Committees are accountable to Council and are responsible for ensuring College policies are implemented and enforced. Committees help carry out the work of the College in areas such as registration, quality assurance, investigations, and more.

Committees are comprised of both public and professional members. Public members are members of the public appointed by the Public Appointment Secretariat, while professional members include both Council and non-Council member optometrists. All committee members participate as full voting members of their committees and are expected to make decisions that reflect the College’s regulatory mandate to protect the public interest.

Volunteer on a Committee

Registrants can volunteer to join one of the College’s committees and contribute to regulatory processes that protect patients. Volunteers are critical to the work we do and are vital to achieving quality professional care while ensuring public protection and strong, responsible self-regulation. Bring your knowledge, skills, and expertise to the College by volunteering on a committee.

Who can volunteer to join a committee?

We’re always looking for engaged, enthusiastic optometrists to join a committee, including those who are representative of the Ontario population, and are at different stages in their careers.

Optometrists who are in good standing, and not on committees from other organizations, such as the Ontario Association of Optometrists, are eligible to volunteer to join a committee. Please see section 8.01 of the College By-laws for more information.

How do I volunteer to join a committee?

Volunteer applications are accepted beginning in late summer. You will find the Volunteer Application Form, and the submission deadline in this section when the submission window opens. Check back here soon!

If you’re interested in joining a committee, submit a Volunteer Application Form.

Once received, applications are reviewed by our Governance/HR Committee. All applications will be acknowledged. Those that are approved by Council, are appointed to a committee for a one-year term beginning in January, with the possibility of reappointment.

Time Commitment for Committee Members

Time commitments vary from 2 to 10 days per year for each committee. Optometrists are remunerated for College activities, including travel expenses and preparation time, subject to the College’s policies.

Committee Summaries

The Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) requires regulatory colleges to establish seven statutory committees. In addition, the College establishes non-statutory committees to help meet its mission and objects.

Below you will find a short summary of each committee and the work they do.

Statutory Committees

  • Executive
    The Executive Committee works with the Registrar to ensure that College resources are allocated properly, and that staff and committees are advancing College work and supporting Council priorities. (Please note Council members are elected to the Executive Committee).

  • Discipline
    The Discipline Committee hears allegations of professional misconduct and/or incompetence made against a College registrant. The Committee considers evidence in each case and decides whether to order a range of penalties, including a reprimand, suspension, fine or revocation of an optometrist’s Certificate of Registration.

  • Fitness to Practise
    The Fitness to Practise Committee receives referrals from the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee and conducts a hearing when there is evidence that an optometrist might be incapacitated due to a mental or physical condition.

  • Investigations, Complaints, and Reports
    The Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC), which sits as two independent panels, investigates and makes decisions on allegations of professional misconduct, incompetence, or incapacity brought against registrants of the College. These allegations proceed from formal complaints, information brought to the attention of the Registrar, mandatory reports, or referrals from the Quality Assurance Committee.

  • Quality Assurance
    The Quality Assurance Committee helps optometrists maintain and enhance their knowledge, skill, and judgment to ensure the public continues to access safe, high-quality eye care.

  • Registration
    The Registration Committee is responsible for the College’s entry-to-practice process, ensuring that anyone who wishes to practise in Ontario possesses certain skills, knowledge, credentials and is of good character.

  • Patient Relations
    The Patient Relations Committee (PRC) oversees a program that promotes awareness of and includes measures to prevent sexual abuse of patients. The Committee also administers a fund for therapy and counselling for patients who have been sexually abused by an optometrist. The Committee reviews issues of an ethical nature that occur in professional practice and develops education and information programs for the public and optometrists.

Standing Committees

  • Audit/Finance/Risk
    The Audit/Finance/Risk (AFR) Committee reviews and advises Council on the College’s financial affairs, including the investment strategy, auditor review and financial planning. The Committee also oversees the College’s overall risk management framework.

  • Governance/H.R.
    The Governance/HR Committee is a standing committee that aids Council in achieving high standards in transparent and ethical self-governance through policy development, recruitment, training, evaluation, and succession planning.

Contact us if you have any questions about volunteering on a committee. We can also put you in contact with a fellow optometrist who serves on a committee to speak about their experience.