Quality Assurance FAQ

Below are answers to common questions related to the College's Quality Assurance (QA) Program.

If your question is not answered here, please feel welcome to contact the Professional Practice department by email to qa@collegeofopticians.ca or by phone to 416-368-3616 ext. 204/205.

 

GENERAL

Must my Professional Portfolio be completed prior to renewing my registration?

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While registration renewal and the Professional Portfolio have the same due date, they are not tied together. You are able to renew your registration prior to your Professional Portfolio being complete however, both must be completed by December 31st. 

It is important to note that approval of your renewal does not indicate that your Professional Portfolio requirements have been met.


Where can I find accredited Continuing Education activities?

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Please click here to be directed to the page where you can view the full list of activities accredited by the COO by clicking the large green button displaying “List of COO Accredited Activities”.


Where can I find a list of Continuing Education providers in Ontario?

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Please click here to be directed to the page where you can download this list by clicking the large green button displaying “List of Continuing Education Providers”.


I am a newly registered optician who registered partway through the year. Am I exempt from the program?

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No. You are still required to complete the Quality Assurance (QA) Competency Enhancement tools (Professional Portfolio – Self-assessment, Professional Development (CE hours), and Jurisprudence Chapter One: Professional Boundaries and Sexual Abuse Prevention).

Depending on the date you were registered, you may not have to complete all 16 CE hours in your first year of registration. Please refer to the prorated CE requirements below to determine how many CE hours you are required to complete in your first year of registration. 

Date Registered Accredited CE Required Non-accredited CE Required
January 1 - March 31 12 hours (100%) - 4 EG, 4 CL, 4 PG 4 hours (100%)
April 1 - June 30 9 hours (75%) - 3 EG, 3 CL, 3 PG 3 hours (75%)
July 1 - September 30 6 hours (50%) - 2 EG, 2 CL, 2 PG 2 hours (50%)
October 1 - December 31 3 hours (25%) - 1 EG, 1 CL, 1 PG 1 hour (25%)

This schedule applies to the first calendar year of registration only. Starting in your second year of registration, you will be required to complete all 16 hours of continuing education.

In addition, newly registered opticians are required to complete Jurisprudence Chapter One: Professional Boundaries and Sexual Abuse Prevention within 12 months of registration and then once every 3 years. 


I have just re-instated my registration as a Registered Optician (RO); am I exempt from the program?

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No. You are still required to complete the QA Competency Enhancement tools (Professional Portfolio – Self-assessment, Professional Development (CE hours), and Jurisprudence Chapter One: Professional Boundaries and Sexual Abuse Prevention). You are required to complete these tools within your first calendar year of reinstatement, regardless of when in the year you reinstated.


I am nearing retirement; can I be exempt from the program?

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No. Without exception, all opticians must comply with the QA Program. The College must be able to assure the public that all registered opticians are competent and engage in ongoing learning and professional development. 


I am planning to go on a leave of absence; am I exempt from QA requirements and completing a Portfolio?

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No. All opticians who are registered with the College, practicing or not, must complete the full Professional Portfolio.


I am planning to go on parental leave; am I exempt from QA requirements and completing a Portfolio?

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No. All opticians who are registered with the College, practicing or not, must complete the full Professional Portfolio.


What is a Deficient Portfolio Fee and why have I been charged with it?

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A deficient portfolio fee is associated with a professional portfolio which is deficient accredited hours. This fee is in place to accommodate for the additional time and resources used to assess the professional portfolio. This fee must be paid in full within 30 days of billing.


What happens if I do not complete my Professional Portfolio by December 31?

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Registrants who have not completed all components of their Professional Portfolio by December 31, will be charged a late fee of $50.00 +HST.


What happens if my portfolio is assessed by the Quality Assurance Committee?

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The QA Committee reviews incomplete portfolios. If you have not completed all the required components of your Professional Portfolio, the QA Committee will determine what remediation you will need to complete. In addition, if you submit a Professional Portfolio which is deficient in accredited hours, there will be a deficiency fee of $100 +HST applied. 


 

PROFESSIONAL PORTFOLIO

Am I required to complete a Professional Portfolio every year?

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Yes. All registered opticians (those who have paid their registration fee and hold a certificate of registration with the College) must complete a Professional Portfolio annually. 


What are the Professional Portfolio requirements? 

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•    Competency Self-Assessment
•    Professional Development including accredited and non-accredited continuing education activities
•    Jurisprudence Chapter One: Professional Boundaries and Sexual Abuse Prevention (within 12 months of intial registration and then once every 3 years)


Am I required to do complete the Self-Assessment every year?

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Yes. The self-assessment is an annual requirement of the professional portfolio and must be completed directly online under the Quality Assurance section of your Registrant Portal. 


How many CE hours must I complete?

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The annual continuing education requirements are:
•    4 accredited Eyeglass (EG) hours
•    4 accredited Contact Lens (CL) hours
•    4 accredited Professional Growth (PG) hours
•    4 non-accredited, self-directed hours

NOTE: Opticians with refracting status are required to complete an additional 2 accredited hours pertaining to refraction (RF).


