The objective of the College’s Practice Assessment component is to promote accountability and help members enhance their patient care and practice management while ensuring members are maintaining the standards of practice. The Practice Assessment is an excellent way to provide a positive learning experience that is directly related to each optometrist’s individual practice.
There are two main ways that a member can be required to undergo a Practice Assessment:
- the Random Selection Process in which the College randomly selects a percentage of members in accordance with the Random Selection Criteria Policy; or
- Referral by the Registrar for not meeting the conditions of their Certificate of Registration (e.g., the member is deficient CE hours or direct patient contact hours).*
*Those referred by the Registrar for a Practice Assessment are responsible for covering the cost of the assessment. See the College’s Schedule of Fees and Penalties.
PRACTICE ASSESSMENT PROCESS
Those required to undergo a Practice Assessment receive notification via email from the College with detailed instructions. In short, members are given 90 days to electronically submit 25 clinical records for first-time patients for whom they have provided a complete oculo-visual assessment. The member is also provided with the following:
- A Practice Assessment Questionnaire to be completed by the member to provide the QA Assessor with detailed information about the nature of the optometrist’s practice;
- Short Record Assessment (SRA) Form that outlines the assessment criteria for an SRA;
- Complete Record Assessment (CRA) Form that outlines the assessment criteria for a CRA; and
- A copy of the Quality Assurance (QA) Regulation.
Short Record Assessment
After receiving the member’s patient records via a secure file transfer website, a QA Assessor (an Optometrist trained by the College) assesses the records using the criteria on the Short Record Assessment Form. The QA Assessor then prepares a summary report for the Quality Assurance Committee for their review.
Complete Record Assessment
If the QA Committee has concerns about the Short Record Assessment report, they can have the member’s records assessed more thoroughly using the criteria on the Complete Record Assessment form. This second assessment is done by a different QA Assessor using the same set of patient records. The QA Assessor then prepares a summary report based on the Complete Record Assessment for the QA Committee to review.
PRACTICE ASSESSMENT OUTCOMES
After reviewing the assessment report, the QA Committee may decide to:
- Determine that the member is maintaining the standards of practice and discharge them from the process;
- Make recommendations to the member for ways in which to improve;
- Require the member to undergo an evaluation of the member’s clinical ability;
- Require the member to undergo remediation in the form of continuing education or coaching;
- Direct the Registrar to impose terms, conditions and/or limitations on the member’s Certificate of Registration for a specified time; or
- Refer allegations of professional misconduct or incompetence/incapacity to the Inquiries Complaints and Reports Committee.
Once a member has been discharged from the Practice Assessment process after having been randomly selected, the member will be exempt from being randomly selected again for the next 10 years if they only required a Short Record Assessment before being discharged. If the member required a Complete Record Assessment before being discharged, the member will be exempt from the random selection pool for the next 5 years.