Moving to the Canadian Assessment of Competence in Optometry (CACO) ...
The CACO differs from the CSAO in a number of ways that reflect our evolving understanding of the abilities needed by optometrists to fulfill their role in Canada’s provincial and territorial health care systems. These abilities include:
The CACO will be comprised of six essential components:
· Ocular Therapeutics
· Clinical Skills 1
· Clinical Skills 2
· Clinical Skills 3
· Clinical Skills 4
with plans to reorganize the four Clinical Skills components into three Skills and Communication components in 2012. The most substantial difference between the CACO and its predecessor will be found in the Synthesis component. Greater emphasis will be placed on the application of optometric knowledge in the clinical context. Questions in the Synthesis component will all be related to information provided about clinical cases, similar to those previously found within the CSAO’s Clinical Judgement component. This change was made in response to candidates’ and other stakeholders’ requests for the examination to more closely resemble daily practise. In making this change, the CACO will continue to demand that successful registrants have acquired fundamental and current optometric knowledge and are able to readily use their knowledge in the interests of patients. In order for this demand to be made, all of the topics of the Optometric Knowledge component of the CSAO will be eligible to be the subject of questions in the Synthesis component of the CACO.
The Table of Specifications of the CACO has been approved and is available by clicking here. The emphases of each component of the CACO can be better understood by analyzing the proportion of cases and questions assigned to the range of material to be examined. Ultimately, registrants who are able to synthesize their knowledge and clinical experience, able to use their clinical skills to obtain accurate information about patients and apply safe and effective procedures, and able to communicate effectively with patients and colleagues will be successful on the CACO.
Registrants for the CACO will find that the best preparation for the CACO consists of diligent and continuing study, exposure to the broadest possible range of clinical cases usually found in Canadian practices, and interaction with patients.