Dispensing Opticians Regulations

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This consolidation is unofficial and is for reference only.  For the official version of the regulations, consult the original documents on file with the Registry of Regulations, or refer to the Royal Gazette Part II.
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Dispensing Opticians Regulations

made under Section 6 of the

Dispensing Opticians Act

S.N.S. 2005, c. 39

O.I.C. 2007-435 (August 17, 2007) N.S. Reg. 361/2007


Interpretation


Citation

1     These regulations may be cited as the Dispensing Opticians Regulations.


Definitions

2     In these regulations,

 

                (a)    “Act” means the Dispensing Opticians Act;

 

                (b)    “contact lens examination” means an examination or examinations approved by the Board that are a prerequisite to qualifying as a certified contact lens fitter;

 

                (c)    “contact lens program” means such program or programs approved by the Board which are a prerequisite to qualifying as a contact lens fitter;

 

                (d)    “register” means the written record maintained by the Registrar in which must be entered the name, registration number, date of entry to membership, address and the category of membership of every person who qualifies for registration according to the Act and the regulations, and includes the specialty register, student register and speciality [specialty] student optician register when the context requires;

 

                (e)    “registration year” means the year that runs between April 1st of one year and March 31st of the next year;

 

                (f)    “student” means a student optician or a specialty student optician.


Registration and Licensing


Prescribed registers

3     In addition to the register, the following registers are prescribed to be maintained by the Registrar as required by subsection 8(2) of the Act:

 

                (a)    specialty register;

 

                (b)    student register;

 

                (c)    specialty student optician register.


Entries on register

4     (1)    An applicant for registration who has never been registered as a dispensing optician in any jurisdiction must submit all of the following to the Registrar:

 

                (a)    proof satisfactory to the Registrar that the applicant is a graduate of a dispensing optician education program approved by the Board, or has passed an accreditation exam approved by the Board;

 

                (b)    proof satisfactory to the Registrar that the applicant has passed any registration examinations as may be approved by the Board;

 

                (c)    a completed application on the application form approved by the Board;

 

                (d)    the registration fee established under the by-laws;

 

                (e)    any information the Registrar requires to establish that the applicant is competent and capable and of such character to safely and ethically practise optical dispensing.

 

       (2)    An applicant for registration who has been previously registered as a dispensing optician either in the Province or in another jurisdiction must submit all of the following to the Registrar:

 

                (a)    a completed application on the application form approved by the Board, including a statement verifying that the applicant is not currently subject to any disciplinary finding that would prohibit the applicant from practising optical dispensing;

 

                (b)    the registration fee established under the by-laws;

 

                (c)    proof satisfactory to the Registrar that the applicant

 

                         (i)     holds a current licence to practice in another jurisdiction, or has passed any applicable examination approved by resolution of the Board,

 

                         (ii)    is a graduate of a dispensing optician education program approved by the Board, or has passed an accreditation exam approved by the Board,

 

                         (iii)   has passed any registration examinations approved by the Board;

 

                (d)    any information the Registrar requires to establish that the applicant is competent and capable and of such character to safely and ethically practise optical dispensing.


Specialty register

5     (1)    The Registrar must enter the name of any member who meets all of the following criteria on the specialty register:

 

                (a)    they have successfully completed a contact lens program;

 

(b)they have passed the contact lens examination;

 

                (c)    they are certified by the Board as qualified to fit contact lenses.

 

       (2)    A person whose name is entered on the special register under the former Act as qualified to measure, fit, or adjust contact lenses must be entered in the specialty register, but must continue under any conditions or limitations attached to the person’s previous registration.


Student register

6     (1)    Subject to subsection (2), the Registrar must enter all of the following for each entrant on the student register:

 

                (a)    the name of the student optician;

 

(b)the student optician’s address;

 

(c)the name of the student optician’s sponsor;

 

                (d)    the name of the dispensing optician education program that the student optician is enrolled in or has completed.

