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Mandatory Reporting for Employers & Business Owners

Overview

The College of Opticians of Ontario regulates the practice of opticianry to protect the public interest. While the College does not regulate businesses or eyewear dispensaries, it never the less serves an important role in ensuring that the dispensing of prescription eyewear is carried out in accordance with the Regulated Health Professions Act, the Opticianry Act, and related legislation and regulations.

Under Ontario law, only a registered member of the College of Opticians of Ontario, the College of Optometrists of Ontario, or the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is authorized to dispense prescription eyewear, contact lenses, or subnormal vision devices (Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, s. 27(2)(9)).

Individuals who employ opticians or who own or operate a business that sells or dispenses eyewear must familiarize themselves with their legal obligations under the Regulated Health Professions Act, the Opticianry Act, the Personal Health Information Protection Act, and all related legislation and regulations. Please visit this page to review the legislation.

All individuals who employ opticians or operate an eyewear-related business, should contact aqualified legal professional for advice regarding their legal obligations.

Under the Regulated Health Professions Act mandatory reporting obligations pertain to persons:

  • Who employ opticians.
  • Who own or operate businesses where opticians practice.

Persons who are also a registrant with a regulated health professional College have additional mandatory reporting obligations, click here for more information.

The table below summarizes your obligations as an employer or facility operator

 

Employer

If you employ an optician.

Facility Operator

If you are a person who is responsible for operating a facility where one or more opticians practice.

When to Report
  • You fire your employee because of professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity
  • You revoke, suspend or impose restrictions on the privileges of your employee because of professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity
  • You dissolve a partnership, health professional corporation or association because of professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity
  • An employee, partner or associate voluntarily resigns or restricts their practice, and you suspect that this action is related to the person's professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity, or the voluntary resignation or restriction takes place during the course of an investigation into allegations of professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity
  • You have reasonable grounds to believe that an optician who practices at the facility is incompetent.
  • You have reasonable grounds to believe that an optician who practices at the facility is incapacitated.
  • You have reasonable grounds to believe that an optician who practices at the facility has sexually abused a patient.

 

Report Must Contain
  • The name of the person filing the report
  • The name of the registrant who is the subject of the report
  • The explanation of the alleged sexual abuse, incompetence or incapacity
  • If the allegations of sexual abuse, incompetence or incapacity relate to a particular patient, the
  • name of that patient. 

*The name of a patient who may have been sexually abused must NOT be included in the report unless the patient has consented in writing to the inclusion of his/her name.

  • The name of the person filing the report
  • The name of the registrant who is the subject of the report
  • The explanation of the alleged sexual abuse, incompetence or incapacity
  • If the allegations of sexual abuse, incompetence or incapacity relate to a particular patient, the
  • name of that patient. 

*The name of a patient who may have been sexually abused must NOT be included in the report unless the patient has consented in writing to the inclusion of his/her name.

Timeframe

The report must be made within 30 days of the termination, revocation, suspension, or resignation.

The report must be made within 30 days. If, however, you have reasonable grounds to believe that the optician will continue to sexually abuse the patient or other patients, or that the optician's incompetence or incapacity is likely to expose a patient to harm or injury and there is urgent need for intervention, you must make the report as soon as possible.

Failure to Report
  • The failure by an employer to make a mandatory report may result in a fine of up to $25,000 for a first offence and up to $50,000 for a second offence.
  • If the employer is a corporation, the resulting fine may be up to $50,000 for a first offence, and up to $200,000 for a second offence.
  • The failure of a facility operator to report incompetence or incapacity may result in a fine of up to $25,000 for a first offence or up to $50,000 for a second offence.
  • If the facility operator is a corporation, the resulting fine may be up to $50,000 for a first offence, and up to $200,000 for a second offence.
  • The failure of a facility operator to report the sexual abuse of a patient may result in a fine of up to $50,000 for an individual or up to $200,000 for a corporation.
Report

To complete a mandatory report, click here.

To complete a mandatory report, click here.

Other Concerns

Employers or facility operators may also contact the College to report a concern that falls outside of the mandatory reporting obligations referred to above. For more information, contact the College directly, or click here to learn more about the complaints process.

What Constitutes Professional Misconduct, Incompetence, Incapacity or Sexual Abuse?

If you would like to know what may constitute as professional misconduct for opticians, see the legislation governing the profession including:

Below are the definitions for each of the above-mentioned terms:

Incapacitated

Defined under the Health Professions Procedural Code (schedule 2 of the Regulated Health Professions Act) as:

"suffering from a physical or mental disorder that makes it desirable in the interest of the public that the member's certificate of registration be subject to terms, conditions or limitations, or that the member no longer be permitted to practice." (Section 1(1)).

Incompetence

"a lack of knowledge, skill or judgment of a nature or to an extent that demonstrates that the member is unfit to continue to practice or that the member's practice should be restricted" (section 52(1)).

Sexual Abuse

Defined under the Health Professions Procedural Code (schedule 2 of the Regulated Health Professions Act) as: "a) sexual intercourse or other forms of physical sexual relations between the health professional and the patient; (b) touching of a sexual nature; and (c) behaviour or remarks of a sexual nature." (Section 1(3)).

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