Registration FAQ

General

Approximately how long will the whole registration process take?

Applications for registration are open for a maximum of two years from the date they are received by the College. Most applicants are able to complete the application process and become registered with the College in less than one year.

How long is my application for registration valid?

Applications for registration are valid for a maximum of two years (24 months) from the date the application is received by the College. The two-year application period automatically ends when you have successfully completed the requirements for registration. The two-year timeline is provided only to give applicants adequate time to complete the registration requirements, not to allow successful applicants to delay the date they register. It is important to note that, regardless of the two-year application period, the Ontario Optometric Jurisprudence Examination must be successfully completed within 12 months of applying for registration.

Who can I ask to notarize my documents? Is a signature enough on the back of my photograph?

A notarized copy of a document or photograph is one that has been reviewed by a Notary Public who has stamped the copy or photograph with his/her seal and then signed and dated it. A notarized copy is a legal copy of your original document.

When should I submit my Certificate of Standing/letter of good standing?

A Certificate of Standing/letter of good standing may be submitted at any time during the application process, unless the applicant is applying under labour mobility provisions, in which case it must be submitted either with the application or shortly thereafter. However, it must be dated within six months of the applicant becoming registered. If you take more than six months to become registered after submitting a Certificate of Standing/letter of good standing, an updated Certificate of Standing/letter of good standing will be required to complete your application.

Is it possible to have my "good standing" status checked online by the College?

No. A Certificate of Standing/letter of good standing must be sent to the College directly from the issuing body (the regulator) and must be dated no more than six months before your Certificate of Registration is issued and activated.

When should I apply for my OHIP billing number?

You may apply for your billing number after your Certificate of Registration is issued and activated.

What happens if the requirements for registration change after I've submitted my application?

If the Registration Committee implements a new policy that affects applicants for registration, an individual who has already submitted an application for registration will be informed of the change and would generally be permitted to complete their application under the policies that were in effect at the time their application was submitted, or under the new policies, whichever is least onerous. However, if there is a change to the Registration Regulation that affects applicants for registration, it will apply to all applicants regardless when they submitted their application form.

What type of ACOE programs are accepted by the College?

For applicants who graduated from optometry programs accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE), the onus is on the applicant to ensure that the ACOE program is a fully accredited optometry program by contacting ACOE directly. Programs with a preliminary or conditional accreditation are not acceptable for registration with the College.

ONTARIO OPTOMETRIC JURISPRUDENCE EXAM

How do I register for the Ontario Optometric Jurisprudence exam?

Submit a completed Application for a Certificate of Registration, all required documents and a cheque for the application fee made payable to the College of Optometrists of Ontario. You will be registered for the immediate next administration of the Jurisprudence Exam unless you contact the College and let us know that you would like to sit at a later administration.

Where and how often is the Ontario Optometric Jurisprudence exam administered?

The exam is administered six times annually. Two administrations, one in the spring and one in the fall, are accompanied by a one-day seminar. The other four administrations are offered without the seminar. Information regarding the date and location for each administration of the Ontario Optometric Jurisprudence exam are located on the College website calendar.

Do I have to attend the Ontario Optometric Jurisprudence seminar?

Attendance at the seminar is recommended but not required.

How long does it take to get the Ontario Optometric Jurisprudence exam results?

Jurisprudence results are reported within 4 weeks of each exam administration. Results are reported on a pass/fail basis.

What happens if I fail the Ontario Optometric Jurisprudence exam?

If you fail the exam, you must arrange to take it again at another administration and pay the applicable fee. It is a requirement of registration that an applicant successfully complete the Jurisprudence examination within one year (12 months) of applying for registration. If you do not pass the exam within this timeframe you may submit a new application for registration and pay the applicable fee.

Can I take the Ontario Optometric Jurisprudence exam before I graduate from my optometry program?

The College will accept an application before you graduate from an approved program provided you include a letter from the institution confirming your expected graduation date. Once you have graduated, you must provide the College with a notarized copy of your degree certificate.

I passed Ontario Optometric Jurisprudence exam three years ago but did not get registered with the College, do I have to take it again?

Yes. An applicant must successfully complete the Ontario Optometric Jurisprudence exam within one year (12 months) of applying for registration.

The CEO-ECO exam (formerly CACO) schedule published by the Canadian Examiners in Optometry shows that they are offering a jurisprudence exam. Am I required to take that exam?

No. The jurisprudence exam shown on the CEO-ECO exam schedule is not the Ontario Optometric Jurisprudence Exam. You should only take the jurisprudence exam administered by the College of Optometrists of Ontario.

CPIC Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check

What is a CPIC Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check?

The CPIC Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check is a Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) process that verifies whether an individual has a criminal record, as well as any record suspensions (formerly pardons) for sexual offences and local police records for information relevant to the VS check. The information that can be legally disclosed is provided to the applicant.

Why do I have to get a CPIC Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check?

One of the requirements of registration as an optometrist in Ontario is that the applicant must not have been found guilty in relation to a criminal offence in any jurisdiction, or an offence under the Criminal Code (Canada), the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Canada) and the Food and Drugs Act (Canada).

To provide evidence that an applicant has met this requirement, each applicant must provide a CPIC Vulnerable Sector (VS) check as part of the registration process from the respective jurisdiction in Canada in addition to the jurisdiction (s) in which they practised in the past. This process verifies whether an individual has a criminal record, as well as any record suspensions for sexual offences and local police records for information relevant to the VS check. The information that can be legally disclosed is provided to the applicant. The results of a CPIC VS check must be dated within six months of the applicant becoming registered. If the applicant does not become registered within six months of the date the CPIC VS check results were issued by the police, the applicant will be required to submit an updated CPIC VS check.

Where do I go to get the CPIC Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check done? How much will it cost and how long will it take?

Contact your local police department or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police regarding the process and fees involved in obtaining a CPIC Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check.

Do I need to submit my fingerprints for the CPIC Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check?

Please check with your local police department or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police regarding the submission of fingerprints.

Can I get a CPIC Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check if my name has changed?

Yes. The CPIC Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check must be requested under your current name as well as any former or maiden names.

How recent should the CPIC Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check be?

The results of the CPIC Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check must be dated no earlier than 6 months before the date you become registered. For example, if you complete all of the requirements for registration on September 1, 2015, the results of your CPIC Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check must be dated on or after March 1, 2015. If you provide a CPIC Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check and then take longer than 6 months to complete the other requirements for registration, you will be required to submit an updated CPIC Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check to complete your application for registration.

How do I submit the results of the CPIC Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check?

The results of the CPIC Vulnerable Sector (VS) Check must be submitted to the College directly from the police or in the sealed envelope provided to you by the police.