 

       (2)    Before a student optician’s information is entered on the student register, the student optician must obtain a sponsor.


Specialty student optician register

7     (1)    Subject to subsection (2), the Registrar must enter all of the following for each entrant on the specialty student optician register:

 

                (a)    the specialty student optician’s name;

 

(b)the specialty student optician’s address;

 

(c)the name of the specialty student optician’s sponsor;

 

                (d)    the name of the contact lens program that the student is enrolled in or has completed.

 

       (2)    Before a specialty student optician’s information is entered on the specialty student optician register, the specialty student optician must obtain a sponsor.


Categories of membership

8     The 2 categories of membership and corresponding licences are as follows:

 

(a)practising;

 

(b)non-practising.


Non-practising licences

9     (1)    To apply for a non-practising licence, a member must submit all of the following to the Registrar:

 

                (a)    a completed application on the application form approved by the Board, including a statement verifying that the applicant is not currently subject to any disciplinary finding that would prohibit the applicant from practising optical dispensing;

 

(b)the applicable licence fee established under the by-laws;

 

                (c)    a statement verifying that the applicant will not be practising optical dispensing in the Province during the registration year applied for.

 

       (2)    A member who holds a non-practising licence is entitled to do all of the following:

 

                (a)    attend and participate in, but not vote at, meetings of the College;

 

                (b)    serve as a member of any committee of the College.


Renewing non-practising licences

10   To renew a non-practising licence, a member must submit all of the following to the Registrar:

 

                (a)    a completed application on the application form approved by the Board, including a statement verifying that the applicant is not currently subject to any disciplinary finding that would prohibit the applicant from practising optical dispensing;

 

                (b)    the applicable licence renewal fee established under the by-laws;

 

                (c)    a statement verifying that the applicant will not be practising optical dispensing in the Province during the registration year applied for.


Practising licences

11   (1)    To apply for a practising licence, a member must submit all of the following to the Registrar:

 

                (a)    a completed application on the application form approved by the Board, including a statement verifying that the applicant is not currently subject to any disciplinary finding that would prohibit the applicant from practising optical dispensing;

 

(b)the applicable licence fee established under the by-laws;

 

                (c)    proof satisfactory to the Registrar that the applicant

 

                         (i)     has liability insurance coverage in the amount set by resolution of the Board,

 

                         (ii)    has passed any applicable examinations approved by the Board, if they have not held a practising licence in the 2 years immediately before applying for a practising licence,

 

                         (iii)   has completed any professional development requirements approved by the Board;

 

                (d)    any information the Registrar requires to establish that the applicant is competent and capable and of such character to safely and ethically practise optical dispensing.

 

       (2)    A member who holds a practising licence is entitled to all of the following:

 

(a)use the title “dispensing optician”;

 

(b)if elected, hold office on the Board;

 

                (c)    serve as an appointed member on any committee of the College;

 

(d)attend, participate in and vote at meetings of the College.


Practising licences endorsed with contact lens certification

12   (1)    A member whose name is entered on the specialty register may apply for a practising licence endorsed with a contact lens certification if the member meets the requirements in subsection 11(1) for a practising licence and submits the following additional information:

 

                (a)    a statement verifying that the applicant is not currently subject to any disciplinary finding that would prohibit the applicant from practising as a certified contact lens fitter;

 

                (b)    any information the Registrar requires to establish that the applicant is competent and capable and of such character to safely and ethically practise as a certified contact lens fitter;

 

                (c)    proof satisfactory to the Registrar that the applicant has passed any applicable examinations approved by the Board, if they have not held a practising licence endorsed with a contact lens certification in the 2 years immediately before applying for a practising licence endorsed with a contact lens certification.

 

       (2)    A member who holds a practising licence endorsed with a contact lens certification is authorized to use any and all instruments required to ensure that a contact lens is adequately fitted and that the best possible visible acuity is achieved.


