Changes to the Professional Misconduct 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 Professional Misconduct Regulation is a regulation under the Opticianry Act, 1991 that, together with the RHPA, defines acts of professional misconduct for opticians.

On December 18, 2015, following extensive stakeholder consultation, the College of Opticians of Ontario submitted a proposal to the Ontario Ministry of Health to make changes to the Professional Misconduct Regulation. These changes will only come into effect if and when they are approved by the Ontario Government.

The proposed changes include amendments and clarifications to certain existing acts of professional misconduct, and the addition of various new acts, including:

  • Permitting, counselling or assisting a person who is not a member to hold himself or herself out as a member of the profession
  • Failing to advise a patient or the patient’s authorized representative to consult another member of a health profession within the meaning of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, where the member knows or ought to know that the patient requires a service that the member does not have the knowledge, skills or judgment to offer or is beyond his or her scope of practice.
  • Failing to identify himself or herself by name and certificate or registration number when requested by a person with whom the member comes into contact in the course of practising the profession.
  • Identifying oneself to a patient as a person who is qualified to practise as a member of a health profession other than opticianry, unless lawfully entitled to do so in Ontario under the legislation governing that profession.
  • Counselling or assisting in the submission of false or misleading accounts or charges to patients or in respect of their care.
  • Failing to advise a patient or the patient’s authorized representative of the amount to be charged for a service or product before providing, ordering or manufacturing it.
  • Offering, conferring, requesting or receiving a benefit in relation to the referral of a patient.
  • Improperly influencing, interfering with or attempting to improperly influence or interfere with another health care provider from properly exercising his or her professional judgment.
  • Failing to attend an oral caution of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee or an oral reprimand of the Discipline Committee.
  • Failing to comply with an order or direction of a Committee or panel of a Committee of the College
  • Failing to abide by a written undertaking given by the member to the College or by an agreement entered into by the member with the College.
  • Engaging in conduct that would reasonably be regarded by members as conduct unbecoming an optician.
  • Providing or attempting to provide services or treatment that the member knows or ought to know to be beyond the member’s knowledge, skill or judgment.  

To view a copy of the proposed amendments, click here

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

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