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College of Optometrists of Ontario

The College of Optometrists of Ontario (COO) is the governing body for optometrists in Ontario. The Office of the Fairness Commissioner (OFC) oversees the registration practices of the COO to ensure that they are transparent, objective, impartial and fair for anyone who wants to practise as an optometrist in this province.

Registration Practices Assessment Report, 2014

This summary of the assessment includes recommendations for improvement.

Reports / Applications

2015

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2015

Applications to Practise Processed by the COO in 2015
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received45237300114
Applicants who became members4632917095

2014

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2014

Applications to Practise Processed by the COO in 2014
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received43146250115
Applicants who became members42348270120

2013

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2013

Applications to Practise Processed by the COO in 2013
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received64336250128
Applicants who became members4902717093

2012

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2012

Applications to Practise Processed by the COO in 2012
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received48158330140
Applicants who became members45362230133

2011

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2011

Registration Practices Assessment Report — Summary (Optometrists)

Applications to Practise Processed by the COO in 2011
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received51554340144
Applicants who became members61250300143

2010

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2010

Applications to Practise Processed by the COO in 2010
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received75243270147
Applicants who became members50242290123

2009

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2009

Website Review: The COO reviewed, revised and reorganized its website, including registration information, application packages, and frequently asked questions (FAQs), to ensure that information is complete, easy to find, and easy to understand.

For a description of all OFC-monitored developments for this profession for 2009, see the 2009-2010 Annual Report.

Applications to Practise Processed by the COO in 2009
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received54643300133
Applicants who became members59639160120

2008

Fair Registration Practices (FRP) Report, 2008

Applications to Practise Processed by the COO in 2008
Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 Jurisdiction Where Applicants Received Their Training Total
Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International Unknown
New applications received48345210117
Applicants who became members4123710090

2007


During the fall and winter of 2007-2008, the OFC undertook a study of the COO to understand its 2007 registration practices and establish baseline data and information. PDF

Exemplary Practices

The OFC gathers regulatory bodies' exemplary licensing practices so that they may learn from one another. Practices for the College of Optometrists of Ontario are listed below.

  1. Clarifying documentation requirements and acceptable alternatives

    This practice will be of interest to regulators seeking...


Quick Facts

Number of Optometrists2,243
Number of Internationally Trained Optometrists745

You may find information about exam requirements and Canadian work experience requirements elsewhere on this site.


Location of Training, 2015

Ontario1,440
Other Canadian Provinces58
USA529
Other International216
Unknown0
Total2,243
Proportion of Internationally Trained Members (includes USA)33%

The College of Optometrists of Ontario falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The OFC does not assess credentials, handle complaints or intervene in particular cases. Our mandate is one of systemic change. Please contact the COO for further information about your ability to practise as an optometrist in Ontario.

Action

Optometry does not exist as a separate profession in many countries, where ophthalmologists (specialist doctors) may do eye exams and write prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses. Applications from internationally trained ophthalmologists to practise optometry have been a subject of debate in Ontario.

In 2012, the COO introduced a new process for considering applications from internationally trained optometrists and ophthalmologists.

The OFC is sensitive to communications and assessment criteria that might obstruct qualified applicants.

The OFC continues to monitor the new process and to seek assurance that all education programs completed outside Ontario are duly considered.

September 2013