Continuation of deemed practising licences from former Act

13   (1)    A person who was approved under the former Act to practise optical dispensing is deemed to hold a practising licence under the Act and these regulations until the end of the registration year immediately following the year these regulations come into force.

 

       (2)    A person who was entitled to measure, fit, or adjust contact lenses under the former Act is deemed to hold a practising licence endorsed with a contact lens certification under the Act and these regulations until the end of the registration year immediately following the year these regulations come into force.


Renewing practising licences

14   (1)    A practising licence remains in effect until the end of the registration year in which it is issued, unless it is suspended or revoked.

 

       (2)    To renew a practising licence, a member must submit all of the following to the Registrar:

 

                (a)    a completed application on the application form approved by the Board, including a statement verifying that the applicant is not currently subject to any disciplinary finding that would prohibit the applicant from practising optical dispensing;

 

                (b)    the applicable licence renewal fee established under the by-laws;

 

                (c)    proof satisfactory to the Registrar that the applicant

 

                         (i)     has liability insurance coverage in the amount set by resolution of the Board,

 

                         (ii)    has completed any professional development requirements approved by the Board;

 

                (d)    any information the Registrar requires to establish that the applicant is competent and capable and of such character to safely and ethically practise optical dispensing.


Renewing practising licences endorsed with contact lens certification

15   (1)    A practising licence endorsed with a contact lens certification remains in effect until the end of the registration year in which it is issued, unless it is suspended or revoked.

 

       (2)    To renew a practising licence endorsed with a contact lens certification, a member must submit all of the following to the Registrar:

 

                (a)    a completed application on the application form designated by the Board, including a statement verifying that the applicant is not currently subject to any disciplinary finding that would prohibit the applicant from practising as a certified contact lens fitter;

 

                (b)    the applicable licence renewal fee established under the by-laws;

 

                (c)    proof satisfactory to the Registrar that the applicant

 

                         (i)     has liability insurance coverage in the amount set by the Board,

 

                         (ii)    has completed the professional development requirements approved by the Board;

 

                (d)    any information the Registrar requires to establish that the applicant is competent and capable and of such character to safely and ethically practise as a certified contact lens fitter.


Provisional permits for student opticians

16   (1)    The Registrar must issue a provisional permit to a student optician if all of the following conditions are met:

 

                (a)    the student optician has paid the applicable permit fee established under the by-laws;

 

                (b)    the student optician is registered in the student register;

 

                (c)    either

 

                         (i)     the student optician has successfully completed the portion of their dispensing optician education program required by the Board; or

 

                         (ii)    the student optician graduated from their dispensing optician education program on a date that was within the required period of time set by the Board before they applied for a provisional permit.

 

       (2)    A provisional permit for a student optician expires on the earliest of the following dates:

 

                (a)    1 month immediately after the date the student optician passes the registration examination for dispensing opticians;

 

                (b)    the date of the student optician’s third failure of the registration examination for dispensing opticians;

 

                (c)    the date of the third offering of the registration examination for dispensing opticians in the Province immediately after the eligibility date of the student optician to write the examination.

 

       (3)    A student optician is permitted to write the registration examination once their provisional permit as a student optician expires only if they meet the requirements determined by the Board.

 

       (4)    A student optician who holds a valid provisional permit as a student optician may practise optical dispensing only under the direct and constant supervision of their sponsor.


Provisional permits for specialty students opticians

17   (1)    The Registrar must issue a contact lens provisional permit to a specialty student optician if all of the following conditions are met:

 

                (a)    the specialty student optician has paid the applicable permit fee established under the by-laws;

 

                (b)    the specialty student optician is registered in the specialty student optician register;

 

                (c)    either

 

                         (i)     the specialty student optician has successfully completed the portion of their contact lens program required by the Board, or

 

                         (ii)    the specialty student optician graduated from their contact lens program on a date that was within the required period of time set by the Board before they applied for a provisional permit.

