Regulated health professionals in Ontario must report to their college certain information that is pertinent to the conditions of their registration. Such information includes criminal charges, registration with regulators in jurisdictions other than Ontario, and any findings of guilt, professional negligence, or malpractice.
These reports do not constitute a finding of professional misconduct, incapacity, or incompetence against the optometrist – only a Panel of the College’s Discipline or Fitness to Practise committees can determine this.
Why must I self-report?
Since January 17, 2015, the College by-laws have required optometrists to self-report and since May 1, 2018, it is now a requirement under provincial law. The information provided can alert the College to situations where an optometrist may not be practising safely. It also allows the College to take steps to protect the public and use innovative approaches to help rehabilitate the optometrist when necessary.
Is the obligation to self-report this information new?
No. Since January 17, 2015, optometrists have been required to report such information. This obligation was part of changes made to College by-laws.
What exactly do I need to report?
If I’ve already reported the required information to the College, do I need to report it again on the new Self-Reporting Form?
No. If you have previously reported a charge, or any of the other information required by the College, there is no need to resubmit it.
Do I have to self-report if I get a speeding or parking ticket?
No. Optometrists are not required to report ticketable offences. A ticketable offence is any offence prosecuted under Parts I or II of the Provincial Offences Act, 1990. This includes speeding and parking tickets or failure to stop at a red light under the Highway Traffic Act, 1991, or consuming alcohol in a public place under the Liquor Licence Act, 1990.
Do I have to report a charge from before May 1, 2018?
Yes. Any charge between January 17, 2015 and May 1, 2018 must be reported. Though the legislation only introduced these self-reporting requirements as of May 1, 2018, the College by-laws have required optometrists to report this information to the College since January 17, 2015.
Do I have to report a charge if I was found not guilty after a court challenge?
Yes. Optometrists are required to report all charges as well as findings of guilt.
When must I report this information?
Optometrists must report this information as soon as possible, but no longer than 30 days after the occurrence.
What happens if I don’t self-report?
Failing to self-report or falsifying information is a serious matter. It could result in a referral to Discipline and a finding of professional misconduct, with a variety of penalties possible.
Will the College post all charges to the public register?
The College must post any charge for an offence under the Criminal Code or the Controlled Drug and Substances Act. For all other charges, only those that are deemed relevant to an optometrist’s suitability to practise will be posted on the College register. The College’s guidelines to determine relevance to suitability to practise can be found here.
How do optometrists self-report?
Members can access the self-reporting form via the Member Login on the College website. The Member Login now features a main menu with options such as Membership Record, eLearning Module, and the new Self-Reporting Form.