Request for Proposals

Quality Assurance Program Review


The College of Optometrists of Ontario (College) is inviting organizations and/or individual professionals to submit proposals to conduct a complete review of the College’s Quality Assurance (QA) program to determine whether it is in line with the mandate, goals and objectives of the College and to assist the College in the development of new tools/update existing tools to align with best practices.

Who We Are

Optometry has been a regulated profession in Ontario since 1919. The College of Optometrists of Ontario is the self-regulatory body responsible for registering (licensing) and governing optometrists in Ontario, with an overarching mandate of protecting and serving the public interest. The College’s authority and limitations of its powers can be found in legislation: the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 and the Optometry Act, 1991.

The College’s Vision: The best eye health and vision for everyone in Ontario, through excellence in optometric care.

The College’s Mission: To serve the public by regulating Ontario’s optometrists. The College uses its authority to guide the profession in the delivery of safe, ethical, progressive, and quality eye care at the highest standards.


Under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, all colleges must:

  • develop, establish and maintain programs and standards of practice to assure the quality of practice of the profession; and
  • develop, establish and maintain standards of knowledge and skill and programs to promote continuing evaluation, competence and improvement among the members.

Per the legislation, QA programs of all health regulatory colleges must include:

1. Continuing education or professional development designed to:

a. Promote continuing competency and continuing quality improvement among the members;

b. Addresses changes in practice environment; and

c. Incorporates standards of practice, advances in technology, changes made to entry to practice competencies and other relevant issues in the discretion of the Council;

2. Self, peer and practice assessment;

3. Mechanism for the College to monitor registrant’s participation in, and compliance with, the quality programs.

The expectation is that optometrists in Ontario are competent professionals who continually upgrade their knowledge and skills to meet the demands of changing practice environments and patients’ needs.

The College’s QA program is made up of and required to have the following six components:

  • Mandatory Continuing Education component;
  • Assessment component to evaluate a member’s clinical ability;
  • Evaluation component to assist a member in correcting any deficiencies in the member’s practice or clinical ability;
  • Remedial component to assist a member in correcting any deficiencies in the member’s practice or clinical ability;
  • Component to assist in appraising the practice or evaluating the clinical ability of a member by the Registrar; and
  • Component to obtain information from members to assist the Committee in carrying out the program’s objectives.

A more detailed description of each component is available on the College website.

The College Council determined that an independent evaluation of the QA program was required, and a subcommittee has been struck to pursue this project.

Apart from the evaluation, the goals of this project for the QA program also include:

1. Development of a self-assessment and continuing professional development (CPD) component.

The majority of health profession regulators in Ontario have adopted the use of a CPD approach which requires members to complete self-assessments on an ongoing basis. CPD is a cyclical process (with each CPD cycle varying in length from 1 to 5 years) whereby the individual professional completes:

(i) self-assessment to self-identify learning needs;

(ii) use findings from self-assessment to guide the development of a learning plan and to select appropriate CE activities;

(iii) implement the learning plan; and

(iv) reflect on/evaluate the success/outcomes of the learning plan.

2. Increase engagement of members in the QA program.

The QA program is assistive to members of the profession. As such, the program should be more focused on supporting and offering members opportunities to be engaged in and continually improve their knowledge and skills, patient outcomes, and practice.

Expected Deliverables

1. Determine if the current QA program (peer-conducted practice assessment, self-assessment, and continuing education) meets the requirements of the RHPA;

2. Determine if the current QA program aligns with the goals and objectives of the College in ensuring competency, promoting accountability, and assisting members to enhance their patient care and management;

3. Identify individual components of the QA program that are successful and effective;

4. Identify and provide recommendations to address areas needing improvements;

5. Assist in the development of new QA processes which encourage best practices; and

6. Budgeting for the cost of administering a revised QA program.

Evaluation of Proposals

Proposals will be evaluated in accordance with the following evaluation criteria.

1. Work plan (50%)

  • Understanding of service
  • Merits of development strategy
  • Understanding of challenges and feasibility of proposed solutions

2. Qualifications of applicant (40%)

  • Understanding of issues
  • Breadth and depth of relevant experience
  • Experience working with diverse stakeholders
  • References

3. Costs (10%)

  • Costs realistic for each component of work plan

Who Will Be Selecting the Consultant

The Quality Assurance Subcommittee (QA S-C) will select the consultant. The Quality Assurance Subcommittee was struck by Council; their mandate includes undertaking an independent evaluation of the College’s QA program.

Proposal Submission Format

To facilitate the RFP review process, proposals must include an executive summary, a contact page, a realistic commencement date for consultation and be a maximum of 15 pages excluding appendices.

The following table of contents should be used:

  • Executive summary
  • Contact information
  • Introduction
  • Description of the consultant’s qualifications (resumé to be included in an appendix)
  • Proposed work plan including how the College would be involved to ensure that it has the necessary oversight
  • Deliverables and timelines
  • Anticipated challenges and solutions
  • Costs (budget to be included in an appendix) with a detailed breakdown

Proposals should be succinct yet comprehensive and outline:

  • How the work will be undertaken.
  • Estimates of the time required for each part of the project.
  • Costs associated with each part of the project.
  • The qualifications of the project lead.
  • Identification of individuals involved.
  • Previous projects of a similar nature.
  • References.

Terms and Conditions

1. All submitted proposals will become the property of the College of Optometrists of Ontario and will not be returned.

2. Bids will be accepted from organizations and individual professionals.

3. All information provided by or obtained from the College in any form in connection with this RFP either before or after the issuance of this RFP:

a. is the sole property of the College and must be treated as confidential;

b. is not to be used for any purpose other than replying to this RFP and the performance of any subsequent contract;

c. must not be disclosed without prior written authorization from the College; and

d. shall be returned by the proponents to the College immediately upon the request of the College.

4. All proposals must include an agreement on the confidentiality of the work to be conducted.

5. All proposals must include a statement that the individuals involved in providing services in the proposals are free from any conflict of interest that may compromise the integrity of the services to be provided.

6. All proposals must explain how English and French-speaking registrants will be provided for under any new recommendations.

7. The College and its advisors make no representation, warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy of the information contained in this RFP or issued by way of addenda. Any quantities shown or data contained in this RFP or provided by way of addenda are estimates only and are for the sole purpose of indicating to proponents the general size of the work.

8. The proponent shall bear all costs associated with or incurred in the preparation and presentation of its proposal including, if applicable, costs incurred for interviews or demonstrations.

9. All of the provisions of this RFP are deemed to be accepted by each proponent and incorporated into each proponent’s proposal.

10. The College shall have the right to rescind any contract awarded to a proponent if the College determines that the proponent submitted any inaccurate or incomplete information to the College. This right shall be in addition to any other remedies the College may have in law or in equity.

11. The College reserves the right to:

a. make public the names of any or all proponents;

b. request written clarification from any proponent and incorporate a proponent’s response into the proponent’s proposal;

c. assess a proponent’s proposal on the basis of:

i. a financial analysis determining the actual cost of the proposal when considering factors including transition costs arising from the replacement of existing goods, services, practices, methodologies and infrastructure (howsoever originally established);

ii. information provided by references;

iii. the proponent’s past performance on previous contracts;

iv. any information provided by a proponent in relation to this RFP process; or

v. other relevant information that arises during this RFP process;

d. waive formalities and accept proposals which substantially comply with the requirements of this RFP;

e. verify with any proponent or with a third party any information set out in a proposal;

f. check references other than those provided by any proponent;

g. solely determine whether any situation or circumstance constitutes a conflict of interest;

h. disqualify any proponent and/or rescind any contract awarded to a proponent whose proposal contains misrepresentations or any other inaccurate or misleading information;

i. disqualify any proponent or the proposal of any proponent who has engaged in conduct prohibited by this RFP;

j. make changes, including substantial changes, to this RFP, by way of addenda;

k. select any proponent other than the proponent whose proposal reflects the lowest cost to the College.

l. cancel this RFP process at any stage;

m. cancel this RFP process at any stage and issue a new RFP for the same or similar deliverables;

n. negotiate with any or all proponents;

o. accept any proposal in whole or in part; or

p. reject any or all proposals.

These reserved rights are in addition to any other express rights or any other rights which may be implied in the circumstances.

The College shall not be liable for any expenses, costs, losses or any direct or indirect damages incurred or suffered by any proponent or any third party resulting from the College exercising any of its express or implied rights under this RFP.

12. By submitting its proposal, the proponent authorizes the collection by the College of the information set out under (e) and (f) in the manner contemplated in those subparagraphs.

Please direct any questions to Mr. Justin Rafton, Policy Analyst, via email only.

The closing date for all proposals is 12:00 noon, Friday, May 18, 2018. The College reserves the right to extend this closing date. All proposals are to be addressed to the attention of Mr. Justin Rafton, via email only.


For a list of FAQs, please visit this page.


Previous RFPs

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The College of Optometrists of Ontario (“College”) is inviting proposals from organizations interested in the development and implementation of an online jurisprudence seminar and examination for applicants for registration as optometrists in Ontario.

This Request for Proposals (RFP) is an invitation to organizations to submit proposals. In this RFP, the organization submitting the proposal is the “respondent.”

Click here to read the full RFP. (PDF)

Click here to read a list of questions and answers for the RFP.

Please note: the RFP for an Alternate Canadian Entry-to-Practice Examination is now closed.

Alternate Canadian Entry-to-Practice Examination


The College of Optometrists of Ontario (“College”) is inviting proposals from organizations interested in the development and implementation of an alternate Canadian examination to assess entry-level knowledge, skills and judgment of optometric professionals seeking registration to practise optometry in Canada. The results of assessments will be used by the College to determine applicants’ eligibility to proceed in the registration process.

This Request for Proposals (RFP) is an invitation to organizations to submit proposals. In this RFP, the organization(s) submitting the proposal is the “respondent.”

Click here to read the full RFP. (PDF)

Please note: the RFP for an Alternate Canadian Entry-to-Practice Examination is now closed.