Optometrists’ Scope of Practice Expanded to Include Glaucoma

July 2, 2021

Provincial regulations have been amended to expand the scope of practice for optometrists to include the treatment and management of patients diagnosed with glaucoma.

Under the amended Diagnostic and Therapeutic Drug Regulations, 2012 of the Optometry Act 2012, optometrists’ scope of practice will now include the diagnosis, management and treatment of glaucoma, commensurate with formal education and training. The Provincial Government continues to work closely with the Newfoundland and Labrador College of Optometrists as these regulations come into force, and the changes reflect the scope of practice in other jurisdictions across Canada.

These regulations support the Provincial Government’s intent to improve patients’ access to health care.

As directed in the premier’s mandate letter to the minister, the Department of Health and Community Services continues to work to improve the scope of practice for healthcare providers in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Through these changes, it is our intent to enable and support optometrists as they address glaucoma throughout the province, resulting in more accessible health care for residents.” - Honourable John Haggie Minister of Health and Community Services

“Optometrists can now practice to their full scope by treating and managing glaucoma as well as many other ocular diseases. As primary eye care providers in Newfoundland and Labrador, the public will now have better access to services in a timely manner. The College looks forward to continuing its work with all other departments of healthcare to improve patient outcomes.” - Dr. Justin Boulay Registrar, Newfoundland and Labrador College of Optometrists


COVID-19 Information

ALERT LEVEL 2 : Optometrists can provide primary eye care in accordance with all provincial and college guidelines. Please contact your optometrists for more information regarding special precautions which may be in place.

Further updates will be posted on the website and the members will be alerted accordingly.

Read the initial NLCO COVID-19 Release→

The Newfoundland and Labrador College of Optometrists (NLCO) is the regulatory and licensing body for the profession of optometry in Newfoundland and Labrador. The College is also responsible for the establishment, maintenance and enforcement of Standards of Practice, competency skills and the NLCO Code of Ethics to ensure that optometrists practice their profession in the best interests of the public. This is achieved with the Optometry Act of 2012, Optometry Regulations, Code of Ethics and By-Laws

Optometrists are university-educated, primary health care practitioners who examine, diagnose, treat and manage vision and vision-related diseases and disorders. Optometrists are also involved in health-care research, education activities, and the promotion of eye and health safety.

The Newfoundland and Labrador College of Optometrists is committed to serve the public by governing our members in a manner that protects and serves the public interest, provide direction to and regulate the profession of optometry, establish and enforce a Code of Ethics, establish and enforce standards of practice, establish and enforce registration requirements and exercise the duties and responsibilities practiced by self-governing colleges.

  • The Newfoundland and Labrador College of Optometrists website contains downloadable PDF files. Please make sure you have the most recent version of Adobe Reader installed on your system.