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ASSESSMENTS

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Internationally Graduated Optometrist Evaluating Examination (IGOEE)

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About

Touchstone Institute administers the Internationally Graduated Optometrist Evaluating Examination (IGOEE). The examination tests the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values of internationally graduated optometrists (IGOs) as compared to a recent graduate of a Canadian optometric program. The program was created by Touchstone Institute in collaboration with the College of Optometrists of Ontario (The College), and is recognized by the Federation of Optometric Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FORAC).
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Next Date

ASSESSMENT DATE:

Thursday, May 21, 2020

PARTIAL REFUND DEADLINE:

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

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Location

Touchstone Institute


145 Wellington St. W., Suite 600
Toronto , ON

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Registration

Registration for the IGOEE is available only to examinees who have received the following:

For more information on IGOEE eligibility, please contact FORAC or your provincial regulator.

 

Request for Letter of Participation

Examinees may request a Letter of Participation to support visa travel requirements only after they have registered for an exam date. Letters cannot be issued without an exam date listed on them. Email us your requests for letters.

Fees & Payment

Fees

The IGOEE registration fee is CAN $5000. Fees are payable by Visa or MasterCard only. Registration will not be considered complete without immediate payment.

Cancellation and Refunds

Touchstone Institute accommodates a high volume of examinees and enforces a strict cancellation policy to ensure fairness. Please refer to our exam cancellation policy here.

Exam cancellation fee: CAN $1000

Deadline for refund (minus cancellation fee): 30 days before the examination

How to cancel or change exam date: please contact us

What to Expect on Exam Day

Exam Day

What to bring to the exam:

All required equipment will be provided

Stations in the OSCE are generally equipped with a blood pressure cuff, ophthalmoscope, retinoscope, hand sanitizer and other optometric equipment and props related to the scenario

Examinees may dress in professional attire, but will not be scored on their clothing

Items not allowed in the exam:

Examinees should leave personal belongings at home, if possible, as many items are not permitted during the exam and storage space is limited. The following items are not allowed during the exam:

Any electronic device, including cell phones, smart watches and fitness trackers

Pens, pencils, pen lights

Paper, books, notebooks

Bags, luggage

On the exam day, before you start the exam:

  • If you are unwell or have extenuating circumstances which may negatively impact your assessment performance, you have the option to withdraw from the exam before it begins. Touchstone Institute will work with you to schedule an alternate date for assessment.
  • If you choose to start the examination and request to leave before completing the entire examination, a staff member will document your reason for non-completion. This information will be forwarded to the College.

Breach of Examination Content and Process:

On exam day, examinees will be required to sign a document attesting that they will not disseminate or reveal to others any content of the IGOEE. Breaches include comparing client responses with your colleagues, sharing exam content with future exam candidates and posting case information or exam questions online.

Any breach in confidentiality of IGOEE materials may lead to disciplinary and legal measures, including invalidating your results.

Results

Results from the IGOEE take up to eight weeks to process and are sent directly to  the federation of the optometric regulatory and licensing bodies (FORAC). FORAC communicates the results directly to examinees.

Format

All of our assessments are designed to standardize as many exam elements as possible. Depending on examinee registration numbers and facility parameters, exam format may vary in administration. Our commitment is to ensure that all examinees are given a fair and valid assessment experience.

The IGOEE consists of a balanced integration of four components:

  1. Written Therapeutics Prescribing Assessment for Optometry (TPAO) examination
  2. Written General MCQ exam
  3. Nine short-case OSCE stations
  4. Three long-case OSCE stations

The assessment is spread over three days, with the TPAO examination and the open house equipment viewing on day one. The General MCQ and short-case OSCE will be conducted on day two and the long-case OSCE on day three.

The blueprint for the IGOEE is consistent with the Optometry Examining Board of Canada's National Competency Profile for Entry-Level Optometry.

Schedule

Below is a summary of the activities that will occur on each day of the assessment.