 

       (2)    A contact lens provisional permit expires upon the earliest of the following dates:

 

                (a)    1 month immediately after the date the specialty student optician passes the contact lens examination;

 

                (b)    the date of the specialty student optician’s third failure of the contact lens examination;

 

                (c)    the date of the third offering of the contact lens examination in the Province immediately after the eligibility date of the specialty student optician to write the examination.

 

       (3)    A specialty student optician is permitted to write the contact lens examination once their contact lens provisional permit expires only if they meet the requirements determined by the Board.

 

       (4)    A specialty student optician who holds a valid contact lens provisional permit may fit, measure, or adjust contact lenses only under the direct and constant supervision of their sponsor.


Sponsors

18   (1)    A sponsor may sponsor a maximum of 2 students at a time, which, subject to the definition of sponsor in the Act, may include 2 student opticians, 2 specialty student opticians or 1 student optician and 1 specialty student optician.

 

       (2)    A sponsor must provide direct and constant supervision of their student opticians or specialty student opticians while the students are engaging in the practice of optical dispensing.

 

       (3)    Only fittings performed or hours worked under the supervision of a sponsor qualify as fittings or hours required to complete the course of study required in Section 19.

 

       (4)    A sponsor is responsible for immediately notifying the Registrar when they stop sponsoring a student optician, but the sponsor remains responsible for the student optician until the notification is received in writing by the Registrar.

 

       (5)    A student optician who changes their sponsor must immediately notify the Registrar in writing of the change.


Course of study for student opticians and specialty student opticians

19   (1)    Before taking the exam for registration as a dispensing optician, a student optician must complete all of the following under the supervision of a sponsor within 3 years from the date they pass the mid-term examination of their dispensing optician education program:

 

                (a)    250 fittings, at least 100 of which are multi-focal vision fittings;

 

                (b)    2000 hours of practising optical dispensing.

 

       (2)    Before taking the contact lens examination, a specialty student optician must complete all of the following under the supervision of a sponsor in 3 years:

 

                (a)    35 fittings for soft lenses;

 

                (b)    15 fittings for rigid lenses.


Information on member’s registration and licensing status

20   Any dispensing optician or any member of the public may request verification of the registration or licensing status of a member from the Registrar.


Removal of name from registers

21   (1)    The Registrar must remove the name of a member or a student from the appropriate register if any of the following occurs:

 

                (a)    the member or student requests it and surrenders all their licences and permits;

 

                (b)    the Registrar is notified of the death of the member or student;

 

                (c)    the registration of the member or student is revoked.

 

       (2)    The Registrar may suspend the licence of a member or the provisional permit of a student if the member or the student fails to pay fees required by the Act or these regulations or if the member or the student is otherwise suspended under the Act.

       (3)    The Registrar may restore the name of a person removed from a register to the register, and may issue an appropriate licence if the person

 

                (a)    pays the applicable fee established under the by-laws; and

 

                (b)    complies with the Act, these regulations and the by-laws.


Professional Conduct


Code of ethics

22   After consulting with the members, the Board must adopt a code of ethics and standards of practice for members.


Preliminary investigation of complaint

23   (1)    On receiving a complaint, the Registrar must forward copies of the complaint to both of the following:

 

(a)the respondent;

 

(b)an investigator.

 

       (2)    On receiving a complaint, an investigator must conduct an investigation, including doing any of the following:

 

                (a)    requesting additional written or oral explanations from the complainant, the respondent or a third party;

 

                (b)    requesting an interview of the complainant, the respondent or a third party;

 

                (c)    informally resolving the complaint in the interests of the respondent, the complainant, the public and the College.

 

       (3)    An investigator may investigate any matter that may constitute any of the following relating to the respondent that arises in the course of the investigation:

 

                (a)    professional misconduct;

 

                (b)    conduct unbecoming the profession;

 

                (c)    incompetence;

 

                (d)    incapacity.

 

       (4)    A respondent may submit medical information and any information relevant to the complaint to an investigator.


Powers of Complaints Committee and disposition of Complaints Committee

24   (1)    On receiving a report from an investigator, a Complaints Committee must do one of the following:

 

                (a)    accept any informal resolution made by the investigator under clause 23(2)(c) and take no further action;

 

                (b)    dismiss the complaint, if a determination is made by the Complaints Committee that the College does not have jurisdiction to resolve the complaint or the complaint cannot be substantiated or is frivolous or vexatious, and provide guidance to the complainant, the respondent or any person associated with the complaint, if the Complaints Committee considers guidance to be useful;

 

                (c)    give the complainant, the respondent and any other person it considers appropriate the opportunity to appear before the Complaints Committee and to submit representations or explanations or documentation, including medical and any other information relevant to the complaint, in accordance with clause 28(c) of the Act.

 

       (2)    After the Complaints Committee has given the parties an opportunity to appear before the committee under clause (1)(c), the committee may require the respondent to do one or more of the following:

 

                (a)    submit to physical or mental examinations by a qualified person or persons designated by the Complaints Committee and authorize the examination reports to be given to the Complaints Committee;

 

                (b)    submit to a review of the respondent’s practice by a qualified person or persons designated by the Complaints Committee and authorize a copy of the review to be given to the Complaints Committee;

 

                (c)    submit to any examination the Complaints Committee directs, to determine whether the respondent is competent to practise optical dispensing, and authorize the examination report to be given to the Complaints Committee;

 

                (d)    produce any records kept about the respondent’s practice that the Complaints Committee considers appropriate.

 

       (3)    If a respondent fails to comply with subsection (2), the Complaints Committee may suspend the licence to practice or restrict the licence of a respondent, or both, until the suspension is lifted, superseded, or annulled by the Complaints Committee or Professional Conduct Committee, as the case may be.

 

       (3)    If a respondent fails to comply with subsection (2), the Complaints Committee may suspend the respondent’s licence to practice or restrict the respondent’s licence to practice, or both, until the suspension or restriction is lifted, superseded or annulled by the Complaints Committee or Professional Conduct Committee, as the case may be.

 

       (4)    After the Complaints Committee has given the parties an opportunity to appear before the committee under clause (1)(c), the committee must do one of the following:

 

(a)dismiss the complaint;

 

(b)counsel the respondent;

 

(c)caution the respondent;

 

(d)counsel and caution the respondent;

 

                (e)    with the consent of the respondent and notwithstanding that the complaint has not been forwarded to the Professional Conduct Committee, order that the respondent receive a reprimand and that the reprimand be communicated to the respondent and the complainant, and such other persons as the Complaints Committee considers appropriate;

 

                (f)    refer a matter or matters to the Professional Conduct Committee if a determination is made that the matter or matters warrant a hearing;

 

(g)informally resolve the complaint.

 

       (5)    A counsel or a caution issued under clause (4)(b), (c) or (d) is not a disciplinary finding against the respondent and must not be published or disclosed to the public, except that it must be disclosed to all of the following:

 

                (a)    the respondent;

 

                (b)    the complainant;

 

                (c)    any person the Complaints Committee considers appropriate;

 

                (d)    the Complaints Committee in any subsequent complaints filed against the respondent.

 

       (6)    A reprimand issued under clause (4)(e) is a disciplinary finding against the respondent and subsection 30(2) of the Act requiring publication and notification applies.


Costs of respondent complying with requirement

25   The costs for a respondent to comply with a requirement under subsection 24(2) must initially be paid by the Complaints Committee, but may be awarded as costs against the respondent under Section 40.


Suspended respondent may request hearing

26   On receiving a request for a hearing from a respondent who has been suspended by a Complaints Committee, the Complaints Committee must refer the complaint about the respondent directly to a Professional Conduct Committee for a hearing.


