Appreciation for Dr. Richard Kniaziew: President of the College Dr. Dennis Ruskin presented a Certificate of Recognition to Dr. Richard Kniaziew, whose term on Council is coming to an end. In addition to his four years as Council president, Dr. Kniaziew served on several College committees. Council is grateful to him for his nine years of dedicated service to the College, to the profession of optometry, and to the public of Ontario.
Budget Approval: Council approved a revised 2014 budget and a preliminary 2015 budget. As part of the 2015 budget, Council approved moving $250,000 into a reserve fund for potential legal expenses related to unauthorized practice.
OE Tracker: Council heard an update about the OE Tracker system. College staff has been working with the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO) to roll out OE Tracker in time for the new CE cycle, which starts January 1, 2015. Members who do not already have an OE Tracker number will be contacted by ARBO by mail or email with their unique number. Instructions on how to set up their profile online will be included at that time.
Town Hall Meeting at the Vision Institute: On Friday, November 7, 2014, the College will convene a town hall meeting at the Vision Institute Annual Fall Conference and Trade Show, which is being held at the Hilton Suites Hotel and Conference Centre in Markham Ontario. This is an opportunity for council members to hear your feedback or to answer questions you might have concerning the new Professional Misconduct Regulation, or any other matters of concern.
Spousal Exemption Regulation: At its June meeting, Council approved in principle a proposed regulation and guidelines that would allow optometrists to treat their spouses. These documents were circulated to members and stakeholders for 60 days for review and comments. Thank you to those members who submitted their comments. Council considered your feedback, which was overwhelmingly positive, and approved a motion to submit the regulation to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
Keep in mind that, until the regulation receives government approval, practitioners continue to be prohibited from treating their spouses.
Upcoming Circulations for Comment: In the coming weeks, the College will be emailing the following circulation documents to members and stakeholders for their review; we encourage you to send us your comments.
Proposed Amendments to QA Regulation: Council approved for circulation amendments to the Quality Assurance Regulation. These amendments will allow for more flexibility in the Quality Assurance program, including practice assessments, and will make it consistent with the Registration Regulation and the RHPA.
Transparency Project: Council approved for circulation amendments to the by-laws that would increase transparency of information on the College register. These amendments would allow the public to access certain additional information about College members: more detail about discipline referrals, criminal findings of guilt, and bail conditions.
Once the circulation period(s) have ended and comments have been reviewed, Council will consider these amendments for approval at its January meeting.
CE Cycle Ends Soon: Members are reminded that the current CE cycle comes to an end on December 31, 2014. To read the current CE policy, please visit this page. Please note that members who are deficient in CE hours will be subject to a Short Record Assessment and will be charged an additional fee (see below).
Short Record Assessment Fee Approved: Recently the College sought members’ input on a proposed by-law change that would amend the Schedule of Fees to include a fee for a Short Record Assessment (SRA) by the Quality Assurance Committee for members who are deficient in continuing education hours. Council approved this by-law. The revised fee schedule can be found here.
OPR Updates: Three revised documents were approved for publication in the Optometric Practice Reference (OPR). Revised documents are: 2 The Practice of Optometry, 4.5 Referrals, 5.2 The Prescription, 6.4 Spectacle Therapy, and 6.5 Contact Lens Therapy. The OPR will be updated soon to reflect these changes.
Council Meeting Minutes: Minutes of previous Council meetings are available on the College website. The minutes of the June 6, 2014 meeting are available here.
The next Council meeting will be held Friday, January 16, 2015, at the College office, 65 St. Clair Ave. E., Suite 900, Toronto. Council meetings are open to the public, and members are welcome to attend.