APPLICATION FOR ACCREDITATION OF AN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM
                                                           FOR THE OPHTHALMIC ASSISTANT

                                                                SELF-STUDY REPORT GUIDE

                                                     Commission on Accreditation of Ophthalmic Medical Programs
                                                                       2025 Woodlane Drive
                                                                        St. Paul, MN 55125
                                                                          (651) 731-7237

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                                                               APPLICATION FOR ACCREDITATION

                                                               Data presented for the consideration by the

                                                               COMMISSION ON ACCREDITATION
                                                              OF OPHTHALMIC MEDICAL PROGRAMS


                                                                          (Name Of Program)


                                                                 (Telephone Number With Area Code)

                                                              The material submitted herewith is certified
                                                                 correct to the best of my knowledge

                                            _________________________________           __________________________________
                                            Medical Director’s Signature                Program Director’s Signature

                                                               Chief Executive Officer’s Signature
                                                               (when appropriate)


                                                                      copy number ____ of 4 copies

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                                                              SELF-STUDY REPORT GUIDE
                                                 EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM FOR THE OPHTHALMIC ASSISTANT

                           STANDARDS                                 SUGGESTIONS/GUIDELINES                                       SUGGESTED EXHIBITS


A. The program sponsor must be recognized by medical
   or educational credentialing agencies or meet
   equivalent standards.

A. Educational programs may be established in:
   1. Hospitals and clinics
   2. Medical Schools
   3. Military educational facilities
   4. Postsecondary vocational/technical schools and
   5. Other acceptable institutions or consortia that
      meet comparable standards for education in this

A. Accreditation is granted to the sponsor who assumes
   primary responsibility for curriculum planning and
   selection of course content, who coordinates
   teaching and supervised clinical education when
   provided, appoints faculty to the program, receives
   and processes applications for admission, and
   provides verification of successful completion of the
   program. The sponsor shall also ensure that clinical
   activities, if provided, are educational.

A. In programs in which clinical didactic and supervised    Affiliation agreements and/or cooperative arrangements between Provide documentation of affiliation agreements.
   practice are provided by two or more institutions,       a sponsoring institutions and its affiliates should be reviewed
   responsibilities for program administration,             periodically to evaluate the viability of the students’ education.
   instruction, supervision, and other functions of the
   sponsoring institutions and of each clinical affiliate
   must be clearly documented as a formal affiliation
   agreement or memorandum of understanding.


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                     STANDARDS                                     SUGGESTIONS/GUIDELINES                                     SUGGESTED EXHIBITS
A. General Resources
   Resources must be adequate to support the students                                                               Provide record of class sizes for the past three
   admitted to the program. The instructor/student ratio                                                            years and future projections.
   shall be adequate to achieve the stated objectives of
   the curriculum.

B. Personnel
    1. Program Officials
       The program must have qualified program                Adequate clerical and other support staff should be       Provide job description and brief CV or
       officials. In accordance with institutional policies   available.                                                resume for each program official.
       and practices, these officials shall possess the
       qualifications and assume the responsibilities
       described below. The program officials must
       have time to fulfill their administrative and
       educational duties. Program officials shall have
       appropriate credentials

           a. Program Director
              The director of the educational program
              shall be responsible for the organization,
              periodic review, continued development and
              general effectiveness of the program.

                The program director may be the medical
                director or someone who meets the
                requirements specified by the sponsor. The
                program director shall be an
                ophthalmologist, or a certified ophthalmic
                assistant, or have other suitable

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                       STANDARDS                                     SUGGESTIONS/GUIDELINES                                    SUGGESTED EXHIBITS
           a. Medical Director
              The medical director shall provide
              competent medical direction for the clinical
              instruction and for clinical relationships with
              other allied health educational programs, and
              shall develop the understanding and support
              of practicing physicians to ensure that the
              medical components of the curriculum meet
              current acceptable standards.

                The medical director shall be an

           a. Instructional Staff
              The instructional staff shall be responsible
              for teaching the students in fulfillment of the
              program objectives.

