatomy and Physiology
    • Basic Functions of Anatomical Structures
    • Common Pathological and Functional Disorders
    • Basic Ocular Pharmacology

Exam Preparation Resources

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Certified Paraoptometric Assistant (CPOA) examination:

An additional resource is Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources section on the Related Sites page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

RECERTIFICATION

Certified Paraoptometric Assistant (CPOA)

Renewal Period: 3 years

The Certified Paraoptometric Assistant (CPOA) credential has the following recertification information:

AOA-CPC offers two options for renewal:
  • Take an exam for the next higher level of certification or;
  • earn 18 continuing education units.

Additional information maybe found on the AOA-CPC recertification page.

In Demand

This certification is considered in demand. The U.S. Department of Labor sponsored CareerOneStop's analysis indicates the certification is frequently mentioned in online job postings.

COOL Bucks

See your installation Education Service Officer for credential exam information and coordinating instructions.

COOL Summary

Click to go to the COOL Summary page for this MOC.

Some

Credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (at least one critical task but less than 80%)

Most

Credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%) and is eligible for CA under the CA MOS/ASI Related Option

Other

Credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience

CA Eligible

This certification is eligible for CA under the CA Civilian Occupation Related Option.

Promotion Points

This certification has been approved for promotion points.

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Star

Star credentials are MOS enhancing, as designated by the Proponent. MOS enhancing credentials are directly related to an MOS or ASI, are taught either partially or completely as part of a Program of Instruction (POI), and improves the MOS technical proficiency.

Skill Level

The Skill Level reflects the level, based on MOS training and/or experience, the Soldier should be the most prepared to successfully earn the credential. See the Table Legend for details about each level.

Navy Bucks

Credential voucher or reimbursement for credential exam, re-certification, or maintenance fee has been approved for payment through the Navy's Credential Program Office. To get a voucher request form, click Menu at the top of any page, then click "2 Complete Voucher and Apply" under Credentialing Steps.

CG Bucks

Coming Soon - Coast Guard policy regarding service member eligibility requirements to participate in the Voluntary Credentialing Program is under review with a projected release date of January 2020.

Early Career

1-3 years experience; Enlisted E1 through E4

Mid Career

4-10 years experience; Enlisted E5 through E6

Late Career

10+ years experience; Enlisted E7 and Above

Early Career

1-3 years experience; Enlisted “A” School through E5

Mid Career

4-10 years experience; Enlisted E6 through E7

Late Career

10+ years experience; Enlisted E8 and Above

GI Bill®

Reimbursement for exam fees has been approved for payment through the GI Bill. Click for external link to GI Bill licensing and certification information.

Note: GI Bill approval data is updated quarterly. For the latest information, visit the WEAMS Licenses/Certifications Search page. Make sure to select "Both" in the LAC Category Type drop-down before searching.

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ANSI

This credential has been accredited by ANSI. Click for external link to the ANSI web site.

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ICAC

This credential has been accredited by ICAC. Click for external link to the ICAC web site.

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ABSNC

This credential has been accredited by ABSNC. Click for external link to the ABSNC web site.

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NCCA

This credentialing program has been accredited by NCCA. Click for external link to the NCCA web site.

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IAS

This credential has been accredited by IAS. Click for external link to the IAS web site.

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Low

May be difficult to attain: minimum education requirement is a Bachelor's degree, and/or minimum experience is 10 or more years.

Note: In some cases “years of experience” refers to time actively on duty or while holding a certain occupation or prior certification and not always in consecutive calendar years. Additional years required for certain preliminary stages may not be included in this classification. For requirements measured in hours, 1080 hours was considered a year. For days, 365 days was considered a year. Please review all prerequisites and requirements for eligibility, and additional information for details.

Medium

Moderate ease of attainment: minimum education requirement = Associate's and/or prerequisite and/or minimum experience = more than 2 years and less than 10 years of experience.

Note: In some cases “years of experience” refers to time actively on duty or while holding a certain occupation or prior certification and not always in consecutive calendar years. Additional years required for certain preliminary stages may not be included in this classification. For requirements measured in hours, 1080 hours was considered a year. For days, 365 days was considered a year. Please review all prerequisites and requirements for eligibility, and additional information for details.

High

Highly attainable: mimum education requirement = HS or less and/or minimum experience = 2 years or less experience and no additional requirements.

Note: In some cases “years of experience” refers to time actively on duty or while holding a certain occupation or prior certification and not always in consecutive calendar years. Additional years required for certain preliminary stages may not be included in this classification. For requirements measured in hours, 1080 hours was considered a year. For days, 365 days was considered a year. Please review all prerequisites and requirements for eligibility, and additional information for details.

MOS is Military Occupational Specialty
ASI is Additional Skill Identifier
WOMOS is Warrant Officer Military Occupational Specialty
AOC is Area Of Concentration Officer

Army e-learning

State-of-the art Computer Based Training available for free to the Army Workforce. Click for more information.

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NKO e-learning

Credential preparation courses are provided at no cost through Navy e-Learning. Click for external link to the Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) web site, then select the “Navy e-Learning” link within the “Learning” tab to proceed to Navy e-Learning.

Bright Outlook – new job opportunities are very likely in the future for this job

Registered Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship program is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor. Go to the Apprenticeship Finder and enter career path or location to find apprenticeship opportunities.

Click here for External link to: My Next Move for Veterans - Ophthalmic Medical Technicians
Click here for External link to: My Next Move salary info for Ophthalmic Medical Technicians

Bright Outlook – new job opportunities are very likely in the future for this job

Click here for external link to: My Next Move for Veterans State Map for Ophthalmic Medical Technicians

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Updated: December 03, 2019
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