Council Meeting Highlights – September 27, 2019

Welcome to Council and the College

Council welcomed two new public members: Ms. Suzanne Allen and Ms. Winona Hutchinson.

Council also took the opportunity to thank several outgoing members for their contributions: Dr. Bill Chisholm, Dr. Areef Nurani, Ms. Ellen Pekilis, as well as outgoing President Dr. Pooya Hemami, whose term ends in December.

Council Remembers Dr. Catherine Chiarelli

Dr. Paul Chris, Executive Director of the Vision Institute of Canada, joined the September Council meeting as a guest and took a moment to reflect on the career and contributions of Dr. Catherine Chiarelli, who passed away in August.

Council also acknowledged Dr. Chiarelli’s leadership and contributions to both the profession and the College itself.

For more than 30 years, Dr. Chiarelli worked for the Vision Institute of Canada, as well as a pediatric optometrist and tireless advocate for children’s vision. For nearly a decade, she volunteered on the College’s Quality Assurance (QA) Clinical Practice Panel, including four years as chair. Dr. Chiarelli also volunteered on the College’s Patient Relations Committee. Her dedication to standards of practice and clinical guidelines were exemplary.

Dr. Chiarelli’s intelligence, dedication, and friendship will be missed.

Drug Regulation Amendment

On May 30, 2019, the Minister of Health asked the College to ‘amend its drug regulation to reflect categories of drugs from which your members may prescribe’. The Minister also asked the College to develop the appropriate infrastructure to support the regulation and to actively engage with system partners.

The College is now circulating proposed drug categories and seeking feedback from optometrists, stakeholders and the public.

Learn more about the proposed changes to the drug regulation and submit feedback by December 1.

Update OPR on Dispensing

Council approved amendments to the Optometric Practice Reference (OPR) Standards of Practice 6.4 Spectacle Therapy to allow delivery of eye wear prior to an in-person fitting. The revised ORP also amalgamates all standards related to spectacle therapy, regardless of whether technology is used. An updated version of the OPR will be posted on the College website shortly.

Changes to Professional Corporation Fees

A review of professional corporation fees charged by Ontario regulatory colleges shows that the College of Optometrists fees are in line with other colleges. However, given the current fees have been in place for some time and the program is well established, Council felt the College was in a strong position to revise the fees.

Effective January 1, 2020, the following fees will be reduced:

  • Professional corporation fees – from $630 to $440
  • Professional corporation renewal fees – from $315 to $220
  • Revised professional corporation fees – from $504 to $220

Updates to QA Program

Struck in January 2018, the QA Subcommittee is tasked with conducting an independent evaluation of the QA Program. At the September Council meeting, the subcommittee submitted seven recommendations that would revise the program over the short, medium and long-term.

The changes include:

  • Amending the annual selection of members who undergo random selection so that 20 percent are members registered within five years of practice, 5 percent of members are within six to 24 years of practice, and 10 percent have 25 years of practice or more.
  • Amending the exemption period for members who are discharged with a Short Record Assessment to 10 years.
  • Developing a self-assessment module.
  • Including focused topic requirements as part of the 2021-2023 Continuing Education Cycle.

Read the detailed recommendations in the meeting briefing materials. More information about the upcoming changes will be sent to members in the coming weeks.

By-law Amendments

This summer, the College circulated proposed amendments to the College by-laws for review and feedback. Council approved the changes; the updated by-laws are available on the College website.

Our next Council meeting will be held on January 17, 2020 at the College office. Council meetings are open to the public, and members are welcome to attend. If you wish to attend, please contact Amber Lepage-Monette at least one week before the Council meeting.