Can I use expired accredited Continuing Education hours? 

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Expired accredited CE activities are those that are beyond the accreditation period and cannot be used to fulfill your accredited hour categories; however, you can use the time spend on each activity towards your self-directed hours.


What is the difference between Professional Growth (PG) hours and self-directed hours?

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Accredited continuing education activities are those that have been reviewed by the QA Committee to ensure that the content is optician-specific and containing an acceptable amount of eyeglass, contact lens, refracting, or professional growth content. PG is one of the 3 accredited categories (the others being EG and CL), whereas self-directed hours are non-accredited. You can use excess accredited hours towards your self-directed category, but cannot use excess self-directed hours towards the accredited PG category.


What counts as self-directed hours?

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Self-directed hours are unaccredited CE activities that can be described as any activity that supports learning, reinforces current practice, and/or provides new knowledge and/or skill. Wehn reporting your non-accredited, self-directed hours, you must indicate the resource used.

For examples, please review page 5-6 in the Professional Portfolio Guide.


Can accredited eyeglass or contact lens hours be used as professional growth hours?

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No, accredited hours can only be used in the category in which they are accredited. 


Can I use excess accredited CE hours towards my self-directed hours?

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Yes. Any of your excess accredited hours in EG, CL or RF may be used towards deficient non-accredited/self-directed hours.  You must complete all the required information under the “Non-Accredited, Self-Directed" tab.


Am I required to complete hours specific to refraction?

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Only opticians with refraction designation are required to complete 2 additional CE hours specific to refraction.


 

REGISTRANT PORTAL

What is my user ID?

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Your user ID is unique to you. If you have forgotten your unique ID, please click on the “forgot username” link. Please do not try to guess your login information as the system will lock you out after several failed attempts.


Am I required to complete my Professional Portfolio online in the Registrant Portal?

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Yes, registrants must complete all components (including uploading completion certificates for accredited acitivities) of their Professional Portfolio online thorugh the Registrant Portal by December 31st.


How do I upload certificates?

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Complete instructions on how to report your accredited hours and upload your Certificates of Completion are available here. You will need to first report your accredited courses (“Add New Course”) before uploading/attaching the certificate as proof.


What type of file can I upload?

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PDF, JPEG, .DOC, .DOCX are all acceptable file types; however, picture files may be too large to attach (max file size is 980kbs). If you receive an error message about your file being too large to upload, we recommend obtaining the PDF copy of the certificate from the CE Provider.


Can I email or fax my completion certificates?

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No. Your completion certificates must be uploaded to the Quality Assurance section of your Registrant Portal. If you are having difficulty completing this, there are tutorials and instructions here on our website. If you continue to have difficulty, please contact the Professional Practice department at 416-368-3616 or 1-800-990-9793 ext. 204/205 or email qa@collegeofopticians.ca. 


What if I am having difficulty uploading certificates?

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There are tutorials and instructions here on our website. If you continue to have difficulty, please e-mail or call the Professional Practice and Quality Assurance department at 416-368-3616 or 1-800-990-9793 ext. 204/205 or email qa@collegeofopticians.ca


Do I need a certificate of completion for non-accredited/self-directed hours?

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No. This is a self-initiated study that enhances the optician’s learning. You are required to describe how this learning activity has improved your skills and/or knowledge and the quality of care in your practice when you complete your Professional Portfolio in the Registrant Portfolio.

You must record the activity and/or resource material used for each activity.


Can you search a continuing education (CE) activity by name?

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Accredited CE activities can be searched by name or accreditation number. There is a complete list of accredited activities located on our website here.


What if I cannot locate a CE activity?

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Often the reason you are not seeing the activity is that it may be expired (beyond the accreditation period) or not accredited. Please contact the provider of the activity.


Can I change the category of an activity once it has been entered?

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Yes. If an activity has been accredited in multiple categories (e.g., EG/CL/RF) then you may choose any of these categories from the category drop-down menu (select the “Upload Certificate/Update Category” button to change the category of a course you’ve already reported). If you have an issue changing the CE category or,  have made an error when entering information, please contact the QA department by phone 416-368-3616 ext 204 or by email to qa@collegeofopticians.ca.   


What if I am having technical issues with the Registrant Portal?

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Please email qa@collegeofopticians.ca with a brief descripton of the issue you are experiencing. 


 

JURISPRUDENCE

How often must Jurisprudence be completed?

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Jurisprudence Chapter One: Professional Boundaries and Sexual Abuse Prevention must be completed within 12 months of registration and then once every 3 years. The remaining chapters are optional and can be completed once every 3 years. All jurisprudence chapters are accredited as Professional Growth activities.


How do I log into Jurisprudence?

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You access the jurisprudence tool directly from the Registrant Portal.  Click on the "Jurisprudence" tab and then select "Go to Jurisprudence Tool".


 

 

 


 


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