National Matching Services

ORMatch Eligibility & Protocols

2018 ORMatch

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants

    Any applicant seeking an appointment beginning after April 1, 2018 in an optometry residency site that participates in ORMatch must register to participate in ORMatch.

    United States citizenship is required to qualify for VHA appointment in a paid VA optometry resident position funded by the Office of Academic Affiliations. (Reference: VA Handbook 5005/57, Part II, Chapter 3, Paragraph 3.g.(1) & (5)(c), dated June 14, 2012.)

    Applicants are encouraged to contact individual programs for more information regarding each institution and program's eligibility requirements.

  • Programs

    Only residency site that are affiliated with a school or college of optometry that is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) may participate in ORMatch. Furthermore, all programs must be accredited by ACOE to participate in ORMatch, except as noted below.

    An exception is provided that allows for programs without accreditation to participate in ORMatch provided the program genuinely pursues accreditation during its first year of training. To substantiate this pursuit, unaccredited programs must satisfy one of the following conditions in order to register to participate in ORMatch:

    • Unaccredited programs that have never participated in ORMatch must submit to the ACOE a formal letter applying for accreditation from the CEO of the school or college of optometry that is the affiliate or sponsor of the program. In addition, ACOE must receive the program’s payment of the application fee.
    • Unaccredited programs that previously participated in ORMatch but have not had a resident, must have the Director of Residencies at their affiliated school or college of optometry verify to NMS that no resident is currently in training or has completed training in the program.
    • Unaccredited programs that are currently training or have trained their initial resident(s) must have an accreditation site visit scheduled with ACOE or have completed a site visit and are awaiting an accreditation decision from ACOE.

    On request from the program, NMS will communicate with the ACOE and/or the program's Director of Residencies to substantiate the fulfillment of these conditions. Notwithstanding the above exceptions, ASCO reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any program to participate in ORMatch.

    Programs that participate in ORMatch must offer all residency positions through ORMatch. As an exception, a position may be granted exclusively to a commissioned officer of the Department of Defense outside of ORMatch only if it does not reduce the number of positions otherwise being offered by the program in ORMatch. Requests for such exemptions must be submitted to ASCO before December 31 for positions that start training the following year. Programs designed exclusively for commissioned officers of the Department of Defense are exempt from participation in ORMatch.

    Optometry fellowship positions and programs are not eligible to participate in ORMatch.

    The List of Participating Programs posted on this web site will indicate the accreditation status reported by each program that registers for ORMatch. A complete list of accredited residency site can be found on the ACOE web site.

ORMatch Protocols

Each participating applicant and residency site accepts the terms of the ORMatch Protocols when they register to participation in ORMatch.

Applicant Protocols Program Protocols

If an applicant or residency site violates any of the protocols, ASCO will initiate its Violations Review Process.

Summary of Protocols

ORMatch is a program of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO). ASCO has set the following protocols for participants in ORMatch:

  • Activities pertaining to ORMatch are governed by the Schedule of Dates.
  • Participating programs must offer through ORMatch all residency site positions available to start training between April 1 and December 31, 2018. Programs for which positions cannot be assured by the Rank Order List deadline should not be offered in ORMatch. However, these programs may take no action to fill non-participating positions before 12:00 p.m noon ET on the day ORMatch results are released.
  • Programs and applicants must fulfill the Eligibility Requirements of ORMatch. Programs must be affiliated with a school or college of optometry that is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE). Programs must also be accredited by the ACOE to participate in ORMatch. An exception is provided that allows programs without accreditation to participate in ORMatch for one year provided the program genuinely pursues accreditation during that training year.
  • Programs must provide complete and accurate information to applicants concerning the position(s) being offered in ORMatch, including all institution and residency site program policies related to eligibility requirements for appointment, compensation for residents and accreditation status of the residency site program.
  • The ORMatch application service will provide information submitted by each applicant to the programs designated by the applicant. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information to ORMatch and to the programs to which they apply.
  • The National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) will provide Score Report Data for each applicant. ORMatch will distribute the Score Report Data, along with other application information, to any program to which the applicant applied, matched, or accepted a position during the post-Match process, and to the program's affiliated school or college of optometry. Applicants will be sent an e-mail from ORMatch to review the NBEO Score Report Data sent to programs and the applicant is responsible for correcting any errors or omissions in the NBEO Score Report Data directly with the program(s). Programs may use the NBEO Score Report Data received from ORMatch for the sole purpose of selecting residents.
  • Programs may not make any commitments to any applicant regarding offers of appointment to positions participating in ORMatch, or require any commitments from any applicant, prior to the release of the ORMatch results. Programs may rank on their Rank Order Lists only those applicants registered in ORMatch.
  • Similarly, applicants may not make any commitments to, or require any commitments from, any participating program prior to the release of the ORMatch results. If a registered applicant wishes to accept a position at a program that is not participating in ORMatch, or decides not to participate in ORMatch for any other reason, then the applicant must submit a withdrawal from ORMatch. Applicants may rank on their Rank Order Lists only those programs registered in ORMatch.
  • Programs and applicants may freely discuss any matter and may express a high level of interest in each other. A program may voluntarily inform an applicant as to whether or not it intends to rank the applicant, and an applicant may voluntarily inform a program as to whether or not the applicant intends to rank the program. However, neither programs nor applicants may solicit such information. In addition, applicants and programs may not disclose or solicit any information regarding the positioning of any applicant or program on a Rank Order List. The Rank Order Lists submitted by each program and applicant are the sole determinants of their respective order of preferences for the Match.
  • The results of ORMatch constitute an obligation between the applicant and the program. Appointment of an applicant to a position may be contingent on the applicant satisfying any institution and program eligibility requirements for appointment specified to the applicant by the program prior to the Match.
  • Release from the ORMatch results can only be achieved by written approval of ASCO. Even if a participant is released from their Match obligation, they may be subject to legal action by the affected program or applicant with whom they matched, and/or disciplanary action by ASCO and/or their affiliated school or college of optometry if they do not accept their Match obligation.
  • Violations of any of the protocols, such as refusing to honor the match obligation, will be reported to ASCO and/or to schools and colleges of optometry. ASCO and/or schools and colleges of optometry may impose penalties on the violators, including barring them from future participation in ORMatch.


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