The College of Opticians of Ontario exists to protect the public as mandated by the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991.
Opticianry in Ontario is a self-governing profession. This regulatory model enables government to have some control over the services provided by a profession without having to maintain the specific expertise required to regulate a profession directly.
The College of Opticians of Ontario is the registering and regulating body for opticianry in Ontario. The College regulates the practice of opticianry and the use of the title Optician and its variants and abbreviations. Only current members of the College can use the title Registered Optician (RO). Registrants of the College sometimes use the variants Licensed Optician (LO) or Dispensing Optician.
Opticians provide optical dispensing services, including the provision, fitting and adjustment of subnormal vision devices, contact lenses and eyeglasses, in accordance with the College’s Standards of Practice. Additionally, a small number of Ontario opticians hold the designation of Refracting Optician and are permitted to refract in accordance with the College’s Standards of Practice for refraction.
The College was formed in 1991 by regulatory statute, when the Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers became formalized as the College of Opticians of Ontario following the Opticianry Act 1991.
The role of the College of Opticians of Ontario is set out in the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991. The Act states:
"It is the duty of the Minister to ensure that the health professions are regulated and co-ordinated in the public interest, that appropriate standards of practise are developed and maintained and that individuals have access to services provided by the health professions of their choice and that they are treated with sensitivity and respect in their dealings with health professionals, the Colleges and the Board." - Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, S.O. 1991, c. 18, s. 3
The duties of the College include:
To protect the public by regulating Ontario opticians, ensuring a high Standard of Practise and professionalism is maintained.
To ensure the highest standard of vision care for all Ontarians.