Settlement proposals

27   (1)    A settlement proposal proposed by a respondent must be consented to by the College, submitted to the Complaints Committee in writing and must include all of the following:

 

                (a)    an admission or admissions to 1 or more of the allegations set out in the notice of hearing;

 

                (b)    the respondent’s consent to a specified disposition, conditional upon the acceptance of the settlement proposal by the Professional Conduct Committee.

 

       (2)    A settlement proposal may include any disposition that could be ordered by a Professional Conduct Committee under Section 38.

 

       (3)    The Complaints Committee retains jurisdiction over a complaint until a hearing before the Professional Conduct Committee begins, or the settlement proposal is accepted by the Professional Conduct Committee.

 

       (4)    The parties may agree to use the services of a mediator to prepare a settlement proposal, and the costs of the mediator must be divided equally between the College and the respondent, unless the parties agree to a different division of the costs.

 

       (5)    The Complaints Committee may recommend acceptance of a settlement proposal if it is satisfied that all of the following are met:

 

(a)the public is protected;

 

                (b)    the conduct or its causes can be, or are, successfully remedied or treated, and the respondent is likely to successfully pursue any remediation or treatment required;

 

                (c)    settlement is in the best interests of the public and the dispensing optician profession.

 

       (6)    If a Complaints Committee does not recommend accepting a settlement proposal, the complaint considered by the Complaints Committee must be referred to the Professional Conduct Committee for hearing.

 

       (7)    If a Complaints Committee recommends accepting a settlement proposal, the settlement proposal must be referred to the Professional Conduct Committee.


Professional Conduct Committee actions when settlement proposal referred

28   (1)    On receiving a settlement proposal that the Complaints Committee recommends be accepted, the Professional Conduct Committee must do one of the following:

 

                (a)    accept the settlement proposal, in which case the settlement proposal forms part of the Professional Conduct Committee’s order disposing of the matter and, other than a hearing for a breach of the settlement proposal under subsection (5), a hearing before the Professional Conduct Committee is not held;

 

                (b)    reject the settlement proposal, in which case the complaint considered by the Complaints Committee must be referred to a panel of the Professional Conduct Committee, made up of persons who did not sit on the panel that reviewed the settlement proposal, for a hearing;

 

                (c)    amend the settlement proposal and return it to the Complaints Committee for review.

 

       (2)    If the Complaints Committee does not agree with amendments made under clause (1)(c), the settlement proposal is deemed to be rejected and the complaint considered by the Complaints Committee must be forwarded to a panel of the Professional Conduct Committee, made up of persons who did not sit on the panel that reviewed the settlement proposal, for a hearing.

 

       (3)    If the Complaints Committee agrees with amendments made under clause (1)(c), the settlement proposal is returned to the Professional Conduct Committee for approval.

 

       (4)    If a settlement proposal is rejected by a Professional Conduct Committee, the hearing must proceed without reference to the settlement proposal or any admissions contained in the settlement proposal.

 

       (5)    A breach by a respondent of an undertaking given in an accepted settlement proposal or a condition of an accepted settlement proposal constitutes professional misconduct and may form the subject of a hearing before a panel of the Professional Conduct Committee, made up of persons who did not sit on the panel that reviewed the settlement proposal.


Notice of hearing

29   (1)    The Professional Conduct Committee that prepares a notice of hearing under subsection 32(2) of the Act must serve a copy of the notice either personally or by registered mail on each of the following:

 

                (a)    the respondent, at the respondent’s last known address;

 

                (b)    the complainant, at the complainant’s last known address.

 

       (2)    A notice of hearing must state all of the following:

 

                (a)    the nature of the conduct to be inquired into;

 

                (b)    the details of the charges;

 

                (c)    the date, time and place of the hearing;

 

                (d)    that the respondent may be represented at the hearing by counsel.


Amendment of notice of hearing

30   (1)    At any time before or during a hearing, the Professional Conduct Committee may amend or alter any notice of hearing for any of the following reasons:

 

                (a)    to correct an alleged defect in substance or form,

 

                (b)    to make the notice conform to the evidence if there appears to be a difference between the evidence and the notice or if the evidence discloses potential for any of the following that is not stated in the notice:

 

                         (i)     professional misconduct,

 

                         (ii)    conduct unbecoming a dispensing optician,

 

                         (iii)   incapacity,

 

                         (iv)   incompetence.

 

       (2)    A respondent must be given opportunity to prepare an answer to any amendment or alteration to a notice of hearing made by the Professional Conduct Committee.

 

       (3)    A Professional Conduct Committee may decide that an amendment or alteration to the notice of hearing should not be made after receiving the respondent’s answer under subsection (2), and if it considers it appropriate, may refer any new allegations to an investigator under Section 23.


Attendance at a hearing

31   (1)    Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3), a hearing is open to the public.

 

       (2)    At the request of a party, the Professional Conduct Committee may order that the public, in whole or in part, be excluded from a hearing or any part of it if the Professional Conduct Committee is satisfied that any of the following apply:

 

                (a)    personal, medical, financial or other matters that may be disclosed at the hearing are of such a nature that avoiding public disclosure of those matters in the interest of the public or any person affected outweighs adhering to the principal [principle] that hearings should be open to the public;

 

                (b)    the safety of any person may be jeopardized by permitting public attendance.

 

       (3)    The Professional Conduct Committee may order that the public be excluded from a part of a hearing that deals with a request for an order to exclude the public in whole or in part under subsection (2).

 

       (4)    The Professional Conduct Committee may make any order it considers necessary, including prohibiting the publication or broadcasting of matters, to prevent the public disclosure of matters disclosed in a hearing or any part of a hearing dealing with an order under subsection (2) or (3).

 

       (5)    Subject to any order made under this Section, the Professional Conduct Committee must state at a hearing its reasons for any order made under this Section.


Hearing procedures

32   (1)    Subject to the Act and these regulations, the Professional Conduct Committee may determine its own rules of procedure.

 

(2)A complainant cannot participate as a party at a hearing.

 

       (3)    Witnesses at a hearing must testify under oath or affirmation.

 

       (4)    An oath or affirmation taken at a hearing may be administered by any member of the Professional Conduct Committee or other person in attendance who is authorized by law to administer oaths or affirmations.

 

       (5)    The Professional Conduct Committee may require the respondent to do one or more of the following during a hearing:

 

                (a)    submit to physical or mental examinations by a qualified person or persons designated by the Professional Conduct Committee and authorize the examination reports to be given to the Professional Conduct Committee;

 

                (b)    submit to a review of the respondent’s practice by a qualified person or persons designated by the Professional Conduct Committee and authorize a copy of the review to be given to the Professional Conduct Committee;

 

                (c)    submit to any examination the Professional Conduct Committee directs, to determine whether the respondent is competent to practise optical dispensing, and authorize the examination report to be given to the Professional Conduct Committee;

 

                (d)    produce any records kept about the respondent’s practice that the Professional Conduct Committee considers appropriate.

 

       (6)    If a respondent fails to comply with a requirement under subsection (3) the Professional Conduct Committee may direct the Registrar to suspend the registration and any licences or permits of the respondent until the respondent complies.


Costs of complying with requirement

33   The costs for a respondent to comply with a requirement under subsection 32(5) must initially be paid by the Professional Conduct Committee, but may be awarded as costs against the respondent under Section 40.


Respondent fails to attend hearing

34   After receiving proof of service of the notice of hearing, a Professional Conduct Committee may proceed with a hearing in a respondent’s absence and take any action authorized under the Act without further notice to the respondent.


Subpoenaed witness fees

35   Witnesses who are present under subpoena at a hearing before the Professional Conduct Committee are entitled to the same allowances as witnesses attending a trial or an action in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.


