CPOTM - A person who has attained national recognition via certification by demonstrating an understanding of the concepts used in optometric care
The CPOT™ practical examination is a hands‐on demonstration of specific skills required. Candidates must demonstrate their abilities at three testing stations.
Taking a thorough case history is essential for treating patients and is a standard of care for all medical protocols. This identifies the reason for the patient’s visit. Measuring a patient’s visual acuity is essential in determining the current status of a patient and evaluating improvement or degradation of a patient’s condition. It aids in determining if the treatment modality is adequate for the patient. This is a vital sign of the eye.
Muscle testing aids in determining a patient’s binocularity (the ability of the eyes to work together). This test is critical for patients who need good depth perception to perform their jobs or basic reading.
Pupil testing is a screening test that rules out afferent defects between the eye and brain. Color vision testing is used to identify any color anomalies a patient might have. This can also be used to rule out more serious diseases.
The cover test is used to evaluate the alignment of the eyes and their abilities to focus on a single target and stereo testing is used to evaluate a patient’s level of eyes and their abilities to focus on a single target and stereo testing is used to evaluate a patient’s level of depth perception.
These procedures must be validated to obtain blood pressure measurements, to prevent harm to the patient wearing contact lenses, to obtain intraocular pressure measurements, to obtain measurements of the thickness of the cornea, and to ensure proper care in handling medications.
Blood pressure is taken as a standard of care for patients that show a potential health risk or family history. Candidates are evaluated on the proper procedure for measuring blood pressure in accordance with medical guidelines.
This station is used to evaluate a candidate’s ability to handle application and removal of contacts from a patient’s eyes. This procedure must be validated to prevent injury to a patient.
Tonometry is performed to obtain intraocular pressures for screening for glaucoma. Candidates are evaluated on the proper procedure of measuring IOPs using the tonopen.
Pachymetry is performed to measure the thickness of the cornea on glaucoma suspects. Candidates are evaluated on the use of the pachymeter.
Eye drop instillation (simulated dilation) is an essential element in any practice. This procedure is widely used and must be performed with the caution necessary to ensure patient safety. Ability to prevent contamination of the medications and the patient through improper procedures must be validated.
Manual lensometer reading is a critical clue in resolving the purpose of the visit. A proper lensometer reading will verify the accuracy of the glasses and give the doctor information necessary to make the appropriate diagnosis.
The patient’s pupillary distance is a required measurement to ensure the proper placement of lenses for the fabrication of spectacles.
Yes, the CPC offers a simulated practical examination video shown online! This is not a teaching video but rather a full video of a practical examination. This includes a full demonstration of each task you will be expected to complete.
NOTE: Candidates must pass both the CPOT™ written and CPOT™ Practical Examination within a 3-year period to earn the designation. Refer to the CPOT™ Practical Examination Candidate Handbook for eligibility and fees.