By-law Consultation

Transparency Project, Phase One

For more than a year, the College has been working with five other regulatory colleges in the Advisory Group for Regulatory Excellence (AGRE). The group is made up of the colleges of dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physiotherapy, and optometry. The purpose of this work has been to increase regulators’ accountability and improve patient choice by enhancing the transparency of the regulatory process. It is a priority project, one whose importance has recently been acknowledged by the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (PDF). To this end, AGRE has developed recommendations for increasing the amount of information about members that is available on our public registers. In September 2013, Council approved principles to guide their transparency discussions. Find out more about AGRE’s transparency principles.

The information that the College is recommending be made public includes: date of a member’s referral to the Discipline Committee; Discipline Committee status; Full Notice of Hearing; criminal findings of guilt; bail conditions; and non-members practising illegally.

At its September 17, 2014 meeting, Council approved for circulation some changes to the by-laws that will make this information available to the public. The planned implementation for these changes is Spring 2015.

The College welcomes your input on these proposed changes. All comments will be reviewed by Council at its January meeting.

Read the by-law amendments in full (PDF).

 

Send us your feedback by

Email

feedback@collegeoptom.on.ca
Fax

416-962-4073
Mail

College of Optometrists of Ontario
65 St. Clair Ave. E.
Toronto ON M4T 2Y3

Deadline for comments is Monday, December 22, 2014.

 

Overview of Proposed Changes to Information on the Public Register

Full Notice of Hearing

The College currently makes a summary of this information available on the Public Register, but Council proposes that the complete notice of hearing, including the allegations, be added. The proposed change would add this information to the Public Register.

The proposed language for this change is:

(30) with respect to any allegation of professional misconduct or incompetence of a Member referred to the Discipline Committee:

(c) the notice of hearing;

Fitness to Practise Committee status

Council proposes that certain information regarding pending decisions be made available on the Public Register.

The proposed language for this change is:

(31) with respect to any allegation concerning the capacity of a Member referred to the Fitness to Practise Committee and not yet decided:
(a) a notation of that fact; and
(b) the date of the referral

Bail hearings

Council proposes to add this information to the Public Register when the College is aware of it and when the conditions are relevant to the member’s ability to practice optometry.

The proposed language for this change is:

(28) a summary of any currently existing conditions, terms, orders, directions or agreements relating to the custody or release of the Member in provincial or federal offence processes of which the College is aware and that the Registrar believes is relevant to the Member’s suitability to practise;

Criminal findings of guilt

Council proposes to add this information to the Public Register when the College is aware of it and when the conditions are relevant to the member’s ability to practice optometry.

The proposed language for this change is:

(29) a summary of any findings of guilt of which the College is aware if made by a court after XX, 2015, against a Member in respect of a federal or provincial offence that the Registrar believes is relevant to the Member’s suitability to practice;

Coming Next: Transparency Project – Phase Two

The second phase of this project will focus on the potential provision of information relating to outcomes of the College’s Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee’s (ICRC) investigations. This information could include such things as disclosure on the public register where an ICRC has directed a member to appear before them for cautioning or to take a specified remediation program. Further discussion with Committees, legal analysis, and evaluation of process changes will need to occur prior to implementation. By-law changes related to the second phase of the project will be sent to members for comment following approval by Council to circulate. You can expect to receive notice of this proposal in early 2015.