                The instructors must be knowledgeable and                                                               Provide CV or resume for each faculty
                effective in teaching the subjects assigned.                                                            member.
                Faculty must meet the criteria as established
                by the program administrators.

           a. Professional Development
              Programs shall demonstrate encouragement                                                                  Provide statement of policy regarding
              of continuing professional growth to assure                                                               continuing education and professional
              that program faculty and officials can fulfill                                                            development. List each instructor’s
              their professional responsibilities.                                                                      participation in professional development in
                                                                                                                        the past year.

C. Financial Resources                                          Records of previous, present, and projected budgetary   Provide copies of your program budget for
   Resources shall be ensured to fulfill the obligations        allocations and expenditures should be maintained.      the last, current, and next year.
   to enrolled students.

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                 STANDARDS                                     SUGGESTIONS/GUIDELINES          SUGGESTED EXHIBITS
D. Physical Resources

           1. Facilities
              Adequate classrooms, laboratories, and other                              Describe space available and/or provide
              facilities shall be provided.                                             diagram of space.

           1. Equipment and Supplies
              Appropriate modern equipment and supplies                                 Provide a list of teaching aids and
              shall be available in sufficient quantities.                              demonstration/laboratory equipment
              Instructional aids, such as clinical material,                            available.
              reference materials, and demonstration and
              other multi-media materials, shall be
              provided when required by the types of
              learning experiences delineated in the
              curriculum for either didactic or supervised
              clinical education.

           1. Reference Materials
              Students shall have ready access to an                                    Provide a list of texts used in your program.
              adequate supply of reference materials
              related to the curriculum (up-to-date books,
              handouts, etc.)

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                      STANDARDS                                  SUGGESTIONS/GUIDELINES                                            SUGGESTED EXHIBITS
     The basic course of instruction shall be based on a                                                                    Provide calendar of scheduled didactic and
     minimum of eighty (80) hours to provide for                                                                            practical instruction and provide calendar and
     combined didactic and practical instruction in the                                                                     documentation of scheduled, supervised
     required curriculum areas. It shall be completed in                                                                    clinical experience.
     no less than four (4) weeks, but no more than twelve
     (12) months.

     Clinical Ophthalmic Assistant Programs, in addition
     to the eighty (80) hours of minimum combined
     didactic and practical instruction, shall have a
     minimum of three (3) months of full-time supervised
     clinical experience.

Instruction must follow a plan which documents the

A. Appropriate learning experience and curriculum           These courses should be designed to enable the student to       Provide outline of curriculum sequence.
   sequence to develop the competencies necessary for       assist the ophthalmologist in the provision of health care to
   successful completion of the program, including          eye patients by performing the functions and duties stated
   appropriate instructional materials, classroom           in the “Description of the Occupation”.
   presentations, discussions, and practical exercises.

A. Clearly written course syllabi which describe learning   The complete curriculum, along with course descriptions         Provide course syllabi for each curriculum
   objectives and competencies to be achieved for each      and objectives should be kept on file and available for         area outlining course objectives and
   didactic course, and where applicable, for clinical      review.                                                         competencies.
   education components.

A. Periodic evaluation of students to assess their          A satisfactory method of evaluating the application of          Provide description of evaluation methods.
   progress.                                                theoretic knowledge to clinical situations should include       Provide samples of evaluation tools and
                                                            grading scales, objectives, and evaluation tools.               examination type.

A. The competencies necessary for successful                                                                                List each competency necessary for successful
   completion of the program.                                                                                               completion of the program.

