Get Involved with the College!

It’s that time of year again! We’re looking for optometrists to join Council or serve on a College committee. Bring your perspective and experience to our work! Help us achieve our vision to be a leading regulator focused on safe eye care and progressive practice. We are looking for optometrists who are eager to contribute, and who bring a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and experience to the table.

Council acts like a Board of Directors and guides the College’s work by setting its strategic direction and developing policies and by-laws. Council’s central role is to protect the public. Made up of optometrists (who have been elected by their colleagues) and members of the public (who have been appointed by the provincial government), Council makes important decisions that shape the regulation of optometry and promote public safety.

Committees are accountable to and support the work of Council. They also include both professional and public members. Committees help guide College policies and ensure regulatory responsibilities such as registration, quality assurance, and investigations are carried out.


What does serving on Council involve?

Serving on Council gives you a first-hand look at professional regulation and provides the valuable opportunity to build public trust and contribute to the profession. Council members regularly say that their work with the College is rewarding and compliments their clinical practice. Each year, we hold an election through which optometrists elect their professional members. Seats on Council represent the province in six electoral (geographic) districts. Optometrists who work or live in those districts can run for election and vote for Council members to represent their district.

Important details:

  • Members are elected for a three-year term, beginning in January.
  • Council meetings are held quarterly either in Toronto or virtually.
  • Optometrists are remunerated for College activities, including travel expenses and preparation time, subject to the College’s policies.
  • Council members are also appointed to at least one committee.
  • Time commitments for Council members vary depending on committee appointment and range from 18 – 22 days per year.

Who can run in the election?

The following seats are up for election this year:

  • Two seats in District 5, which means this election is open to all optometrists across Ontario!

We encourage all registrants who are in good standing and have a desire to make a positive impact on the regulation of optometry to consider this rewarding opportunity. Running in the election is easy and only requires a self-nomination! The College is now accepting nominations for the 2023 election.

The College welcomes all nominees and encourages those who are representative of the Ontario population and are at different stages in their careers, including optometrists who are newly graduated, in the middle of their careers, or nearing retirement. We also encourage optometrists who have experience in governance, human resources, finance/business, or communications to consider this opportunity.

Prior to self nominating, please ensure you review the college by-laws for eligibility.

How do I run in the upcoming election?

If you’re interested in running, complete the following two steps:

1. Complete the self-nomination form by 4:00 p.m. on August 25, 2023.

In addition to answering the questions on the form, you will be asked to submit the following:

  1. Your CV/Resume
  2. short biography, which should outline your academic, practice, and volunteer experience (250-word maximum).
  3. statement on public protection (100 words or less) that sets out how they propose to ensure public protection if elected. These statements:
  4. should reflect an understanding of the College’s public-interest mandate and should not be an effort at advocacy or self-promotion;
  5. should not suggest that Council members represent optometrists in their district, as they actually represent the members of the public of their district; and
  6. will be reviewed. Nominees will be asked to revise any statement that is inappropriate.

You can either draft or copy and paste these into the application form. Biographies and statements will be publicly available on the College website in advance of voting.

2. Attend an Orientation Session

Finally, once your self-nomination has been finalized, you will be contacted by a College employee to participate in an orientation session. These orientations, which take place before voting closes, are a benchmark within the College Performance Measurement Framework (CPMF), and are designed to ensure that nominees fully understand the role, function, and importance of regulatory colleges.

Voting opens for the election on September 27 and closes on October 18 at 4:00 p.m.

If you have questions about the elections process, you can review our frequently asked questions or contact Chad Andrews, Director of Policy and Research.


Volunteer on a committee

Do you want to help guide the profession, share your knowledge, and work with fellow practitioners? Joining Council is not the only way to get involved with the College. You can also volunteer to join one of the College’s committees and contribute to regulatory processes that protect patients! Did you know that more than 100 optometrists volunteer with the College each year? 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 sitting on a committee. We’re always looking for engaged, enthusiastic optometrists to join, including those who are representative of the Ontario population and are at different stages in their careers.

Who can volunteer to join a committee?

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?

If you’re interested in joining a committee, submit your Volunteer Application Form, along with a professional CV by October 27, 2023.

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

Contact Chad Andrews, the College’s Director of Research and Policy, with any questions about self-nominating in the Council election or volunteering on a committee. We can also put you in contact with a fellow optometrist who serves on Council or a committee to speak about their experience.