Day One

  • Open house and equipment viewing
  • Part 1/4: Therapeutics Prescribing Assessment for Optometry Exam

Day Two

  • Part 2/4: General MCQ exam
  • Part 3/4: Short-Case OSCE

Day Three

  • Part 4/4: Long-Case OSCE

 

Part 1: Written Therapeutics Prescribing Assessment for Optometry (TPAO) MCQ component

The Therapeutics Prescribing Assessment for Optometry (TPAO) examination is an MCQ exam that consists of up to 98 multiple choice questions. Examinees will have two hours to complete this portion of the IGOEE. Each question is connected to a case description, which may contain information about the client, main complaint, ocular history, medical history and clinical data. Visuals may also be provided for the examinee to interpret. Each case description is followed by up to five questions. Examinees are required to choose the correct or best answer from a list of up to six responses.

The TPAO component will assess:

  • Assessment/diagnosis
  • Interpretation of examination results (lab/diagnostic imaging)
  • Management (may include treatment referral if relevant)
  • Mechanism of action/onset/duration of effect
  • Side effects/drug interactions
  • Management of side effects
  • Monitoring, follow up, extensions
  • Treatment
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Part 2: Written General MCQ

Examinees will have 2.5 hours to complete the general MCQ component of the IGOEE. This multiple choice question (MCQ) exam consists of up to 140 questions. Each question is connected to a case description, which may contain information about the client, main complaint, ocular history, medical history and clinical data. Visuals may also be provided for the examinee to interpret. Each case description is followed by up to five questions. Examinees are required to choose the correct or best answer from a list of up to six responses.

The General MCQ assesses the following professional competencies:

Role 1: Provide Comprehensive Eye and Vision Care

Optometrists meet their clients’ eye and vision care–related needs with the objectives of achieving appropriate outcomes and maintaining or improving their clients’ quality of life.

Role 2: Collaborate

Optometrists support an integrated health care system by collaborating with other health care professionals and service providers to facilitate the management of the overall health needs and to encourage the well-being of their clients.

Role 3: Manage

Optometrists apply management skills to optimize the care of their clients and make efficient use of health resources.

Role 4: Educate

Optometrists provide education with the goal of encouraging appropriate, effective, comprehensive eye and vision care.

Questions in the written component of the exam may cover the following areas:

  • Patient assessment and diagnosis – especially relating to glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetes, hypertension, vascular diseases and other causes of visual impediments, including refractive error and binocular vision anomalies
  • Vision therapies – eyeglasses, contact lenses, low-vision therapies, binocular vision therapies and per-surgical care
  • Drug therapies – especially those currently authorized to optometrists in Ontario
  • Prevention of visual disability, morbidity and mortality
  • Pediatrics
  • Geriatrics
  • Collaborative care
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Performance Component - The OSCE

IGOEE examinees are being tested at the competency level of a recent Canadian optometric graduate who is ready to challenge the licensing examination.

The OSCE stations for this evaluating examination represent common workplace examples of the content areas. Examinees should manage each presenting case as they would in a real life practice setting. The exam consists of 12 standardized client stations of either a 17 or 32 minute duration.

The OSCE assessment is divided into two parts:

  1. Three ‘long case’ stations with standardized clients and examiner questions
  2. Nine ‘short case’ stations with standardized clients and examiner questions
Role 1: Provide Comprehensive Eye and Vision Care

Examinees will be assessed on their ability to meet their clients’ eye and vision care needs with the objective of achieving appropriate outcomes and maintaining or improving their clients’ quality of life.

Role 2: Collaborate

Examinees will need to demonstrate their ability to work within an integrated healthcare system by collaborating with other health care professionals and service providers to facilitate the management of the overall health needs and to encourage the well-being of their clients.

The OSCE will assess the following:
  • Knowledge integration
  • Clinical skills
  • Behaviour
  • Attitude
  • Values
The OSCE stations will include content from the following areas:
  • Refractive errors and presbyopia
  • Diabetes
  • Binocular vision
  • Retinal vascular disease
  • Cataract glaucoma or glaucoma suspects
  • Anterior segment disease
  • Macular disease

Part 3: Short Case OSCE Information

Nine of the 12 OSCE stations are short cases. Each short case station is 17 minutes in length.

Examinee Instructions

Two minutes reading time

On the wall outside each clinical station there is a written statement (examinee instructions) that may include the following information:

  • Client’s name
  • Client’s age
  • Task you are being asked to perform (i.e., history taking). Examinees will have two minutes to read the  instructions outside the stations and may make notes in their booklet (provided). An announcement will indicate when candidates may enter the station to begin their interaction with the standardized client. A copy of the  instructions will also be available in the examination room for the examinee to reference.
Client Encounter

Five minutes total interaction time with the standardized client

Upon entering the station, examinees will have five minutes to interact with the standardized client and complete the required task(s) listed on the examinee instructions. Examinees should take some time to introduce themselves to the client.

