Frequently Asked Questions

World Council of Optometry (“WCO”) has defined optometry as:-

Optometrists are primary healthcare practitioners of the eye and vision system who can successfully manage the leading cause of vision impairment (i.e. refractive error) and can also help alleviate the burden of other causes of blindness through diagnosis, referral and co-management.

As specialists, optometrists have a pivotal role in detecting potentially serious eye diseases such as cataract, glaucoma and age-related maculopathy, and general health conditions such as hypertension and diabetes, which has an effect on the eyes.

To become an Optometrist, one should:

  1. Finish XII class studies with a major in Science subjects
  2. Pursue graduation in Optometry from any of the recognized educational institutions

OCI is a self – regulatory body set up under the provisions of The Companies Act of India. This organization is set up in September 2012 and since its inception has grown tremendously in terms of popularity amongst Ophthalmologists/ Optometrists in India.

OCI has been registered under Section 25A of The Companies Act, 1956(a non-profit company). This organization has been formed with the help of Indian Optometry Federation (“IOF”) and Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (“ASCO”).

Optometry council of India (“OCI”) is NOT an association. However, individual practitioners (optometrists) and graduates who pass from school under recognised universities and other diploma courses can register with OCI.

The Optometry council of India is a not for profit company, whose shares can neither be bought nor sold and will be governed by the company law (Government of India) for a not for profit company.

Some of the reasons which we found very useful to register our organization as a non-profit company were:-

  • A company is answerable and accountable more than a society to the government of India or any other such state and federal authorities, that our organization may be required to report from time to time. Being an organization subject to the Indian tax laws, which will collect fee from individual optometrists who want to be assessed and certified as well as from schools that want to be certified, we thought that that it would be best for the organization be registered under Section 25A of The Companies Act.
  • The accounts of a company are audited and submitted at more regular intervals than a society. This would ensure better running of the organization and accountability to the profession and the followers of the Organization.
  • In a society there needs to be elections and general body meetings held on a regular basis. Since the OCI will not have individual members, but is an organization that certifies individuals, it was recommended that OCI be registered under company act.
  • Even if the council had optometrist as members, then the annual general body over the years would mean that the optometrists all around the nation have to meet.

It has a nine member board consisting of;-

  • Three members from Indian Optometry Federation (“IOF”)
  • Three members from Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (“ASCO”)
  • A representative from Non – Government Organization who is active in eye care sector
  • A member involved with experience in community health programs
  • An active member from the health care sector of good standing

Assuring excellence in optometry education & equitable eye care for India

The Optometry Council of India (“OCI”) is a professional regulatory body with the responsibility of establishing & maintaining high standards of optometry education & recognition of optometry qualifications in India. It registers optometrists in order to maintain quality, and provide equitable & accountable eye care services for the people of India.

Duties of Eye Care Practitioners

Public Sector
The duties of Eye Care Practitioners in Public sector are governed by the duty charter issued by the government. The view the duty charter details received by us, please click here. This duty charter is yet to be notified.

Private Sector
The duties of Eye Care Practitioners in Private sector are in the process of being finalized.

In case of any complaint from customer / consumer, OCI would investigate about the complaint. If required OCI would constitute a 3 member panel to investigate further. I don’t think we need to mention anything further than this. Leave this open. Don’t commitThe result of the investigation would be:

  • Supporting the Optometrist in providing clarity to the customer
  • Require corrective action by the member in terms of deduction of CE points
  • Require the member to do additional courses on a particular subject
  • Cancellation of the registration of the member
  • If the complaint is beyond the scope of OCI, then OCI would inform the complainant regarding the same

The public would benefit from:-

  • Quality eye care
  • Cost effective eye care
  • Ensure delivery of quality education in optometry colleges
  • Provide adequate optometry work force
  • Develop skilled optometry work force

The profession would from:-

  • Setting uniform standards in the profession
  • Regulating the profession
  • Enhancing placement opportunities for registered optometrists
  • Providing skill development and continuing education
  • Registering students qualifying from institutes accredited by OCI
  • Preparation a live register of optometrists all around the country so that it can be tabled with the government

The students would benefit from:

  • Accreditation of colleges
  • Maintenance of standards in education
  • Monitoring of quality of education

The key activities of OCI shall be:-

  • Accreditation to various optometry schools and colleges in India
  • Accrediting Continuing Education (“CE”) programs and credits that would be associated with a CE program
  • Improving public awareness about eye care among the public
  • Public Awareness about standards in optometry

Currently OCI has two key roles. They are to:-

  • Accredit the schools & colleges of Optometry
  • Register optometry practitioners in India

The long term goals of OCI amongst others would be to:-

  • Set standards of eye care and education
  • Ensure quality education by accreditation
  • Get government recognition to the profession

Optometry Council of India (OCI) is a self – regulatory body for Optometrists. As Optometrists we need to unite and be self – regulated. This would enable the government support the activities and recognize the profession of Optometry. In the Memorandum of Association of Optometry Council of India the following has been mentioned:

Clause No: 24. To liaise with the Government of India and Ministries and officials of the
Government of India to seek recognition for a statutory body, preferably by the name of “OPTOMETRY COUNCIL OF INDIA” and to work towards constituting a statutory body with the aims, objectives and functions of the Company.

OCI will lobby with the government in forming a council for Optometry and for Optometry to be an independent profession. The above statement in the MOA means: once the government forms a statutory body, such as a council for optometry, OCI will cease to exist and will be handed over to the government.

ASCO, India is Association of schools and colleges of Optometry in India. The goals are to:-

To create awareness of Optometry as an independent Eye and Vision Care Profession amongst the Indian Society.
To assist educational institutions and or individuals for improving the standard of the education of Optometry in India.
To conduct and organize Conferences, Seminars and Update courses on Optometry and related topics.
To co-operate and affiliate with allied Associations in India and abroad to achieve common goals in betterment of Optometry in India.
We define and help to implement the minimum syllabus for Diploma & Degree programs of Optometry in India.
To work in close association with Ophthalmologist & Ophthalmic profession, eye care centres, eye hospitals, Optical industry so that Optometry education and profession is benefited.
To execute or undertake all acts, projects and schemes that may be deemed necessary or expedient for all or any of the above said Aims.

Indian Optometry Federation was formed to fulfil the need for a centralised peak body which could speak on behalf of all these organisations prompted the establishment of the Indian Optometry Federation (IOF). By acting as a single voice for all optometry associations in India, the IOF aims to raise public awareness of the profession and achieve official recognition. It also seeks to boost the entire eye care system throughout the country and integrate it with.