Frequently Asked Questions:
About Registration Renewal
What is a COBI form? Do I need one? How do I get one?
A COBI, or ‘Certificate of Being Insured (Under a Professional Liability Insurance Policy)’, is written confirmation from the Registrant attesting that he/she is insured under a professional liability insurance policy for the registration year in which they are renewing/ reinstating. Registrants are no longer required to submit a copy of their professional liability insurance policy at the time of renewal / reinstatement. The COBI must be completed, signed and submitted by all Registrants at the time of renewal/ reinstatement or when there is a change in insurance carriers. If not, the Member’s certificate of registration as a Registered Optician may be suspended.
You may download a copy of the Certificate of Being Insured (Under a Professional Liability Insurance Policy) Form ‘COBI’ here or in the resource room.
What is an undertaking form and do I need one?
An Undertaking Form is to be filled out by Registered Opticians who will NOT be engaging in the practice of opticianry, including the dispensing of Eye Glasses, Contact Lenses, and Subnormal Vision Devices and the supervision or direction of a registered student optician or a registered intern optician, in Ontario, during the current registration year.
Should that Optician wish to resume practicing opticianry (including dispensing and supervision of registered student/intern opticians) they must inform the College of their decision, send in a change of business address and submit valid proof of professional liability insurance coverage. Any Undertaking Form will cease to be valid once proof of professional liability insurance is received.
You may download a copy of the Undertaking Form here or in the resource room.
What is the minimum amount of liability insurance I need? What does the College consider evidence of insurance?
Registered Opticians of the College of Opticians are required to carry a minimum of $1,000,000 per occurrence in Professional Liability Insurance at all times. Opticians may also use Malpractice Insurance coverage in the amount stated above.
The College requires a signed copy of the COBI to be submitted at the time of reinstatement or each year with an Optician's annual renewal.
What happens when my liability insurance expires?
You are required to carry $1,000,000 in liability insurance at all times while you hold a Certificate of Registration as an Optician with the College. The College will consider that by not submitting a signed copy of COBI an optician is no longer covered by liability insurance.
If you are dispensing and have not submitted a COBI Form your certificate of registration will be suspended and you may be referred to the discipline committee for further action.
What should I do if I change insurance companies and/or Employers?
The College must be informed of any change in your insurance coverage. You can do this by submitting a new COBI Form.
Does the College of Opticians provide insurance?
No, however any insurance company may be used provided you maintain minimum professional liability coverage of $1,000,000 per occurrence at all times and that the coverage is valid in Ontario. The College of Opticians cannot recommend any insurance provider.
I am not currently practicing but I have Professional Liability Insurance. Should I submit an undertaking or a COBI form?
If you are a Registered Optician and are renewing for the upcoming registration year and you are not currently practicing but have professional liability insurance coverage, you must submit a COBI to the College. You must also designate an address as your employment address; this address can be a P.O. Box number with a contact phone number so that the College or a member of the public can be reasonably certain of reaching you. Although your home address is considered private information, if you designate your home address as your employment address, this will be shared on the Public Register of Members. Please note should you decide to commence practicing you must update your employment profile with the College.
You may download an Address Change Form here or in the resource room.
When is my registration renewal due?
If you are an Optician, your registration renewal must be postmarked by December 31st of each year. If you are a Student or Intern Optician, your registration renewal must be postmarked by September 1st of each year. If your registration renewal is not complete (all required information on the form and the required fee), it will be returned to you and you will be charged an administrative fee of $28.25.
I have lost my Renewal Form. How do I get another one?
Please send a written request to email@example.com, for another copy of your Renewal. A late fee will be applied to all Renewal requests after the due date.
Can I fax my Renewal Form into the College?
No, please do not fax your Renewal Form. Faxes can sometimes be of poor quality due to improper scanning and our staffs are unable to read important information on the Renewal. If you are concerned about your Renewal being late, please remember that as long as it is POSTMARKED by the due date, you will not be charged a late fee.
Can I fax my Certificate of Being Insured or Undertaking to the College?
No, the College requires a signed original document for our records. You can send it to us by mail or bring it down to our office in person.
Can I give you my credit card number over the telephone?
No. The College requires the cardholder's signature in order to accept a credit card payment. You must fill out a Credit Card Authorization Form and either fax or mail it back to the College in order for us to process your payment. Please note that you may not authorize (sign for) a credit card payment unless it is your card. If you are using someone else's card, we require the person's signature and written authorization to charge their card.
Why have I been suspended? How do I change my status?
The College will suspend all members who have not paid all fees owing or submitted adequate evidence of liability insurance or undertaking (if applicable) within 30 days after the mandatory Notice of Default is mailed. If you do not submit the complete renewal of registration form and required fees (early January: Registered Opticians; early October: Student and Intern Opticians), you will receive a Notice of Default that the College intends to suspend your registration in 30 days. The notice will also inform you of the date on which your registration will be suspended if you do not renew your registration. If you do not renew your registration by the date stated in the letter, you will receive written notification that your registration has been suspended.
Once suspended, you must apply for reinstatement. Please contact the Registration Department for information about how to get your license reinstated and the total fees involved.
I never received a Renewal Form in the mail. Do I have to pay a late fee?
Yes. It is the responsibility of each member to ensure that they receive a Renewal Form each year. The due dates do not change (Students & Interns: on September 1st; Opticians: on December 31st of each renewal year/term). If you have not received your form, it may be because you have not informed the College in writing of changes in your mailing address. Each renewal season, we receive numerous calls from members who have not received their renewal form. In most cases, the reason why is because they have not informed the College of a new home mailing address.
To update your address, please fax or e-mail a completed Address Change Form to the College as soon as your address has changed. Under the By-Laws, you are required to notify the College in writing of any changes in home or business information, within thirty (30) days of the change. If your renewal application is received after the renewal deadline you will be charged a late fee.
Can I pay a reduced membership fee if I only work occasionally?
The annual fees collected from College members support all of the activities the College undertakes to fulfill its mandate as a self-regulatory body governing the optical profession in the public interest. Your membership fee allows you to remain a member in good standing and to practice Opticianry in Ontario.
The costs of recording an optician on the College register and ensuring that work meets the standards of the profession are the same whether an optician works full-time, part-time or only for a certain period of time during the year. For this reason, the College sets one flat fee for the calendar year.
When will I receive my Income Tax Receipt & Renewal Certificate /Badge Decals?
Official Income Tax Receipts and renewal certificate (if applicable)/badge decals will be mailed to Registered Opticians by late February and Registered Student and Intern opticians by late October of each renewal year/term, provided that you have submitted your renewal application form and all applicable documents and payments by the renewal due date or post-marked before the due date, and have met all the requirements for renewal.
Can I get confirmation of receipt of my renewal form and payment?
The renewal time is the busiest season at the College. The College is committed to ensuring that all renewals are processed in a timely fashion. The College receives an inordinate amount of request for confirmation of receipt of renewal forms and payment which affects the processing times. Our staff will only be able to accommodate individual or group requests (from employer) for written confirmation of receipt of your renewal form or the processing of your payment after December 31 (for Opticians) and after September 1 (for Student and Iintern opticians) of each renewal year/term. However, the College will give a verbal confirmation that your renewal form and payment has been received at any time. Please allow for ample processing time.