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 >

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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.

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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SECO – Atlanta

Mar 1, 2024 @ 9:00 am - Mar 2, 2024 @ 5:00 pm CST
Stop by booth 2142 during exhibit hall hours on March 1st or 2nd to speak with ABO staff. Check on...
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Webinar: Long Term Outcomes and Recent Advances in Refractive Surgery

Apr 29, 2024 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm CDT
Join us on April 29 as Mark Eltis, OD, presents a course on advances in refractive surgery. While LASIK and...
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