One way in which the College works to protect the public is by investigating complaints that are made against its registrants; opticians, intern opticians and student opticians.
Each step of investigating a complaint is done in accordance with the legislation. The process is intended to be fair to both the person who makes the complaint (the “complainant”) and the optician, intern optician or student optician who is the subject of the complaint.
If you have a concern regarding the conduct or care you have received, this guide will provide useful information about the complaints process.
Anyone can make a formal complaint against a registrant of the College of Opticians of Ontario.
A formal complaint can be filed with the College in writing or through a recording (audio or visual). Complaints cannot be made over the phone and cannot be anonymous. You can send your complaint by email using the Complaints Form or if you require a paper copy, please contact the College at 416-368-3616 ext 213.
Please provide the College with as much information as possible, including:
While there is no time limit you are encouraged to make the complaint as soon as possible so the College may follow up and investigate the matter effectively.
Once the complaint is received:
The complaint will be investigated by the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee of the College (ICRC). College staff may assist the ICRC to gather information about the issues raised in the complaint. This may involve:
The ICRC is composed of both opticians and non-opticians. College staff are not members of the ICRC, nor are they involved in any way with the decision making.
The ICRC will screen complaints and may request:
The ICRC uses a risk-based approach to guide their decision-making process in each investigation. Learn more about the Risk Assessment Framework.
Depending on the results of the investigation, the ICRC can make a range of decisions with respect to the optician who is the subject of the complaint. These decisions can include:
The complainant and the subject of the complaint will receive a copy of the ICRC’s written decision. Unless the decision was to refer the matter to Discipline Committee or to the Fitness to Practice Committee for incapacity proceedings, the ICRC will also provide the parties with written reasons for its decision.
If either party is dissatisfied with the decision, they have the right to request a review by the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB), unless the matter has been referred to the Discipline Committee or the Fitness to Practice Committee. A request for review must be made within 30 days of receiving the decision.
HPARB is an independent body established by the Ontario government and is separate from the College. Please contact HPARB directly for more information about the process for reviewing an ICRC decision.