What is Board Certification?

Board certification is a voluntary credential that goes above and beyond licensing requirements for practicing optometry. It is confirmation of an optometrist’s personal commitment to providing the highest quality patient care and engaging in lifelong learning and self-assessment.

Board certification is awarded after the following requirements have been met:

  • Graduation from an ACOE-accredited optometry school in the United States or Canada.
  • Completion of an accredited one-year residency program or completion of a minimum of 3 years of active clinical practice.
  • Possession of a valid, active license to practice therapeutic optometry in a U.S. state, territory or the District of Columbia.
  • Successful completion of a comprehensive written examination.

Once board certification is granted, optometrists are awarded the title Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry. Diplomates maintain certification and continually demonstrate their commitment to ongoing learning through a structured program known as CAP (continuous assessment program).

The American Board of Optometry is the only optometric certification board recognized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

Download a Printable Overview of the Board Certification Program >



Check Board Certification Status

By going through the voluntary process of becoming board certified, our Diplomates demonstrate competence beyond entry level.

Upcoming Events

Stay in the know about exams, training, and more by visiting our events page.

Academy 2023 New Orleans

Oct 11, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - Oct 13, 2023 @ 3:00 pm CDT
ABO will be attending Academy in New Orleans October 11 - 13, 2023. Please stop by booth 609 to learn...
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Webinar: Pediatrics Made Easy: Tips for Pediatric Eye Exams and Prescribing

Nov 8, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm CST
Presented by Jenelle Mallios, OD. The goal of this course is to help primary care optometrists be comfortable in managing...
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Spring Exam Window

Feb 1, 2024 @ 8:00 am - Mar 31, 2024 @ 5:00 pm CST
The next administration of the board certification exam will be February 1 - March 31, 2024. Applications may be submitted...
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