No. The College is not able to act on anonymous complaints. The optician, intern optician or student optician who is the subject of the complaint must be in a position to respond fully to the allegation(s).
No. The College is prohibited from making any information regarding ongoing complaint investigations public knowledge. Complaints investigations are a confidential process, only the complainant and the member against whom the complaint was made will receive information.
The Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) is composed of both opticians and non-opticians. This committee will investigate, review and make a decision based on the complaint received.
No. The ICRC’s decision and reasons are communicated only to the complainant and to the optician, intern optician or student optician who is the subject of the complaint.
Information will only be made available to the public on the College’s Public Register under the following circumstances:
No. Under Section 36(3) of the Regulated Health Professions Act, no report or decision relating to a proceeding under that act or any other health professions act is admissible in a civil proceeding.
No. This can only be done through a civil proceeding.
While the College can investigate inappropriate business practices, including charging excessive fees, the College does not have the legal authority to order monetary compensation.
Yes. Under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA), a patient has a right of access to his or her own personal health information. As a result, opticians have a corresponding obligation to provide access to this information under PHIPA. The physical record of a patient’s personal health information belongs to the optician, but the personal health information contained within the file belongs to the patient.
Yes. Opticians may charge a fee for providing a patient with access to their personal health information if the optician first provides an estimate of the fee to the patient. The fee must not exceed the optician’s reasonable cost recovery.
The College offers the following FAQ to assist individuals who employ opticians, or who own and/or operate an eyewear store or dispensary, or who may be considering doing so:
Only opticians, optometrists and medical doctors are legally authorized to dispense prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses or subnormal vision devises in Ontario.
No, anyone can own or operate a store or dispensary that sells eyewear.
Yes, however it is important to be aware that in order to DISPENSE prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, the legislation requires that an optician, optometrist or medical doctor (ophthalmologist) be involved. You are not precluded from selling eyeglass frames or non-prescription eyewear (for example, non-prescription sunglasses) without the involvement of an authorized regulated health professional.
The College maintains a public register that provides information regarding all registrants of the College of Opticians of Ontario. The public register indicates whether a registrant is entitled to practice in Ontario, whether there are any terms, conditions, or limitations on the registrant's certificate of registration, and whether the registrant is subject to any allegations or previous findings of professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity. Click here to access the College's Public Register.
All individuals who employ opticians or operate an eyewear-related business, or who intend to do so, should contact a qualified legal professional for advice regarding their legal duties and obligations. The following list of obligations is not exhaustive and is intended for information purposes only: