How to Start a Program

CoA-OMP has changed its name to the International Council of Accreditation (ICA)

Benefits of starting an ophthalmology education program

  • Help improve training of ophthalmic medical personnel and hopefully move closer to eliminating eye disease and blindness.
  • Increase quality of life by providing better patient eye care in your community.
  • Help meet the high demand for qualified Ophthalmic Medical Technicians.
  • Increase institutional enrollment.
  • Give students the opportunity to join a highly regarded profession.
  • More choices and opportunities for students and faculty with these popular programs in the eye care field.

Outline of steps to start an ophthalmology education program


Step 1 – Choosing the required educational institution

CoA-OMP Standard I.A. - The institution must be a postsecondary academic institution, hospital, medical center, or other governmental education or medical service accredited by a national or state accrediting agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • Determine the type of institution:
    • Two Year or Four Year College
    • Vocational or Technical College
    • Hospital or Medical Center
    • Medical School

    You should also know the educational regulations of these types of institutions.

  • Determine the nature of the institution:
    • Public
    • Private not-for-profit
    • Private for-profit

    For CoA-OMP’s institution standards, click here.

Step 2 – Components for a successful program

CoA-OMP Standard II - The program must have the appropriate staff, fiscal, physical and learning resources to promote the achievement of the goals and outcomes of the program.

  • Determine the need for an ophthalmology education program based on population and existing ophthalmology educational programs in the area (survey communities of interest).
  • Determine if your program meets the following criteria:
    • An adequate budget and funding that will support the program.
    • Qualified program officials to lead the program.
    • An adequate number of qualified faculty for the program.
    • Adequate classrooms, laboratories, and other facilities.
    • Appropriate modern equipment and supplies available in sufficient quantities.
    • Acceptable selection criteria and process when enrolling students in the program.
    • An adequate supply of reference materials related to the curriculum for students at all times.

Step 3 – Curriculum requirements

CoA-OMP has specific curriculum requirements that must be followed. Find CoA-OMP’s curriculum standards by clicking here. For International Curriculum Requirements, click here.

The following criteria must be met:

  • The program must include an appropriate teaching methodology for the curriculum and how the learning objectives will be assessed (Reference CoA-OMP guidelines).
  • The content of the curriculum should include the essential knowledge, skills, and attitudes as laid out by governmental and appropriate non-governmental educational (CoA-OMP) standards/regulations.
  • The program must include appropriate learning experiences and curriculum benchmarks to develop the competencies necessary for successful completion of the program, including appropriate instructional materials, classroom presentations, discussions, and practical exercises.
  • The program must include a periodic evaluation process to assess student progress.