Scope of Practice Change Proposals for Ontario Optometry

The profession of optometry in Ontario has been working on regulatory changes to expand the scope of practice for optometrists.

A tripartite working group, consisting of the College of Optometrists of Ontario, the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science, and the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO), was formed in 2018 to work on proposed changes to Ontario optometry’s scope of practice. The OAO developed a proposal based on the work completed by the tripartite working group.

At its June 21 meeting, Council approved the proposed amendments to various acts and regulations with respect to the scope of practice for Optometry in Ontario and their circulation to College registrants and stakeholders for 60 days.

The proposed amendments support the College’s public interest mandate and include diversity, equity and inclusion considerations below:

  • Improve patient access to safe and competent eye care services, especially in rural communities;
  • Reduce wait times, improve patient outcomes, and increase the efficiency of health care delivery;
  • Improve collaboration with healthcare and other professionals in the community to provide patient-centered care;
  • Decrease patient loads in emergency departments and walk-in clinics;
  • Decrease publicly funded eye care costs, especially for more complex care; and
  • Increase patient access to timely eye care services and reduce barriers to patient care.

The proposed amendments can be viewed here. The proposed amendments were also included as part of the briefing book, on pages 63-83, for the Council meeting on June 21, 2024.

A request for registrant and stakeholder feedback has been sent out, asking stakeholders to submit their feedback to no later than 8:30 a.m. on September 3, 2024.