News From the College
December 14, 2016 – In an effort to protect Ontario patients, the College, in partnership with the College of Optometrists of Ontario, has initiated a legal proceeding against Essilor Group of Canada Inc./Clearly.
Essilor is the company that runs the online retailer Clearly. For many years it has been dispensing prescription eyewear to patients in Ontario without the direct involvement of an optician, optometrist, or physician who is licensed to practise in Ontario. This is a violation of provincial law.
Prescription glasses and contact lenses are medical devices. If improperly dispensed, they can cause sight-threatening injury. For this reason, Ontario law specifies that only registered opticians, optometrists, and physicians be allowed to perform such a procedure.
The College understands that the internet can be a safe source for ordering eyewear, but it cannot support practices that break the law.
Call for Examiners to the National Contact Lens and Eyeglass Examinations
The College of Opticians (COO) is now accepting applications from registered optician members for the role of National Examiner.
click here for complete details.
Call for Quality Assurance (QA) Peer and Practice Assessors
The College of Opticians of Ontario (COO) is now accepting applications from registered opticians for the role of QA Peer and Practice Assessors.
click here for complete details.
Winter 2017 Newsletter
Click here to view the
Winter 2017 COO Newsletter.
On May 30, 2016 Council approved amendments to the College by-laws that resulted in clearer and consistent language throughout the by-laws, sets out an updated registration fees schedule for all classes of registration, and amends articles dealing with Council and committee member obligations and committee composition and appointment and procedures. Please click here to access a summary document highlighting the amendments. If you have any questions relating to these amendments or the by-laws in general please send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to view the amended College by-laws.
Upcoming Council Meetings
Monday, May 29, 2017
Monday, September 25, 2017
Monday, December 4, 2017
College of Opticians of Ontario, 85 Richmond Street West, Suite 902, Toronto, ON
All are welcome to attend College Council meetings either in person or via webinar. The agenda and meeting materials will be available the week before a meeting. If you would like to attend, please let us know at email@example.com.
Annual Report 2015
The 2015 Annual Report is now available for
viewing and downloading in PDF format.
New Registration Policies
At its May 30, 2016 meeting, Council approved two new registration policies. The Non-Practising Status Policy addresses members who are not practising but who wish to maintain their registration with the College. The Non-Practising Status Policy can be reviewed here. If you wish to change your status to non-practising, complete an Undertaking Form and submit it to the College.
The Retiring or Resigning Policy provides guidance to members who wish to retire or resign their certificate of registration. The Retiring or Resigning from the College Policy can be reviewed here. If you wish to resign your certificate of registration, please complete a Resignation Form and submit it to the College. If you wish to retire from the profession, please complete a Retirement Form and submit it to the College.
If you have any questions or require further information on either registration policy, please contact the College’s registration team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ANSI Standard Z80.1- 2015 Now Available to all Ontario Opticians
An updated ANSI Dress Standard is now being made available by the College to all members at no charge. In adherence to the College’s mandate to reduce its environmental impact and to be mindful of operational costs, the College is providing all optician members with one copy of the ANSI Standard Z80.1-2010 free of charge electronically via email.
Please click here for instructions on how to access your free electronic copy.
Update on the Clinic Regulation Project
After the public consultation ended, the Clinic Regulation Working Group met in February 2016 to consider next steps for the project. In their discussion, the Working Group considered the objectives of the project, what was learned from the stakeholder feedback, and the current policy environment.
The Working Group came to a consensus decision to make a submission to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The submission will bring awareness to the gap in public protection that currently exists, discuss alternative solutions, and call on the Ministry to take action to address the gap. The Working Group is not advocating for a particular solution or model and recognizes that more work is required to explore the issue and find the most appropriate solution for Ontario.
A draft submission has been prepared, and it will go to the Councils of all of the Working Group colleges for their approval. The Working Group anticipates making the submission to government in summer 2016. We’ll be sure to post the submission at that time, so please check back in for more updates.
Jurisprudence and Sexual Abuse Prevention Tool Now Available
The College of Opticians is pleased to advise that the Jurisprudence and Sexual Abuse Prevention Self-Evaluation Tool is now available for opticians on our website.
The purpose of the Jurisprudence tool is to help registered opticians acquire knowledge about the laws, standards, and guidelines that affect opticianry in Ontario. As part of the College’s Quality Assurance (QA) program, all registered opticians must successfully complete the tool every three years.
The Jurisprudence Tool consists of a handbook and an online multiple choice test, which will help members develop ways to prevent the crossing of professional boundaries, including those related to sexual abuse.
