Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology

The International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (IJCAHPO) was established as a not-for-profit organization in 1969 to offer certification and continuing education opportunities to ophthalmic Allied Ophthalmic Personnel (AOP).


To promote global eye health and prevent blindness through training program accreditation, education and the certification of Allied Ophthalmic Personnel.

In pursuit of its mission, IJCAHPO will bring results in four areas:

  • Promote the establishment of AOP training programs
  • Develop and implement global accreditation standards for training programs
  • Develop and encourage adoption of international standards for certification
  • Promote education, training, and continuing education resources for AOP


  1. IJCAHPO offers core professional certifications that are successive in forming a career ladder:
  2. Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) – Entry Level
  3. Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT) – Intermediate Level
  4. Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist (COMT) – Advanced Level

IJCAHPO specialty certifications:

  1. Certified Diagnostic Ophthalmic Sonographer (CDOS)
  2. Registered Ophthalmic Ultrasound Biometrist (ROUB)
  3. Ophthalmic Surgical Assistant – Surgical Technician (OSA-ST)
  4. Corporate Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (CCOA)
  5. Ophthalmic Scribe Certification (OSC)


Annual Meeting - IJCAHPO holds a national Annual Continuing Education (ACE) program that offers hundreds of Continuing Education (CE) courses and Learning Labs at the basic, intermediate, advanced, and master levels. The ACE program is held in conjunction with the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) annual meeting.

Regional Meetings - IJCAHPO offers a series of one and two-day continuing education programs held at various locations in the U.S. and Canada. These live, continuing education events are a convenient and cost-effective way to earn continuing education credits. Leading industry professionals present a variety of topics Allied Ophthalmic Personnel can immediately apply to their work.

Distance Learning - IJCAHPO offers multiple pathways for obtaining continuing education credits online or through the mail. EyeCareCE is an on-demand e-learning website, featuring the largest library of courses that offer multiple certification credits for the entire eye care team. The IJCAHPO Webinar Series are live, online instructor lead courses that allow attendees to directly interact with the presenter and participate in real-time forums.

Tools and Resources - IJCAHPO offers a variety of tools and resources for ophthalmic professionals such as books, CD lecture packets, examination study materials, Learning Systems Series CDs, Refinements modules, and more. In addition to offering its own continuing education courses and resources, IJCAHPO also awards CE credits for courses and programs offered by other providers.


IJCAHPO is managed by, or under the direction and subject to the oversight of, a Board of Directors (the “Board”) consisting of seventeen (17) Directors. An Advisory Councilor is selected from each of the Regular and Affiliate Organizations. The purpose of the Council is to facilitate dialogue, support IJCAHPO’s activities on issues related to allied ophthalmic personnel (AOP) and provide input/advice to the Board of Directors on such matters as the Board of Directors may refer to the Council.

Regular Organizational Council Representatives

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology (website)
  • American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (website)
  • American Glaucoma Society (website)
  • American Ophthalmological Society (website)
  • American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery (website)
  • American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators (website)
  • American Society of Retina Specialists (website)
  • Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (website)
  • Association of Veterans Affairs Ophthalmologists (website)
  • Canadian Ophthalmological Society (website)
  • Canadian Society of Ophthalmic Medical Personnel (website)

Affiliate Organizational Council Representatives

  • American Association of Certified Orthoptists (website)
  • American Orthoptic Council (website)
  • Ophthalmic Photographers’ Society (website)
  • Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology (website)
  • The Canadian Orthoptic Society (website)
  • Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (website)


JCAHPO Website