The College first submitted proposed amendments to the regulation in 2005, followed by several revisions since that time. Member and stakeholder input has been valuable in arriving at a new regulation that modernizes optometric practice while ensuring that the public continues to have access to safe, high-quality optometric care. College Council is proud of this achievement, which better serves the public of Ontario and the profession.
For a link to the new regulation, click here.
For a copy of the press release, click here.
To view a short web-based presentation, with audio explanation, please click on the image below.
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To read a PDF of the guidelines, click here.
NEW: For a list of frequently asked questions, click here.
The following are highlights of the new regulation
Optometrists will now be allowed to practise in association with opticians, corporations, or others, as long as they remain independent. A written agreement is required that acknowledges the optometrist’s independence, including with respect to the following:
- The provision of services, including who they may accept as a patient
- The fees charged
- Access to the office and patient records
Note that optometrists may only enter into an employment arrangement with another optometrist or with a physician.
Optometrists will have more flexibility in advertising and promoting their practices. Previous prohibitions with respect to the advertising of brand names and advertising with non-members have been removed. Testimonials and superlatives in advertising are still prohibited.
Most of the restrictions on what a member may name their practice have been lifted. Practice names must comply with the provisions under Section 22 of the new regulation relating to advertising; for example, the rule that practice names may not contain superlatives.
Prescription Release: Members will be required to provide a copy of the prescription for eyewear without request from the patient. This provides patients with greater choice of regulated dispensing professional.
Other notable changes
- Members may now practise in more than three locations as long as the College is notified of all locations.
- Optometrists will now have more flexibility in how they charge patients for professional goods and services. The requirement to disclose the laboratory cost of materials to patients has been removed, however invoices must still itemize fees for professional services and ophthalmic appliances.
- Members are now allowed to have a financial interest in optical stores or surgical centres (as examples) as long as optometrists disclose their ownership when referring a patient to the store or centre.
The College welcomes your feedback and questions regarding this regulation and its application in optometric practice. Over the coming weeks, the College will post frequently asked questions about the regulation on our website. Please send your comments and questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.