Information for Employers and
Mandatory Reporting Obligations
The following information relates to certain mandatory reporting obligations that arise under the Regulated Health Professions Act pertaining to persons who employ opticians, or who own or operate businesses where opticians practice. Persons who are also a member of a regulated health profession have additional mandatory reporting obligations. For more information about mandatory reporting obligations that pertain to health professionals, click here.
If you employ an optician, you must make a report to the College if:
- You fire your employee because of professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity
- You revoke, suspend or impose restrictions on the privileges of your employee because of professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity
- You dissolve a partnership, health professional corporation or association because of professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity
- An employee, partner or associate voluntarily resigns or restricts their practice, and you suspect that this action is related to the person's professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity, or the voluntary resignation or restriction takes place during the course of an investigation into allegations of professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity
The report must be made within 30 days of the termination, revocation, suspension, or resignation. The failure by an employer to make a mandatory report may result in a fine of up to $25,000 for a first offence and up to $50,000 for a second offence. If the employer is a corporation, the resulting fine may be up to $50,000 for a first offence, and up to $200,000 for a second offence.
To make a mandatory report, click here.
If you are a person who is responsible for operating a facility where one or more opticians practice, you must make a report to the College within 30 days if you have reasonable grounds to believe that an optician who practices at the facility is incompetent, incapacitated, or has sexually abused a patient.
The report must contain:
- The name of the person filing the report
- The name of the member who is the subject of the report
- The explanation of the alleged sexual abuse, incompetence or incapacity
- If the allegations of sexual abuse, incompetence or incapacity relate to a particular patient, the
name of that patient. Note, however, the name of a patient who may have been sexually
abused must NOT be included in the report unless the patient has consented in writing to the inclusion of his/her name.
The report must be made within 30 days. If, however, you have reasonable grounds to believe that the optician will continue to sexually abuse the patient or other patients, or that the optician's incompetence or incapacity is likely to expose a patient to harm or injury and there is urgent need for intervention, you must make the report as soon as possible.
The failure of a facility operator to report incompetence or incapacity may result in a fine of up to $25,000 for a first offence or up to $50,000 for a second offence. If the facility operator is a corporation, the resulting fine may be up to $50,000 for a first offence, and up to $200,000 for a second offence. The failure of a facility operator to report the sexual abuse of a patient may result in a fine of up to $50,000 for an individual or up to $200,000 for a corporation.
To make a mandatory report, click here.
What Constitutes Professional Misconduct, Incompetence, Incapacity or Sexual Abuse?
For additional information about what may constitute professional misconduct for opticians, see the legislation governing the profession, including the Professional Misconduct Regulation and the College's Standards of Practice.
Under the Health Professions Procedural Code, which is Schedule 2 to the Regulated Health Professions Act, a health professional is considered to be "incompetent" where his or her professional care of a patient displays "a lack of knowledge, skill or judgment of a nature or to an extent that demonstrates that the member is unfit to continue to practice or that the member's practice should be restricted" (section 52(1)).
"Incapacitated" is defined under the Health Professions Procedural Code as when a health professional is "suffering from a physical or mental disorder that makes it desirable in the interest of the public that the member's certificate of registration be subject to terms, conditions or limitations, or that the member no longer be permitted to practice." (section 1(1)).
"Sexual Abuse" under the Health Professions Procedural Code includes: (a) sexual intercourse or other forms of physical sexual relations between the health professional and the patient; (b) touching of a sexual nature; and (c) behaviour or remarks of a sexual nature (section 1(3)).
Employers or facility operators may also contact the College to report a concern that falls outside of the mandatory reporting obligations referred to above. For more information, contact the College directly, or click here to learn more about the complaints process.