Swiss nationals

If you are an optometrist or dispensing optician, you can apply to have your qualification recognised under EU Directive 2005/36/EU on the recognition of professional qualifications if you are a:

  • Swiss national;
  • non-EEA member state national who is the spouse or dependant of a Swiss national;
  • UK national settled in Switzerland; or
  • non-EEA member state national who is the spouse or dependent of a UK national settled in Switzerland.

If one of the above does not apply to you, your application will be processed via the international registration process.

Application process

We consider applicants’ qualifications and practical experience, and determine whether there are any significant differences between your training and education, and that which is required of a UK optometrist or dispensing optician. You must be registered with your national regulator (if your profession has one) OR have practised for at least one year in the last ten years to be eligible to apply under the EU Directive. If you do not have sufficient knowledge and/or experience to practise in the UK, you can choose to either undergo further training known as an ‘adaptation period’ or complete an ‘aptitude test’. If completed successfully, you may then be eligible to join the registers and practise in the UK.

How do I apply?

You need to complete our information form here. Once completed we will send you the appropriate application form. When you receive the form, it will advise you what documentation we require. Please ensure that you correctly certify and translate your documents, or your application could be rejected.

Our Certification Guidance advises which documentation we require.

How much does it cost?

  • £125 scrutiny fee of the application form and supporting documents
  • £450 for assessment of the application

Please note that all fees are payable to us with 28 days of request. We will not be able to progress your application to the next stage until we have received payment. If your application is rejected, you will not be entitled to a refund of any of the fees.

How long does it take?

  • Once you have submitted your application, we will advise you within 28 days if we require any further information before progressing your application to the equivalency assessment stage. 
  • If your application progresses for an equivalency assessment it can take up to four months to assess. At the end of this you will receive an outcome that will advise you if you have any deficiencies in your experience or training that require a compensation measure. 
  • If further education and training is required, it will be your responsibility to identify and secure a suitable provider to complete this. You will need to provide a proposal to us for approval prior to starting the placement. Depending on the recommendation you may be required to pay a fee to the provider for their course. We cannot guarantee the timescale this part of the process will take.
  • If no deficiencies are identified, then you will be able to progress to our fully qualified register.