Certified Paraoptometric Technician (CPOT)

A CPOT™ is a person who has attained national recognition via certification by demonstrating the ability to understand, apply, and interrelate the concepts used in optometric care.

What tasks does a Certified Paraoptometric (CPOT™) perform?

Under the supervision from an optometrist, the CPOT™ may perform technical duties such as taking detailed patient histories, measuring visual acuity, measuring the curvature of the cornea (Keratometry), glaucoma screening, blood pressure testing, and measuring the distance between the pupils of the eye. In addition, they may well order prescription eyewear, modify contact lenses, explain contact lens care regimens, photographing the interior of the eye, supervise staff, and other duties that optometrist may delegate.

This is a general description of the duties that a paraoptometric with a minimum of 18 months of full-time experience could be expected to perform.  It is not meant to be a full description, nor restriction, of the duties that an employer may require or allow a CPOT to perform.  Scope of practice is controlled by each state's legislature.  To get a better understanding of your state's laws and any restrictions, please contact your state's optometric association.

What's the examination about?

The CPOT™ examination consists of 225 multiple choice questions related to pre-testing procedures, clinical procedures, ophthalmic optics and dispensing, refractive status of the eye and binocularity, procedures, ophthalmic optics and dispensing, refractive status of the eye and binocularity, anatomy and physiology, and practice management.

View the application, fee and eligibility requirements.

View the Recertification Requirements

What content do I need to study?

The following outline includes a brief explanation of the areas covered on the CPOTTM examination (refer to the Certified Candidate Handbook for the full outline).

Pre-Testing Procedures (20%)—Case history, visual acuity, vision screening and preliminary testing techniques, color vision, and stereo acuity

Clinical Procedures (28%)—Corneal Topography/Automated Keratometry, tonometry, visual fields, sphygmomanometry, contact lenses, vision therapy, triage and first aid, vision rehabilitation, and special ocular procedures

Ophthalmic Optics and Dispensing (18%)—Optical principles of light, prescriptions, lenses, frame selection, and adjustment

Refractive Status of the Eye and Binocularity (12%)—Refractive errors, refractive conditions, eye movements, and binocular vision

Anatomy and Physiology (15%)—General anatomy and physiology, eye anatomy, and pharmacology

Practice Management (7%)—Office management, professional issues, government rules and regulations, and health information technology

CPOT Examination Content

Suggested Study Materials

CPOT Study Bundle

(Item PS-70)—The CPOT Study Bundle includes a Self-Study Course, Self-Assessment Exam, and four sets of flash cards with 100 questions each, covering topics that will help you prepare for the CPOT exam. This bundle may be ordered through the AOA Marketplace.


Continuing Education Module Library

(Item PS-05)—The CE Education Library includes six CDs, covering such topics as: ABCs of Dispensing, Practice Management 101, Anatomy & Physiology, Ophthalmic Dispensing, Special Procedures and Soft Contact Lens & Wear. Each module provides an in-depth review of topics required to prepare for the CPOT exam, as well as opportunities to obtain CE credits upon successful completion and processing of each module. The library may be ordered through the AOA Marketplace.


If there is a resource that you cannot locate through the Marketplace, please call 1-800-262-2210.

For information on the CPOT Clinical Examination, please refer to the handbook.