Adverse Event Report
Canadian eye care regulators are collecting data for a study that reviews the number of adverse incidences for patients that use the services of a regulated eye care professional as well as those patients who have sought their eyewear through unregulated sources.
This report is not a punitive exercise but rather an attempt at gathering current data regarding risk of harm. This form is not a vehicle to report misconduct or unauthorized practice. If you wish to file a formal complaint or to report unauthorized practice, please visit the complaints process page.
The Adverse Event Report can be found here.
New Standards of Practice
On September 28, 2015 Council approved new Professional Standards of Practice for Opticians in the Province of Ontario and an accompanying Guidelines document. The Standards have been updated to reflect current practices, including a new section on utilizing websites and other technology. Revisions were also made to the eyeglass and contact lens dispensing section, safety eyewear, record keeping and infection control.
Please click here to view the new Standards of Practice.
College Bulletin - Focus on Patient Records: Changes to Personal Health Information Privacy Laws
In an effort to keep members informed and up to date on changes that could affect their practice, the College will be publishing bulletins with pertinent information on the College website. The first bulletin is regarding the importance of patient records and patient health information.
Please click here to view the full correspondence from the College.
Duty to Report – Suspected Cases of Child Abuse
The Child and Family Services Act (CFSA) recognizes that the public, including professionals who work with children, must promptly report any suspicions that a child is or may be in need of protection directly to a children’s aid society. This is referred to as one’s “duty to report”.
The CFSA states that people working closely with children have a special awareness of the signs of child abuse or neglect, and a particular responsibility to report their suspicions. Under the Act, persons who perform professional or official duties with respect to children include health care professionals (e.g., physicians, respiratory therapists, opticians), teachers and social workers, among others.
Professionals should never hesitate to report suspected child abuse or neglect. It is their legal duty to make a report to a children’s aid society where they have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is or may be in need of protection.
Please click here to view the full correspondence from the Ministry of Child and Youth Services.
Court affirms professional standards can govern refraction, refuses to endorse optician's business model
In a decision released in January 2015, the Ontario Superior Court affirmed the enforceability of professional standards governing refraction. The matter was brought to the Court by an Ontario optician, who wanted the Court to declare that his business model was compliant with Ontario laws governing eye care professionals. In denying the optician's application, the Court affirmed that regulatory bodies can enforce professional standards, such as the College of Opticians of Ontario's standards for refraction. These standards do not have to be made through government-approved regulations. The College of Opticians acted as an intervenor in this case, providing assistance to the Court regarding the standards of practice for opticianry in Ontario.
Click here to read the full communication from the College as well as the Court's decision
Call for Peer Assessors
The College of Opticians of Ontario (COO) is now accepting applications from optician members for the role of Quality Assurance (QA) Peer and Practice Assessors. The Quality Assurance (QA) Program of the College exists to ensure the provision of optimal quality care to the public and promote continuing quality improvement among its members. The QA Program consists of a self, peer and practice assessment.
The role of the QA Peer and Practice Assessor is to conduct on-site practice assessments of the knowledge, skill and judgement of selected COO members, which includes a behavioural-based interview, chart review, and equipment inspection. Following the assessment, the QA Peer and Practice Assessor must produce a comprehensive, objective, and accurate report of the member's assessment findings for the consideration of the Quality Assurance Committee.
Please click on the link below to view the qualifications and skills required to be a Peer and Practice Assessor and for information on how to apply for the position.
On October 1st, the Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care reached out to all regulatory health colleges, urging them to make transparency a key priority in their strategic plans and to take concrete measures to improve transparency in all college processes. The College of Opticians is pleased to have responded to the Minister indicating how we will be strengthening existing processes and what new measures will be implemented to increase transparency. Please view the communications below and contact the College at 416-368-3616 should you have any questions.
Consumer Safety Advisory -
Cosmetic Contact Lenses
Mandatory Reinstatement –
Members Dispensing Under Delegation
In April of 2014, the College of Optometrists of Ontario amended its Professional Misconduct Regulation. There are several significant changes that help in fostering a greater degree of inter-professional collaboration. In particular, optometrists are no longer prohibited from hiring opticians, and optometrists are no longer prohibited from practising in association with opticians as long as they remain independent.
In view of these changes, the College of Opticians would like to inform its suspended members who are working either with or for an optometrist or medical doctor, that they must apply for reinstatement with the College of Opticians if they wish to continue dispensing prescription eye wear.
Please click here to view the full correspondence from the College.