Optometry

The College of Optometrists of British Columbia is the regulatory body established for the health profession of optometry.

Optometry has been a designated health profession under the Health Professions Act since March 1, 2009, and is regulated by the College in accordance with the Act, the Optometrists Regulation and the bylaws of the College.

Optometry has been a regulated profession under British Columbia legislation since 1921. Before designation under the Health Professions Act, the profession was regulated under the former Optometrists Act.

The composition of the board of the College is:

  • six elected optometrists; and
  • three public representatives appointed by the Minister.

Transition of Optometry to the Health Professions Act

Repeal of the Optometrists Act was provided for in the Health Professions Amendment Act, 2003.

As required by the Health Professions Act, the Ministry gave initial notice of the proposed Optometrists Regulation on April 6, 2004. Notice of the proposed regulation to make Part 4 of the Health Professions Act apply to optometry was given on August 26, 2004. In early 2006, the Board of Examiners in Optometry submitted proposed bylaws for the new College of Optometrists of British Columbia under the Health Professions Act, and the Ministry gave notice of those proposed bylaws on March 22, 2006.

On December 12, 2008, the government announced that, effective March 1, 2009, the repeal of the Optometrists Act would be brought into force and the profession of optometry would be designated under the Health Professions Act.

The Ministry gave notice of the final draft of the proposed Optometrists Regulation on December 12, 2008. Comments on the final draft were requested to be submitted to the Ministry by January 12, 2009.

On December 12, 2008, the Board of Examiners in Optometry gave notice of the final draft of proposed bylaws for the new College under the Health Professions Act. Comments on the final draft of the proposed bylaws were requested to be submitted to the Board of Examiners and the Ministry by January 12, 2009.

On January 30, 2009, the Minister appointed the first board of the new College, and ordered that the first election of professional members to the board must be held by June 1, 2010.

On March 1, 2009, the government announced completion of the transition. The new College assumed full responsibilty for regulating the profession, replacing the Board of Examiners in Optometry which was dissolved as of that date.

The first election of professional members to the board was completed on April 16, 2010.

Amendments to the Optometrists Regulation

Amendments to the Optometrists Regulation and to most College bylaws are subject to a three-month notice period, unless the Minister specifies a shorter period.

The College is responsible for giving notice of proposed bylaw amendments, including posting them on the College website, and all bylaw amendments must be filed with the Minister to be effective. Filed bylaws come into force 60 days after the date of filing, unless the Minister either disallows the change or specifies an earlier date, or the College withdraws the change.

The full text of the current bylaws and information about any proposed bylaw amendments may be obtained by contacting the College. Comments on proposed bylaw amendments should be submitted to both the College and the Ministry.

Proposed Regulation Amendments Notice Date
There are no proposed amendments.  
Approved Regulation Amendments Date
Amends the Optometrists Regulation, effective August 1, 2012, to add the restricted activity of applying ultrasound for the purpose of measuring thickness of a cornea and to add antiglaucoma medications to the list of drugs that optometrists may prescribe, dispense or administer, including oral medications for emergency treatment of angle closure glaucoma subject to specified conditions. July 6, 2012
MO 146/2012
BC Reg 200/2012  
Amends the Optometrists Regulation, effective May 1, 2010, consequential to the repeal and replacement of the Opticians Regulation. April 30, 2010
MO 126/2010
BC Reg 117/2010
Corrects technical drafting errors in the Optometrists Regulation. March 13, 2009
MO 078/2009
BC Reg 93/2009
Makes the Optometrists Regulation, effective March 1, 2009. February 26, 2009
MO 046/2009
BC Reg 33/2009
Brings into force the repeal of the Optometrists Act, effective March 1, 2009. Designates optometry under the Health Professions Designation Regulation, effective March 1, 2009. December 12, 2008
OIC 974/2008
BC Reg 422/2008  
Filed Bylaw Amendments Date
Amends the bylaws by repealing and repealing and replacing Schedule F, Recognized Schools of Optometry. Filed June 14, 2016
In force August 13, 2016
Amends the bylaws by repealing and repealing and replacing numerous sections of the bylaws. Filed July 15, 2015
In force
September 13, 2015
Amends teh bylaws by repealing and replacing Schedule E - Fees. Filed June 20, 2014
In force August 19, 2014
Amends the bylaws by repealing and replacing Schedule E - Fees. Filed May 22, 2014
Withdrawn June 20, 2014
Amends various sections of the bylaws regarding the quality assurance committee, registration, quality assurance program, optometric corporations, patient records, collection of association fees, and forms. Filed September 30,
2010
In force October 1, 2010
MO 280/2010
Amends the bylaws by repealing and replacing Schedule E - Fees. Filed August 6, 2010
In force September 13, 2010
MO 257/2010
Amends the bylaws by adding Forms 1 to 18 to Schedule B. Filed December 23, 2009
In force February 16, 2010
Amends the bylaws regarding quality assurance committee mandate, supplementary examinations, and other miscellaneous matters. Filed December 18, 2009
In force January 1, 2010
MO 295/2009
Amends Schedule E regarding registration renewal fee for full registrants, effective November 1, 2009. Filed August 24, 2009
In force October 23, 2009
Repeals all rules of the Board of Examiners under the Optometrists Act, and makes the bylaws of the College under the Health Professions Act. Filed March 1, 2009
In force March 1, 2009
MO 062/2009