During the client encounter, candidates will not be required to perform a physical examination but will be assessed on the following:

  • History and data collection
  • Communication skills
  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Organization
  • Time management
  • Evaluation (of client understanding)

A standardized client is an actor trained to replicate a client’s signs and symptoms in a reliable and consistent manner. Treat them as you would a real client in a real clinical environment.

At the four-minute mark, candidates will hear an announcement indicating that they have one minute remaining with the standardized client. This time should be used by the candidate to summarize the encounter for the client, if possible.

Examiner Questions

10 minutes

The client encounter is followed by a structured oral interview. The examiner may ask up to 10 questions about the presenting case and may present visual photographs or data for interpretation. During this time, the standardized client will no longer engage with the examinee.

Time is Up

Exit and proceed to the next station

An announcement will be made to indicate when time is up. Examinees will be asked to leave the station immediately, move to the next station and begin reading the instructions. Examinees are not allowed to enter or leave a station before they are told to do so.

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Part 4: Long Case OSCE Information

Three of the 12 OSCE stations fall within the long case category. Each long case is 32 minutes.

Examinees should note that they will be expected to perform the following optometric procedures on standardized clients:

  •  Dilated fundus exam
  •  Binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy
  •  Contact Tonometry
  •  Gonioscopy with fundus lenses

Failure to identify your inexperience in these procedures could place the client at risk. Examinees will be required to complete an acknowledgment form on the day of the exam attesting that they have the training and experience to perform these procedures on standardized clients in a safe manner.

Examinee Instructions

Two minutes reading time

On the wall outside each clinical station there is a written statement (examinee instructions) that may include the following information:

  • Client’s name
  • Client’s age
  • Task you are being asked to perform (i.e., physical examination). Examinees will have two minutes to read the instructions outside the stations and may make notes in their booklet (provided). An announcement will indicate when candidates may enter the station to begin their interaction with the standardized client. A copy of the instructions will also be available in the examination room for the examinee to reference.
Equipment check/positioning

After entering the station examinees will have two minutes to view equipment and position themselves appropriately. An announcement will indicate when they can begin their client interaction. Examinees may NOT begin the client interaction before the announcement. Examinees will not be scored during the equipment check.

Client Encounter

22 minutes total interaction time with the standardized client

After the starting announcement, examinees will have 22 minutes to interact with the standardized client and complete the required task(s) listed on the examinee instructions. Examinees should take some time to familiarize themselves with the equipment and introduce themselves to the client.

During the client encounter examinees will be assessed on the following:

  •  History and data collection
  • Physical examination skills
  • Communication skills
  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Organization
  • Time management
  • Evaluation (of client understanding)

A standardized client is an actor trained to replicate a client’s signs and symptoms in a reliable and consistent manner. Treat them as you would a real client in a clinical environment.

Examinees are required to explain to the station examiner exactly what they are doing during the assessment of the client. Remain focused and don’t forget that the examiner will be scoring your clinical skills and process. Successful examinees will be able to demonstrate their clinical ability with the client in a natural, focused, professional manner.

Examiners may move around the room to get the best view while you demonstrate your skills. Examiners may also provide examinees additional information related to the client during the encounter.

At the 21-minute mark, examinees will hear an announcement indicating that they have 1 minute remaining with the standardized client. This is a good time to provide a summary of the points covered with the client.

Examiner Questions

Six minutes

The client encounter is followed by a structured oral interview during which the examiner may ask up to 10 questions about the presenting case and may present visual photographs or data for interpretation. During this time, the standardized client will no longer engage with the examinee.

Time is Up

Exit and proceed to the next station

An announcement will be made to indicate when time is up. Examinees will be asked to leave the station immediately, move to the next station and begin reading the examinee instructions for that station. Examinees are not allowed to enter or leave a station before they are told to do so.

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Visualize the Assessment

Eye exam chair

Example of the equipment used in the OSCE

Eye exam

A standardized client interacts with an examinee

People looking at screens showing camera footage

Voice announcements and video monitoring from a central location

Partners

Touchstone Institute has collaborated with the following organizations to develop and administer this assessment: