Continuing Education

The College’s Continuing Education Policy outlines the requirements that must be met by members in the current three-year continuing education cycle.

OE Tracker

Please note: OE Tracker is completely independent of the annual renewal process. If your OE Tracker hours are not up to date, this will not affect your ability to renew your membership. However, you must ensure that your hours are up to date in your OE Tracker profile by the end of the current CE cycle (December 31, 2017). 

OE Tracker is a system the College uses to capture and store continuing education data for optometrists. All members must be assigned an OE Tracker number by the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO). Using these numbers, the College can verify members’ CE hours for every three-year CE cycle.

With OE Tracker, members can:

  • Receive email notification when CE credits are uploaded into their accounts
  • Access their CE data anytime from anywhere
  • Reduce paperwork and filing with online storage of CE certificates
  • Print a CE transcript to submit for licence renewal, board certification eligibility, or credentialing renewal for hospital privileges
  • Track the CE hours they have earned and the hours they need to meet licence renewal requirements

Certain CE providers can send attendance information directly to ARBO. Members can also submit their own documents by email, fax, or by logging into OE TRACKER and clicking the “Submit Credits into OE TRACKER from CE Certificates” option.*

  • Email: arbo@arbo.org (Scanned CE certificates should be sent in PDF (preferred) or JPEG format.)
  • Fax: 1-888-703-4848 (This fax cover sheet should be filled out completely and sent along with the certificate.)

ARBO will verify the CE information and add the member’s credits to OE TRACKER. It will take 3–5 business days before the hours are reflected in the account.

*If submitting directly into OE Tracker, members will need to enter relevant course information, attach an image of the CE certificate, and indicate whether the courses were COPE or non-COPE, and category A or B. Once submitted, the credits will be reviewed and uploaded into members’ accounts. An email will be sent when the courses have been uploaded.

NEW: OE Tracker Mobile App

The OE Tracker mobile app tracks attendance at COPE-approved CE courses. Members can download the app to their iPhone or Android phone and use it to instantly send their attendance data to OE Tracker. For more information about the OE Tracker mobile app, visit the ARBO website.

Click here for more information about OE Tracker.

Distance Education

To offer improved access to continuing education provided by the College, two distance education modules have been developed. The first, Professional Boundaries, focuses on awareness of professional boundaries, how to maintain them and how to restore the doctor/patient relationship when they are crossed. The second, Professionalism and Professional Ethics, consists of an overview of professionalism and professional ethics using seven case studies.

Upon completion, members are eligible for six continuing education credit hours for each module the first time the course is completed, three continuing education credit hours for each module the second time the course is completed and one continuing education credit hour for each module the third time the course is completed.

If you want to participate in one of the home study continuing education programs, you should complete the answer sheet, available for the selected online course by accessing one of the links below, by circling the most appropriate answer, and return your completed answer sheet to the College along with your cheque (made out to the College of Optometrists of Ontario) for $101.70 for each online course ($90 + HST). Upon receipt by the College, you will be provided with additional analysis of the cases, and comments on the answers. For more information on how to complete each module, please see the answer sheet on the last page of each of the booklets below.

Other Continuing Education

From time to time, the College develops a “Road Show,” an information and continuing education session that is presented to members across the province. In addition, the College often offers a continuing education session to members in conjunction with our General Meeting each year. More information about this type of continuing education will be published in our newsletter, In Focus, and posted on our online Calendar as it becomes available.

Continuing Education and OE TRACKER FAQs

What are the CE requirements for the current CE cycle?

The current CE cycle runs from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2017. The College does not approve/accredit individual CE courses; instead, members are responsible for ensuring that their CE activities fall into the appropriate categories. A link to the current CE policy can be found here. The CE Policy outlines the requirements for what constitutes Category A and what constitutes Category B CE.

What about new registrants?

Members registered in the first year of the three-year cycle, i.e. 2015, must obtain 47 credit hours (a minimum of 34 Category A credit hours is required; the remaining 13 credit hours may be Category A or B). Members registered in the second year, i.e. 2016, of the three-year cycle must obtain 24 credit hours (a minimum of 17 Category A credit hours is required; the remaining 7 credit hours may be Category A or B). Members registered in the third year, i.e. 2017, of the three-year cycle have no requirements to obtain credit hours for the remainder of the cycle.

You may claim only CE credit hours that have been completed following your initial registration with the College. Accordingly, any CE credits that you have obtained prior to being registered with the College cannot be used to meet the requirements for the current CE cycle.

Is online CE accepted?

For the current CE cycle, all CE credits may be obtained online. However, only online CE that is COPE-accredited with an examination/quiz at the end would qualify as Category A. COPE-accredited CE is designated with an official COPE course I.D. number and an official COPE event number.

Do I get CE credit hours for completing the mandatory elearning module, “Professionalism, Ethical Decision Making and the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Patients”?

No, you will not be able to claim CE credit hours for completing the elearning module.

Can I carry over CE credits to the next CE cycle?

No, there is no carrying over of CE credits to the next CE cycle.

How do I set up my online OE TRACKER account?

Contact ARBO by phone at (866) 869-6852 to set up your online OE TRACKER account. You will need your OE TRACKER number and will need to inform ARBO that you are a member of the College of Optometrists of Ontario.

Do I have to submit ALL of my CE credit hours to OE TRACKER?

Yes, you must submit all of your CE credit hours (both Category A and B) to OE TRACKER. Please do not send your CE certificates to the College as the College will not be keeping records of members’ CE certificates.

When submitting your CE certificates to ARBO, you must indicate the number of CE credit hours and whether the CE credits qualify as Category A or B. Some CE providers send attendance information directly to ARBO. Otherwise, you must submit your own documents by:

  • Logging into OE TRACKER and clicking the “Submit Credits into OE TRACKER from CE Certificates” option.
  • Emailing to arbo@arbo.org. You can scan or take a picture of your CE certificates and email them to ARBO. The images should be sent in PDF (preferred) or JPEG format.
  • Faxing to 1-888-703-4848. You must fill out a fax cover sheet and send it along with the certificate.
  •  Downloading the OE TRACKER mobile app and using it to instantly send your attendance data. For more information about the app, visit ARBO’s website.

It will take 3–5 business days before the hours are reflected in the account.

Some CE credits are not marked as Category A or B. How do I update that?

All of the CE credits that you are using to meet your mandatory CE requirements must be marked as Category as A or B in OE TRACKER. To change or update the A and B categories, print out a copy of your OE TRACKER transcript, mark the changes you want made to the A and B categories, and email a scanned copy or a picture of the transcript to arbo@arbo.org. It will take 2 weeks before the changes are reflected in the account.

My OE TRACKER transcript distinguishes between COPE and non-COPE hours. Is there a minimum requirement for COPE-accredited CE credit hours?

No, there is no minimum requirement for COPE-accredited CE credit hours. For auditing purposes, the College will only consider the total number of Category A credit hours and the total number of Category B credit hours completed for the current CE cycle.

How do I submit Category A equivalencies?

  • Fellowship or diplomate in the American Academy of Optometry or Fellowship in the College of Optometrists in Vision Development: submit a copy of your certificate to OE TRACKER.
  • Graduate studies in optometry or a related health discipline: submit a copy of your certificate to OE TRACKER.
  • For publication of an article in a refereed optometric, ophthalmologic, or medical journal or publication of a case report in a refereed journal: submit a copy of your publication to OE TRACKER, ensuring that your full name and the original date of publication are indicated in the publication.
  • Certification in a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Heart Saver AED (C) and CPR HCP (Health Care Provider) level with AED: submit a copy of your certification to OE TRACKER.
  • For all other Category A equivalencies, you must obtain a letter from the CE provider (e.g., the ACOE-accredited school, the IOBP, or the OEBC, etc.) that confirms your participation in the Category A equivalent activities. Please submit the letter to OE TRACKER.

Please note that no more than 35 hours per CE cycle may be obtained through Category A equivalencies.

Do I have to pay the subscription fee for OE TRACKER?

For the current CE cycle and for the upcoming CE cycle (January 1, 2018–December 31, 2020), the College will be paying the OE TRACKER subscription fees for all members.