Optometrists are eye care practitioners who provide a wide range of primary eye care services, including visual examinations, and prescription of optical appliances to correct vision problems. Optometrists also diagnose vision problems and eye diseases and will refer you to an ophthalmologist for further treatment where necessary.
Opticians often work together with optometrists. They are skilled in supplying, preparing, dispensing and maintaining optical appliances. Some opticians are also trained to perform refraction to test eyesight. Opticians interpret prescriptions, prepare and fit optical appliances according to the prescriptions of medical practitioners and optometrists.
Under the Optometrists & Opticians Act, the acts or activities constituting 'Optometry' or 'The practice of Optometry' are specified as follows:
Prescribing of optical appliances
Detecting abnormalities of the eye using the following methods:
binocular vision tests;
ophthalmoscopy or fundoscopy;
visual field testing
Any other type of practice of eye care which is part of the practice of Opticianry
Under the Optometrists & Opticians Act, the acts or activities constituting 'Opticianry' or 'The practice of Opticianry' are specified as follows:
Refraction for persons of 8 years of age or older.
Interpreting prescriptions of medical practitioners and optometrists.
Supplying, preparing and dispensing of all optical appliances, except for contact lenses.
Fitting, adjusting and adapting of all optical appliances, except for contact lenses to the human face and eyes in accordance with the prescriptions of legally qualified medical practitioners and optometrists.
What Educational Qualifications do I need to practice?
Currently, the recognised qualifications for optometry in Singapore are the Diploma in Optometry awarded by Singapore Polytechnic and the Diploma in Optometry awarded by Ngee Ann Polytechnic. You will find the list of recognised foreign qualifications for optometry here. The Board will periodically review and update the list.
Currently, the recognised local qualifications for opticianry are the Advanced Certificate of Performance in Ophthalmic Dispensing (ACOPOD) and Advanced Certificate of Performance in Ophthalmic Dispensing and Refraction (ACOPOD+R) awarded by Singapore Polytechnic. You will find the list of recognised foreign qualifications for opticianry here. The Board will periodically review and update the list.
The Singapore Optometric Association (SOA) is the local professional association for optometrists. If you wish to find out more about optometry in Singapore, please visit Singapore Optometric Association.
An optometrist or optician may not be able to conduct the full range of services/activities listed above, as his/her scope of practice depends on the level of training, experience and competence attained. It is the responsibility of the optometrist/optician and his/her employer to ensure that all services/activities are conducted within the scope of competence of the optometrist/optician.