A. The curriculum must include, but is not limited to
   the following subject areas (which do not necessarily
   imply individual courses):

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                       STANDARDS                                        SUGGESTIONS/GUIDELINES                                          SUGGESTED EXHIBITS
           1. Medical Terminology
              Instruction shall include fundamental             Objectives: The student should be able to:
              knowledge of the basic structure of medical           -   use medical terminology accurately
              words, including prefixes, suffixes, roots,           -   build a professional vocabulary based on prefixes,
              combining forms, and plurals.                         -   suffixes, word roots, and combined forms
                                                                    -   spell, define and pronounce medical terms
                                                                    -   use a medical dictionary
           1. Medical Law and Ethics
              Instruction shall include fundamental             Emphasis should be on the various principles of medical ethics,
              knowledge of the legal relationship of the        including current issues, as they relate to the practice of medicine;
              physician and patient; implied and informed       types of medical practices (e.g. individual private practice,
              consent and professional liability; invasion of   partnerships, group practices, health maintenance organizations, and
              privacy; confidentiality; tort liability; the     government programs); specialties; and a brief introduction to the
              Medical Practices Acts; and reports required      history of ophthalmic medical assistants.
              by law. Instruction shall include ethics
              relating to the practice of ophthalmic            Objectives: The student should be able to:
              medical assisting, including maintenance of       -  maintain confidentiality
              professional skills and the importance of         -  maintain ethical and legal standards
              membership in professional organizations.         -  accept responsibility for professional actions
                                                                -  identify the professional organizations
                                                                -  maintain and increase knowledge and skills
                                                                -  adhere to current government regulations
           1. General and Ocular Anatomy &                      Objectives: The student should be able to:
              Physiology                                        - identify structures of the eye
              Instruction shall include fundamentals of         - describe the basic functioning process of each
              various body systems and principles of            - body system
              human physiology with emphasis on ocular          - apply the correct medical terminology to basic
              anatomy and ocular physiology.                    - body structures and functions

           1. Basic Skills
              Instruction shall include principles of           Objectives: The student should be able to:
              ophthalmic patient services and basic optics.         -   measure and record distance and near vision
                                                                    -   describe basic interactions of light and lenses
                                                                    -   measure interpupillary distance far and near
                                                                    -   describe basic optical properties of the human eye
                                                                    -   make adjustments and simple repairs of spectacles
                                                                    -   care for and maintain contact lenses and ocular
                                                                    -   utilize basic color vision charts
                                                                    -   perform lensometry
                                                                    -   perform A-scan ultrasonography

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                           STANDARDS                                  SUGGESTIONS/GUIDELINES                                 SUGGESTED EXHIBITS

           1. Basic Ophthalmic Pharmacology
              Instruction shall include methods of drug         Objectives: The student should be able to:
              delivery including advantages and                  -    administer and record specified topical and oral
              disadvantages of drops, ointments, sustained       -    medications at the direction of the physician
              release systems, and systemic use of
              medications. Instillation of tpical eye drugs.

           1. Principles of Tonometry
              Instruction shall include basics of               Objectives: The student should be able to describe the
              indentation and applanation tonometry and         principles of:
              sources of errors.                                 - cleaning and sterilization of tonometers
                                                                 - ocular rigidity
                                                                 - pitfalls of technique

           1. Introduction to Diseases of the Eye
              Instruction shall include basic characteristics   Objectives: The student should be able to:
              of common external and internal diseases of        -    describe common eye diseases
              the eye and ocular emergencies.                    -    identify possible ocular emergencies and take
                                                                      appropriate action at the direction of the physician

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                       STANDARDS                                      SUGGESTIONS/GUIDELINES                                 SUGGESTED EXHIBITS
           1. Maintenance of Ophthalmic Instruments
              Instruction shall include fundamentals of         Objectives: The student should be able to:
              maintenance of instruments as described by         -   change bulbs and batteries for ophthalmic instruments
              the manufacturers of ophthalmic                    -   clean and sterilize surgical instruments
              instruments (e.g. visual acuity projectors,        -   maintain and calibrate ophthalmic clinical equipment
              muscle lights, direct and indirect                 -   apply safety/security procedures
              ophthalmoscopes, retinoscopes,                     -   store ophthalmic instruments safely
              lensometers, tangent screens, perimeters,          -   cover ophthalmic equipment
              slit- lamps, and keratometers). Instruction        -   provide attractive, clean, orderly, and comfortable
              shall include sterilization of surgical                surroundings
              instruments and safety procedures in clinical

