Thank you to all of the opticians who took the time to participate in the recent surveys on registration fees. In total, we heard from over 500 registrants who provided valuable feedback and comments on fees for the coming years.
The College put forward two fee proposals: the first to fully restore fees to pre-pandemic levels as of 2022, and the second to phase the return to full fees over a two-year period. The survey results indicated that a significant majority (77%) preferred the phased approach. Many opticians also shared that they continue to be financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Your feedback was carefully considered by the College’s Board of Directors at their recent meeting on August 23, 2021. At that meeting, the Board voted to amend Article 5.2 of the College’s By-Laws (fees) to align with the second proposal, namely the phased approach that will restore fees to pre-pandemic levels over a two year period, with a 50% correction being applied in 2022 and the remainder in 2023. As a result, the new fees for 2022 and 2023 (before HST) are:
Class 2022 2023
Registered Optician $867 $992
Registered Intern Optician $146 $146
Registered Student Optician $146 $146
The Board’s aim in making this decision was to ensure that the College will be financially secure going forward so it can carry out its public protection mandate, and so that it can begin to slowly replenish its reserve funds to be ready in case of future challenges. The Board also recognizes that the pandemic continues to have a financial impact on opticians, and believes that it is in the public interest to set fees at a level that will reduce barriers to renewal so that patients have access to an adequate number of qualified opticians.
In addition, the College has also carefully reviewed all of the questions and concerns raised by registrants in response to the surveys. In our latest blog post, we break down how fees are determined and the ways that the College is working to keep costs down without compromising service levels. Click here to see the post.
Fazal and the COO Team