The Fitness to Practice Process is designed to protect the public from those individuals who may not be fit to practice. The College is required to make inquiries and, in some circumstances, hold hearings to determine whether an optician may be incapacitated.
Under the legislation, “incapacity” means that the optician is suffering from a physical/mental condition or disorder which may impair their ability to practice safely and effectively.
In the interest of the public, “incapacity” may mean that the optician’s certificate of registration be:
The process for determining whether an optician is incapacitated takes place in two stages:
A Health Inquiry Panel is a panel of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC).
The Health Inquiry Panel will come together to investigate a complaint or report when there is reason to believe an optician may be incapacitated.This report to the Health Inquiry Panel comes from either the Registrar or a referral from another ICRC panel.
After conducting inquiries into the optician’s health, which may include requiring the optician to undergo an independent medical examination, the Health Inquiry Panel may refer the matter to the Fitness to Practice Committee for a hearing.
The Fitness to Practice Committee holds hearings to determine whether an optician is incapacitated. If so, terms, conditions and/or limitations should be placed on his or her certificate of registration which may include a requirement that the optician no longer practice.
Hearings before the Fitness to Practice Committee are closed to the public, however, the results of are posted to the College’s Public Register.
If you have concerns that an optician may be incapacitated, you can contact the College. If you employ opticians or operate a facility where opticians work, you have a legal obligation to report incapacity to the College. Information for Business owners or Employers on mandatory Reporting requirements can be found here.