Ophthalmic Career Progression Program

The NAO Ophthalmic Career Progression Program (OCPP) is a course of study that is offered by the National Academy of Opticianry (NAO) and has been designed to improve the competency of individuals who are already working as opticians. The primary objectives of the program are to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills they need to become highly competent dispensers and to prepare them for the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) Certification Exam and any state licensing exams.


The OCPP is best suited for individuals who do not intend to complete an academic degree program in opticianry. It has been developed to provide a means by which working ophthalmic dispensers can gain the theoretical dispensing knowledge that is not usually taught in a clinical setting. The fact that the program can be completed at an individual’s own pace means that the optician can schedule their study time around the demands of a busy work day.

According to the NAO, the OCPP course can be used as…

  • Preparation for the national certification examinations
  • Preparation for state licensing examinations
  • A reference by the National Apprenticeship and Training Standards Committee
  • The core for state apprenticeship programs
  • A training resource for opticians located outside the United States

Program Entrance Requirements

  • High School diploma or equivalent
  • Currently employed in an optical position
  • Has a qualified sponsor

Sponsors are required to serve as mentors to students as they progress through the OCPP curriculum. They are the ones that are supposed to clarify information that is unclear to students, administer the course examinations, and ensure the student’s clinical competency. Mentors are required to be a licensed optician, optometrist, or ophthalmologist located in the same state as the student. Opticians planning to pursue the Ophthalmic Career Progression Program should note that it requires students to complete all coursework within a 36 month period. Students must also successfully pass each exam with a minimum score of 70%.

Program Curriculum

  • Principles of Optics
  • Ophthalmic Terminology
  • Ocular Anatomy and Physiology
  • Optical Mathematics
  • Frames and Instrumentation
  • Lens Ordering and Inspection
  • Dispensing Procedures
  • Refractive Errors
  • Low Vision Correction
  • Lens Technology
  • Marketing and Management
  • Special Visual Problems

Program Fees and Forms

The total cost of the Ophthalmic Career Progression Program is $800 if payment is received at the time of enrollment. Alternatively, students have the option of making a $300 down payment followed by twelve consecutive monthly payments of $50 each for a total program cost of $900. There are no grant, loan, or scholarship opportunities available for this program.


OCPP Enrollment Agreement

Luxottica Associates Application

Exam Request Form

Final Exam Request Form

Students may withdraw from the program via written request at any time. Fees are only returned if the student withdraws within the first 5 days after the enrollment agreement has been signed. Students may also request an extension of the 36 month completion limit via written request.

6 Responses

  1. Adina
    Adina May 4, 2016 at 10:41 pm | | Reply

    Hey there! Thanks for all of the helpful information. Quick question, if I am starting my ABO training, do I need to complete that to begin my OCPP studies? I can begin the OCPP studies at any point, as long as I am currently employed at an optical, have a sponsor and am a high school graduate, correct? Thanks!

  2. Olivia
    Olivia October 23, 2015 at 8:09 pm | | Reply

    How long after completing the Ophthalmic Career Progression Program (OCPP) can one take the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) exam and practical test in Albany? And does the OCPP certificate expire?

  3. Vidia Ramnarine
    Vidia Ramnarine August 28, 2015 at 10:17 am | | Reply

    Hello, I’m from Trinidad and Tobago and am interested in the OCPP program. Please let me know when is the next exam date and how I can sign up for the course?

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