           1. General Medical Knowledge, Infection
              Control, and Emergencies
              Instruction shall include pertinent systemic      Objectives: The student should be able to:
              diseases, recognition of medical emergencies,      -   explain the influence of systemic diseases on the eye
              principles of first aid treatment for fainting,    -   describe what constitutes emergency situations
              acute drug reactions and cardiac/respiratory       -   maintain emergency equipment and supplies
              arrest. Instruction shall include fundamentals     -   operate emergency equipment
              of microbial control, including the                -   implement emergency procedures and administer first-
              procedures for sanitation, disinfection, and           aid
              sterilization. Emphasis shall be on control of     -   maintain control of emergency situations
              infection and prevention of contamination          -   provide reassurance and support
              in the medical facility; compliance with
              Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
              regulations; safe handling of contaminated
              equipment and supplies; handwashing
              techniques; and correct disposal of
              contaminated equipment.

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              STANDARDS                                                SUGGESTIONS/GUIDELINES                                              SUGGESTED EXHIBITS

     Supervised clinical experience shall be an integral part   The student should have a full spectrum of practical               Provide a list of clinical sites.
     of Clinical Ophthalmic Assistant Programs. In              experiences in hospitals, clinics, or offices of qualified
     addition to the 80-hour minimum of course work             ophthalmologists as approved by the director of curriculum.        Provide a sample of method used for student
     described above, the program shall include a               Clinical instruction should be based on a structured               evaluation.
     minimum of three months full-time supervised               curriculum that clearly delineates the competencies to be
     clinical experience (or 480 hours).                        developed and the method of teaching by which they are to be       Provide an outline of clinical competencies to
                                                                achieved. There should be ongoing evaluation of the                be achieved.
                                                                students’ performance. Records of such evaluations should
                                                                be part of the students’ academic file.                            Copies of clinical affiliation agreements are
                                                                                                                                   required (see I. D., page 2).
                                                                In each clinical practice area, faculty members of the
                                                                program should be responsible for the super-vision of student
                                                                learning experiences. These experiences should be selected by
                                                                faculty, under the general guidance of the medical and
                                                                program directors, and in cooperation with the appropriate
                                                                personnel in the clinical institutions.

                                                                In selecting learning experiences in the clinical setting, the
                                                                focus should be on student needs. These needs should be
                                                                explained to the personnel of the cooperating clinical facility.
                                                                Students should be make aware of the requirements of the
                                                                clinical practice areas.

                                                                Objectives and Clinical Competencies: The
                                                                student should be able to skillfully and accurately perform
                                                                the following clinical tests and patient services:
                                                                  - related tactfully and sympathetically to patients
                                                                  - consistently demonstrate reliability, self- discipline and
                                                                        cooperation, and professional deportment and
                                                                        demeanor in clinical activities
                                                                  - demonstrate proficiency in both written and spoken
                                                                  - utilize appropriate medical terminology
                                                                  - maintain confidentiality and ethical and legal
                                                                        standards, and perform within the scope of training
                                                                        and education
                                                                  - perform CPR and implement emergency procedures

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                                                                 -    identify possible ocular emergencies and take
                                                                      appropriate action at the direction of the physician
                                                                 -    measure and record distance and near vision
                                                                 -    perform Amsler grid testing
                                                                 -    check and test pupils
                                                                 -    measure interpupillary distance at far and near
                                                                 -    perform basic color vision testing
                                                                 -    make adjustments and simple repairs of spectacles
                                                                 -    care for contact lenses and ocular prosthetics
                                                                 -    administer and record specified topical and oral
                                                                      medications at the direction of the physician
                                                                 -    apply and remove eye dressings and shields
                                                                 -    clean sterilize tonometers
                                                                 -    perform applanation tonometry
                                                                 -    maintain and calibrate ophthalmic clinical equipment
                                                                 -    change bulbs and batteries of ophthalmic clinical
                                                                 -    clean and sterilize surgical instruments
                                                                 -    apply safety/security procedures
                                                                 -    cover and store ophthalmic equipment
                                                                 -    maintain clean and orderly examination rooms
                                                                 -    maintain and operate emergency equipment


A. Program Description
   Students shall be provided with a clear description of                                                                       Provide most recent edition of program
   the program and its contents, including program                                                                              catalog or brochure.
   policies, goals, and course objectives.

