Allied Health Professionals

This page includes information for all those working in offices of optometry, including Paraoptometrics, and Ophthalmic Dispensers. At various times throughout the year, the KOA offers CE courses for these groups on various topics. For information on the next CE Course being offered, contact the KOA office.


Paraoptometrics serve only to enhance the profession of optometry, as well as the individual practices that employ them. Education and recognition is, and always will be, integral to the success of all involved.

The American Optometric Association has developed a Paraoptometric Certification Program. Designed and administered by AOA’s Commission on Paraoptometric Certification (CPC). Paraoptometric Certification offers candidates opportunities to advance their careers and optometrists the opportunity to verify the knowledge and competency levels of their staff members.

The AOA offers three different certification levels:

  • Certified Paraoptometric (CPO)
  • Certified Paraoptometric Assistant (CPOA)
  • Certified Paraoptometric Technician (CPOT)

For an application and more information on the three certification levels, visit the AOA’s website, and click on the Paraoptometric link.

Ophthalmic Dispensers

The Kentucky Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers examines and licenses all eligible candidates for entry into the profession of Ophthalmic Dispensing in the state of Kentucky. For information on the KY Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers, visit their website,

ABO and NCLE are national not-for- profit organizations for the voluntary certification of ophthalmic dispensers. ABO, the American Board of Opticianry, certifies opticians who dispense and work with spectacles. NCLE, the National Contact Lens Examiners, certifies those ophthalmic dispensers who fit and work with contact lenses.

Both organizations have the same purpose: to identify qualified ophthalmic dispensers for the public and for the ophthalmic community by certifying those who pass the professionally developed examinations. They also encourage growth of optical skills with continuing education and approve continuing education programs for recertification.

For more information on certification or to learn more about ABO or NCLE visit their website,