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Registration deadline looms as optometry numbers continue to climb

Ahpra is asking practitioners to renew their general, specialist or non-practising registration before the end-of-year deadline, as new data shows there are currently 260 more optometrists than a year ago.

Optometrists are among the health practitioners who have until 30 November to renew before late fees apply. Registration renewal is available online only – and those who haven’t done so prior to the end of the late period, 31 December 2023, will face removal from the register of practitioners.

Practitioners must provide evidence that they meet National Board’s registration standards including professional indemnity insurance, recency of practice and continuing professional development (CPD) upon renewal of registration.

Health impairments that detrimentally affect practice must be declared alongside any changes in criminal history.

Optometrists seeking registration for endorsement for scheduled medicines must have completed an approved program of study in ocular therapeutics or a program of study or examination or assessment in ocular therapeutics approved by the Optometry Board of Australia. List of approved programs are available here www.optometryboard.gov.au

It comes as the latest registrant data by the Optometry Board of Australia for the quarter ending 30 June 2023 indicates there are now 6,762 optometry registrations. This is up from 6,500 registered optometrists at the same time last year, representing a 4% increase.

The leading principle places of practice for optometrists are NSW (32%), VIC (27%) and QLD (20%).

By gender, 58.6% of registrants were female, with males constituting the remaining 41.4%, with increasing feminisation of the workforce year-on-year. According to the data, NT, ACT and VIC were among the states and territories with the greatest ratio of female to male optometrists, while WA had an almost equal ratio.

Additionally, the proportion of therapeutically optometrists continues to climb, increasing from 70% to 74% when comparing the latest second quarter data.

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