Recording of evidence at hearing

36   (1)    Any evidence presented at a hearing before the Professional Conduct Committee must be recorded by a person authorized by the College.

 

       (2)    Evidence may be presented at a hearing before the Professional Conduct Committee in any manner that the committee considers appropriate, and the committee is not bound by the rules of law respecting presenting evidence that apply to judicial proceedings.


Preserving evidence

37   Evidence obtained by a Professional Conduct Committee, and information obtained by a Complaints Committee or an investigator for a complaint that has not been dismissed by the Complaints Committee, must be preserved for at least 5 years from the date of the evidence is presented or the information is obtained.


Disposition by Professional Conduct Committee

38   A Professional Conduct Committee that finds professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming a dispensing optician, incompetence or incapacity on the part of a respondent may include any of the following in the order of the committee disposing of the matter:

 

                (a)    revoking the respondent’s registration and directing that the respondent’s name be removed from any register it is entered in;

 

                (b)    suspending the respondent’s licence to practise optical dispensing for a specific period;

 

                (c)    suspending the respondent’s license to practise optical dispensing pending the satisfaction and completion of any conditions the Professional Conduct Committee orders;

 

                (d)    imposing any restrictions or conditions on the respondent’s practice of optical dispensing for any period [and] direct[ing] that the restrictions and conditions be recorded on their licence;

 

                (e)    fining the respondent to a maximum amount of $5000;

 

                (f)    reprimanding the respondent and, if the Professional Conduct Committee considers it appropriate, directing that the reprimand be recorded;

 

                (g)    directing that the respondent pass a particular course of study or satisfy the Professional Conduct Committee, or any other committee established under the Act, of the respondent’s general competence to practice optical dispensing or competence in a specific field of practice;

 

                (h)    directing that the respondent obtain medical treatment;

 

                (i)     directing that the respondent obtain any counselling that the Professional Conduct Committee considers appropriate;

 

                (j)     publishing its findings in any manner that the Professional Conduct Committee considers appropriate;

 

                (k)    informing any person of its findings that the Professional Conduct Committee considers appropriate.


Written decision of Professional Conduct Committee

39   (1)    A Professional Conduct Committee must prepare a written record of its decision in a hearing and the reasons for the decision.

 

       (2)    Within a reasonable time frame after the decision, a copy of the Professional Conduct Committee’s record of decision must be sent to all of the following by registered mail or personal service:

 

                (a)    the respondent;

 

                (b)    the complainant;

 

                (c)    any person the Professional Conduct Committee considers appropriate.


Costs

40   (1)    In this Section, “costs” include all of the following:

 

                (a)    expenses incurred by the College in the investigation of a complaint;

 

                (b)    expenses incurred by the College for the activities of the Complaints Committee and the Professional Conduct Committee;

 

                (c)    the College’s solicitor and client costs, including disbursements and HST, relating to the investigation and hearing or to the resolution of the complaint, including those of any College counsel and counsel for the Professional Conduct Committee;

 

                (d)    fees for retaining a court reporter and preparing transcripts of the proceeding; and

 

                (e)    travel costs and reasonable expenses of any witnesses, including expert witnesses, who are required to appear at the hearing or who are required for the resolution of the matter.

 

       (2)    Except when awarded costs under this Section, a respondent is responsible for all expenses incurred in their defence.

 

       (3)    If the Professional Conduct Committee finds professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming, incompetence or incapacity on the part of a respondent, it may order the respondent to pay costs in whole or in part and the costs are a debt to be recovered by civil action for debts.

 

       (4)    If the Professional Conduct Committee considers that a hearing was not necessary, it may order the College to pay some or all of the respondent’s legal costs and the costs are a debt to be recovered by civil action for debts.

 

       (5)    The Registrar may suspend the licence of a respondent who fails to pay costs within the time ordered until payment is made or satisfactory arrangements for payment are made.



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