Changes to the Registration Regulation

The College of Opticians of Ontario (COO) regulates opticianry in the public interest, in accordance with the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA) and the Opticianry Act, 1991. The Registration Regulation is a regulation under the Opticianry Act, 1991 that, together with the RHPA, sets out the requirements to be registered as an optician in Ontario. 

Initial Amendments – June 12, 2017
On June 12, 2017, following extensive stakeholder consultation, the COO submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Health to make changes to the Registration Regulation. These changes will only come into effect if and when they are approved by the Ontario Government.

The proposed changes, if approved, will include the following:

  • The introduction of a new Inactive Class of registration for non-practising opticians. Inactive opticians will pay a reduced fee and will be eligible to return to active practice by demonstrating current knowledge/skills or by completing appropriate refresher courses. 
  • A new requirement for practising opticians to demonstrate that they are maintaining their knowledge and skill by declaring a minimum number of practice hours in every three-year period.  
  • Opticians will no longer be permitted to remain administratively suspended for non-payment of fees for an indefinite period. Instead, opticians who do not reinstate their certificate within 3 years will have their certificate of registration automatically revoked.
  • The Registered Student Optician class will be eliminated. Students enrolled in opticianry programs continue to be permitted to work under the supervision of a registered optician or other authorized dispenser. 
  • Registered Intern Opticians and opticianry students will be eligible to work under the direct supervision of optometrists and physicians, in addition to opticians.
  • Detailed requirements for the annual renewal process, reinstatement and liability insurance will be removed from the regulation and moved into the College’s by-laws and/or policies in order to provide for greater flexibility going forward. 

Further Amendments – January 27, 2023

On January 27, 2023, the College posted further amendments to the Registration Regulation for stakeholder circulation. These amendments have been proposed in accordance with the requirements enacted by the Ontario Government under Bill 106, the Pandemic and Emergency Preparedness Act, 2022 that requires all health regulatory colleges to create an emergency class of registration. 

These proposed changes, if approved, will establish an Emergency Class of registration that will be open to inactive opticians who have evidence of having practised opticianry in the previous six years. The Emergency Class will only be activated if and when the College’s Board of Directors determines that it is necessary to address a public health emergency. 

Full Text of the Proposed Amendments
To view a copy of the proposed amendments, click here. Amendments that were proposed on June 12, 2017 are displayed in RED. Amendments that were proposed on January 27, 2023 are displayed in BLUE.

The College will notify opticians when the amendments come into effect.

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