The College of Opticians of Ontario regulates the practice of opticianry to protect the public interest. While the College does not regulate businesses or eyewear dispensaries, it nevertheless serves an important role in ensuring that the dispensing of prescription eyewear is carried out in accordance with the Regulated Health Professions Act, the Opticianry Act, and related legislation and regulations.
Under Ontario law, only a registered member of the College of Opticians of Ontario, the College of Optometrists of Ontario, or the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is authorized to dispense prescription eyewear, contact lenses, or subnormal vision devices (Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, s. 27(2)(9)).
Individuals who employ opticians or who own or operate a business that sells or dispenses eyewear must familiarize themselves with their legal obligations under the Regulated Health Professions Act, the Opticianry Act, the Personal Health Information Protection Act, and all related legislation and regulations. Please visit the Legislation page to review.
All individuals who employ opticians or operate an eyewear-related business, should contact a qualified legal professional for advice regarding their legal obligations.
All regulated health professionals in Ontario, including opticians, are required by law to report certain information to the appropriate agency, whether it be the College of Opticians of Ontario, another health regulatory college, or another agency or regulator. See below for a list of the common types of mandatory and self-reports that opticians must make. The list is not exhaustive and should not be considered legal advice.
Many of these reporting obligations also apply to employers and persons or entities that operate facilities where regulated health professionals work. If you are an optician that owns or operates a business or employs other health professionals, you may have more than one reporting obligation with respect to the same information. For more information about reporting obligations for employers and business owners/facility operators click here.
The purpose of mandatory and self-reports is to ensure that the College has the information it needs to fulfill its public protection mandate and ensure that opticians are practicing safely. The College reviews every report that it receives and assesses what steps should be taken. This may include initiating a formal investigation where appropriate.
The failure by an optician to make a mandatory or self-report may result in serious fines and/or disciplinary action by the College.
If you have a concern that does not fall within any of the reporting obligations listed below, you may still report it to the College or make a complaint. Click here to learn more about making a complaint, or contact the College.