Access to Applicant Information and Records Policy

Effective Date: July 17, 2014

Overview

Applicants for pre-registration and registration are entitled to access documents provided to the College of Optometrists (College) as part of their application process. Authorized individuals, including College staff, are also able to access applicant information and records.

Who may access records

Applicants for pre-registration and registration may access documents or records provided to the College as part of their application process. Only authorized staff involved in the pre-registration and/or registration processes, and any persons or organizations that may in any way be relevant to the applicant’s application for registration with the College, may access information from applicant records.

How an applicant can ask for records

Applicants for pre-registration and registration can simply submit a written request to College registration staff to access documents provided to the College as part of their application process.

The way in which records are made available

Applicants can obtain the documents provided to the College as are part of their application process as long as a request was made in writing by the applicant at least five (5) days prior.

How long the records are kept

Applicant records related to registration applications are kept for 24 months (or two years), which is the period that registration applications are valid for. Three months prior to the expiry of the registration application period, a letter is written by the College to notify the applicant that the application expiry period is imminent and that the applicant’s records will be returned to the applicant if the applicant does not notify the College of his/her intention to continue with the registration application.

Applicant records related to pre-registration applications are kept for the period of time that prior learning assessment (PLA) exam results are valid for. Currently, PLA exam results are valid for a period of three (3) years following an applicant’s first PLA exam attempt. Since the College is conducting credential assessment on an interim basis, this would also depend on whether or not the transition to the national credential assessment process takes place prior to the expiry of the PLA exam results validity period.

What limitations (if any) exist on right to access the records

No limitations exist on the right to access the records as long as the records are still with the College. However, the College will refuse to provide an applicant with any information that in the College’s opinion jeopardizes the safety of any person.

Examples of documents accessible by applicants

An applicant is entitled to access the following types of documents if they are available in the applicant’s file:

Pre-registration
Item Document Description
1 Pre-registration form
2 English proficiency test results
3 World Education Services authentication report
4 Course descriptions/syllabi
5 Degree certificates/transcripts
Registration
Item Document Description
1 Registration Application Form
2 Degree certificates/transcripts
3 Canadian Standard Assessment in Optometry (CSAO)/CEO-ECO exam (formerly CACO) results
4 Canadian citizenship/permanent residency or authorization under the Immigration Act to engage in the practice of optometry document
5 Certificate of Standing (if applicable)
6 Ontario Optometric Jurisprudence Exam results
7 Criminal Record Check