B. Admission Policies and Procedures
   Admission of students shall be made in accordance        Candidates should have a high school diploma or have passed         Provide copy of admission policy.
   with clearly defined and published practices of the      an equivalency test
   program or institution. Any specific academic and
   technical standards required for admission to the
   program shall also be clearly defined and published.

C. Evaluation
   Criteria for successful completion of each segment       Students should be informed of policy regarding absenteeism, e.g.   Provide copy of student absenteeism policy.
   of the curriculum shall be given in advance to each      obtain notes from other students, make-up demonstrations,
   student. Evaluation tools shall include content          probation, dismissal.
   related to the objectives described in the curriculum.
Self-Study Guide Report – Ophthalmic Assistant                                                                                                                                12
     They shall be used frequently enough to monitor
     students’ progress and the effectiveness of

D. Guidance
   Student guidance shall be available to assist students in   Provide policy on student guidance.
   understanding program policies and practices and the
   career of ophthalmic medical assisting.

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              STANDARDS                                                   SUGGESTIONS/GUIDELINES                                     SUGGESTED EXHIBITS

A. Fair Practices
   Announcement and advertising must reflect                      There should be no misleading advertisement concerning job   Provide a copy of program advertising.
   accurately the program offered.                                placement and income expectations.

     Student recruitment and admission practices and                                                                           Provide a copy of program’s policy of non-
     faculty recruitment and employment shall be non-                                                                          discrimination.
     discriminating with regard to age, sex, race, color,
     national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation,
     or marital status.

     Academic credit (if any) and costs to the students                                                                        Provide a copy of published tuition and fees
     shall be accurately stated and published and made                                                                         statements.
     known to all applicants.

     Policies and processes for student withdrawal, and                                                                        Provide a copy of published refund policy.
     refunds of tuition and fees, shall be published and
     made known to all applicants.

B. Administrative Records
   A satisfactory system of records management shall               Records should be safeguarded. These should include          Describe method of permanently
   be developed. Provision shall be made by the                    administrative and student records, i.e. admissions,         maintaining records. Describe your records
   program for permanently retaining student                       attendance, grades, curriculum, competencies, methods of     management system (duration, type,
   transcripts or providing the student with same in the           evaluation, resources, etc.                                  location, etc.).
   event that the program and/or sponsoring institution
   should discontinue.

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               STANDARDS                                        SUGGESTIONS/GUIDELINES                                         SUGGESTED EXHIBITS

A. The program must have a continuing system for          Program evaluation methods should emphasize gathering         Provide description of policy/procedure for
   reviewing the effectiveness of the program, building   and analyzing date on the effectiveness of the program in     program review. Provide sample of
   on the original (or most recent) self-study and        developing competencies consistent with the stated program    tool/survey used for graduate follow-up.
   documented in subsequent annual reports.               goals and standards. This may be accomplished through a       Provide JCAHPO report on written
                                                          variety of methods such as: surveys of current and former     examination performance.
                                                          students, follow-up studies of graduate employment and
                                                          certifying examination performance, and input from the        List any program strengths in order of
                                                          various groups representing the program’s community of        importance.
                                                          interest. Program personnel should gather information from
                                                          as many sources as possible. Documented internal evaluation   Frankly identify concerns or deficiencies.
                                                          should take place annually. The cumulative results should
                                                          be incorporated into the self-study and other accreditation   Describe program’s plan for correcting
                                                          processes and reports.                                        weaknesses and deficiencies.

                                                                                                                        Note any progress already achieved.

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