Council & Committees

The College Council and Committees are responsible for the regulation of the profession with the support of College staff. Council is responsible for setting policies in the public interest that are consistent with the legislation. The Committees are responsible for ensuring those policies are implemented and enforced. College Committees are accountable to Council and each Committee presents a report of their activities at every Council meeting.

The College Council

Council serves as the board of directors of the College. Council members make decisions and establish policies in the public interest. They help ensure members continue to provide safe, ethical and high quality care to patients and maintain their ongoing trust. To enhance our accountability, Council meetings are open to the public. Information about upcoming Council meetings can be found in our online Calendar of Events.

The Optometry Act sets out the composition of the College Council. Some flexibility is available such that Council can consist of 16 to 18 members. Eight or nine Council members are optometrists (professional members) elected by their peers through regional elections. Seven or eight Council members are individuals (public members) appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council (Provincial Cabinet) to bring the public perspective to Council discussions. One Council member is appointed from among the faculty at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry. In addition to serving on Council, every Council member is appointed to at least one statutory committee.

View Council Members

College Committees

Much of the work of the College is conducted by committees that are accountable to the Council.

Statutory Committees:
Executive Committee
Registration Committee
Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee
Quality Assurance Committee
Discipline Committee
Patient Relations Committee
Fitness to Practise Committee
QAC – Clinical Practice Panel

The Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) requires Colleges to establish seven statutory committees. In addition, the College can and does establish non-statutory committees to help meet the mission and objects of the College. The terms of reference and composition of these non-statutory committees is determined by Council.

In addition to Council members (both professional and public members), most committees also have non-Council member optometrists appointed to serve on them. All professional committee members bring to committee discussions their knowledge of the optometric profession and the settings in which it is practised. Public Council members appointed to a committee bring a public perspective to committee discussions.

All committee members participate as full voting members of their committees and are expected to make decisions that reflect the College’s regulatory mandate to protect the public interest.

Expectations of Council and Committee Members

Council and committee members are expected to:

Understand and fulfill their role:

  • demonstrate accountability through decision-making in the public interest;
  • understand the division of roles and responsibilities of the Council or committee and staff;
  • identify and address conflict of interest situations;
  • recognize and respect confidential information obtained in the course of College activities as required by Section 36 of the RHPA;
  • maintain constructive, collaborative and mutually respectful relations with Councillors, committee members and staff; and
  • maintain good relationships with members, healthcare organizations, educational groups and other stakeholders.

Possess the necessary knowledge:

  • acquire and apply knowledge of Council and committee policies and procedures including relevant legislation, College values and strategic direction;
  • maintain knowledge of College functions and issues facing Council or the committees on which they participate;
  • review all material in advance of Council and committee meetings;
  • identify information needed to enhance Council and committee discussions and decision-making;
  • communicate concerns to Council or the committees on which they participate;
  • communicate Council or committee decisions and rationale to individuals and groups as requested by the College.

Effectively participate in decision-making

  • arrange their personal schedule to allow attendance at meetings;
  • contribute constructively to Council and committee discussions and decision-making;
  • maintain positive working relationships with Councillors, committee members, and College staff;
  • identify and attempt to resolve concerns with the committee chairpersons;
  • if the committee chairperson is unable to resolve the concern, address the concern to the College President;
  • contribute to decision-making by identifying to the Chair relevant expertise or contacts;
  • respect the specialized knowledge and expertise of other Council members, committee members and staff; and
  • identify issues to be added to the Council or committee’s agenda in a timely and appropriate manner.