AOC® Continuing Education Guidelines for Maintaining Certification

 AOC CE Guidelines for 2022 


The Council is sensitive to the difficulties many are facing in earning CE during COVID. We recognize that many planned to attend meetings which were cancelled, postponed, or held virtually.  The good news is that there have been many webinars and zoom conferences and lectures locally, nationally, and internationally, most of which can be viewed [attended] live or after the fact. Some are free and others have a small registration fee. Please review the updated CE information and make note of which webinars can be included as core meeting attendance hours.

The Council recognizes and approves non-core CE hours, however, the majority of required CE for orthoptists must be in CORE topics:

▸ At least 30 of the required 45 credits must be earned in CORE topics
▸ At least 10 credits from attendance at meetings must be in CORE topic area
▸ CE credit is NOT awarded for CPR or exam review courses

Note: Courses approved by IJCAHPO are not all in core topic areas and should not be automatically assumed to be core topics. 


  • Ocular anatomy and neuroanatomy (and principles of visual fields)
  • Sensory and Motor physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Optics including: Refractometry and diagnostic/therapeutic use of prisms
  • Assessment of visual acuity/visual function and fixation
  • Detection and treatment of amblyopia
  • Nystagmus
  • Eye movement disorders: Evaluation & measurement [including saccadic velocities]
  • Diagnostic evaluation, testing, measurement, and treatment of:
    • Congenital/acquired, paretic/non-paretic
    • Special forms to include: Brown Syndrome, Duane Syndrome, Moebius Syndrome, Congenital Fibrosis, Floor fractures & Strabismus associated with systemic disease
    • Orthoptic management/treatment
  • Principles of strabismus surgery
  • Clinical research methods
  • Electrophysiology principles: VER, VEP, ERG, EOG, OCT 

For a complete list of Core Courses, refer to the ACO Syllabus of Orthoptic Instruction and Competency: Essential Skills for Orthoptists.  Individual questions can always be directed to the American Orthoptic Council® for clarification.


The Council recognizes the benefit of education in all aspects of ophthalmology. Topics outside of the CORE areas which are most strongly recommended are related to the following topics and include ophthalmology sponsored/approved courses in:

  • Child Development
  • Low vision; assessment and aids
  • Contact lenses
  • Tonometry
  • Ophthalmic photography
  • Ophthalmic Operating room techniques
  • Visual Field Testing and Principals


1. Meetings / Courses

In-person credits [attendance] for virtual meetings and live webinars will be allowed with the requirements listed below.

At least 10/45 hours of CE must be from attendance at meetings and MUST be in CORE topics

  • 1:1 credit for attendance at AACO, AOC, FOREA, AAPOS, ophthalmology section of AAP, NANOS, or IJCAHPO symposia, meetings and/or courses.
  • NOTE: not all IJCAHPO approvals are in core topics
  • 1:1 credit will be given to attendance at foreign meetings if sponsored/approved by recognized orthoptic or ophthalmology organizations (ie: IOC, COC, TCOS, CLADE, PAAO, ISA, ESA, WSPOS, IPOSC)..

2. Publications/Presentations/Posters

  • 1:1 credit for instruction course presentation (2 hr course = 2 credits)
  • 10 credits for publication of a paper in a refereed journal
  • 5 credits for a talk at an AOC approved meeting (core or non-core topic)
  • 5 credits to author or presenter of AOC approved instructional video
  • 5 credits per author for a poster at an AOC recognized meeting

Note: If a presentation or poster follows the publication it may earn 2 not 5 credits. In combination the same material may earn 12 hours of CE. If the publication follows the presentation or poster the same work will receive 7 not 10 credits.

3. Webinars and Virtual Meetings: New!

In-person credits [attendance] for virtual meetings and live webinars will be allowed with these requirements:

  • A live webinar must include opportunities for questions and answers between attendees and the speaker
  • A post-session evaluation is required for attendees that reflects their attendance. If an evaluation is not provided by the meeting organizer, you must submit three points that were made by the speakers for every hour of CE attendance.
  • 1:1 credit will be given for webinars and/or virtual meetings with the target audience being orthoptists and/or pediatric ophthalmologists.
  • A maximum of 15 credits from webinars and/or virtual meetings will be allowed annually.

4. Informal Orthoptist Group Symposia/Case discussions

  • 2:1 Core CE for orthoptist informal group symposia:

Maximum of 10 CE credits per renewal and may not be used to fulfill attendance at meetings; approval requires post facto submission of meeting agenda and topics covered; include titles of articles discussed or diagnoses of patients discussed include list of attendees.

5. American Orthoptic Journals (AOJ) and Journal of Binocular Vision and Ocular Motility (JBVOM) quizzes:

  • Quizzes are available from volumes 47-62 AOJ and volumes; two separate quizzes per issue. 
  • Questions are based on the content in the article, no prior knowledge necessary
  • Cost: $40 per quiz. 
  • CE Awarded: 5 core hours of CE per quiz successfully completed
  • Order: via email to Pam Huston, [email protected]  Payment by check or money order to AOJ Quiz and mail to AOC 3914 Nakoma Road, Madison WI 53711

6. AOC Approved Basic Science DVDs: order from [email protected]

  • 1:1 core credit for viewing AOC approved videos.
  • 7 hours of CE can be earned if quiz is successfully completed

7. AAO Basic Science Course Sections V and VI 

  • 15 core CE per volume with proof of completed quiz
  • Contact AAO or AOC for instructions to obtain quiz; no fees charged.
  • 15 non-core credits for other sections 

8. AACO Self-Assessment Quiz

  • 5 core credits for successful completion of quiz
  • AACO members can request quiz from AACO Education Committee Chair

9. Self-Study: not to exceed 5 credits per year

  • 1:4 credit (1 credit per 4 hours of contact) offerings without prior AOC CE approval: “hands-on workshops”, viewing poster sessions, core topic reading from textbooks, journals or audio cassettes and videos.


The Syllabus of Orthoptic Instruction and the newly approved document, Core Competency; Essential Skills for Orthoptists, both contain material required of Orthoptists and form the basis of the didactic and clinical aspects of all AOC accredited Orthoptic Fellowship Programs as well as the basis of the written and oral/practical certifying examinations. Both are available for purchase from the AOC Home Office.

Individual questions regarding continuing education credit hours should be directed to:


3914 Nakoma Road, Madison, WI 53711
Telephone: 608 233-5383 
[email protected]   or   [email protected]


Updated July 2022