Optometrists have an important job to provide patients with skilled vision care. As the regulatory College, it’s our job to ensure the care you receive is safe and that your optometrist acts in a professional manner.
If you have questions or concerns about your optometrist’s conduct or the care you received, speak to your optometrist first to see if the issue can be resolved. If you are unable to resolve the issue, you may wish to file a formal complaint with the College.
In certain cases, the College may be able to offer ways other than a formal investigation to quickly resolve minor complaints.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a process where a mediator works with both the complainant and the optometrist to resolve the problem in a way that suits both parties.
ADR is confidential and without prejudice, which means any decision made during ADR does not necessarily mean the optometrist has admitted they were at fault, nor does it remove any rights from the complainant. Both the complainant and the optometrist must agree to take part in ADR, and either party can withdraw from the process at any time.
Formal investigations are put on hold during the ADR process and will only resume if the mediator confirms an agreement cannot be reached.
If an agreement is reached and approved by the College Registrar, then the matter is considered resolved.
Learn more about the College’s ADR process.
A formal complaint must be submitted to the College in writing or by recording (such as audio or video).
What Happens Next
Contact the College with any questions about the complaints process or for more information about how to file a complaint.
If you or the optometrist believe that the panel’s investigation was inadequate or the decision was unreasonable, you may request a review by the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board, an independent government agency. Appeals are available except in cases where the panel referred the matter to the Discipline Committee or Fitness to Practice Committee.
The College has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to sexual abuse of patients. Contact the Coordinator, Investigations if you have experienced sexual abuse by an optometrist, including physically or verbally inappropriate behaviour of a sexual nature.
Patients who allege that they have experienced sexual abuse by optometrists can access funding for therapy and counselling, which is paid directly to the therapist and is available from the time a complaint is filed. Learn more about this funding through the Patient Relations Program.