Unauthorized practice occurs when unregistered or unregulated persons are engaged in restricted activities that only registrants can perform, including:
- fitting and dispensing of contact lenses, and
- performing automated refractions (sight-testing)
Under the British Columbia law, the initial fitting and dispensing of contact lenses are regulated activities. The following services may be provided only by contact lens fitters or under the supervision of a contact lens fitter by persons who are not contact lens fitters:
- fitting a contact lens;
- supplying a contact lens for the purpose of fitting a contact lens.
The conduct of automated refractions is also a regulated activity. Not all opticians can perform automated refractions. Opticians who have achieved certification by the College of Opticians can perform automated refractions or sight-testing. To find out if an optician is certified to conduct automated refractions, click here.
Only registered members of these three regulatory bodies can perform the restricted activities mentioned:
- College of Opticians of British Columbia
- College of Optometrists of British Columbia
- College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia
"OPTICIAN" IS A RESERVED AND PROTECTED TITLE
The correct use of a reserved title allows the public to know they are dealing with a registered professional who has undergone required training and is held accountable to provide a high standard of service. A person other than a registrant of the College must not use the word "Optician" in any manner that expresses or implies that he or she is a registrant or is associated with the College of Opticians of BC.
To ensure the public know when they are purchasing eyewear they are dealing with an Optician, the COBC protects the use of the title through the Health Professions Act. Only active registrants of the COBC can use the title "optician" and other associated terms. No other person can claim to be an "optician" or suggest that s/he is recognized by the COBC.
When a business wishes to use the title "optician" in their advertising, marketing or company name, they are only entitled to do so if there are persons working within the business who are rightly registered Opticians with COBC. Businesses cannot use the reserved titles for Opticianry if they do not have registered Opticians on staff.
To report unauthorized practice, please contact the College by phone, fax, mail or email:
- Tel: 604.278.7510 or toll-free at 1.888.771.6755
- Fax: 604.278.7594
- Mail: Suite #403 - 1505 West 2nd Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6H 3Y4
- Email: email@example.com