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All Registered Dispensing Opticians and Contact Lens Fitters (practicing and non-practicing) are required to complete the mandatory continuing education (MCE) requirements set out by the College of Opticians of BC.


OVERVIEW OF MCE REQUIREMENTS 




 MCE Cycle
  • 3 year cycle (eg: Jan 1, 2010 to Dec 31, 2012)




 Total required credits over 3 years
  • Dispensing Optician = 21
  • Contact Lens Fitter = 36




 MCE Category
  • Dispensing Optician = 12 EG minimum
  • Contact Lens Fitter = 12 EG and 15 CL minimum




 MCE Activity Source
  • 2/3 = Professional provider
  • 1/3 = any other provider




Carryover Limit 
  • Dispensing Optician = 7 credits
  • Contact Lens Fitter = 12 credits


MCE CYCLE REQUIREMENTS 
Each registrant is assigned to a continuing education cycle based on the year in which they were first registered as a Licensed Optician. Each cycle is 3 years in length beginning January 1st and all CE credits are due on December 31st of the third year.

Dispensing Opticians - 21 credits over an assigned 3 year cycle (maximum 7 carry over credits may be advanced to the next cycle).

Contact Lens Fitters - 36 credits over an assigned 3 year cycle (maximum 12 carry over credits may be advanced to the next cycle).

Non-practicing Registrants - require the same number of credits over an assigned 3 year cycle as practicing registrants.

Reinstated Registrants - required to fulfill MCE requirements for every MCE cycle missed while their registration was suspended before returning to registered status. All reinstated Licensed Opticians are placed back into their original three-year cycle, regardless of how long their certificate of registration was suspended.


MCE CATEGORY REQUIREMENTS
CE courses and activities are categorized into four distinct areas of Opticianry:

1) Dispensing Practice (EG)
2) Contact Lens Practice (CL)
3) Personal Advancement - Related Fields (RF)
4) Both Dispensing and Contact Lens Practice (EC)

NOTE: EC credits can be used towards both your EG and CL requirements

Dispensing Opticians - require minimum of 12 EG credits
Contact Lens Fitters - require minimum of 12 EG credits and 15 CL credits



SOURCE OF MCE ACTIVITIES
There are 2 categories of continuing education providers:

1) Professional providers (2/3 credits)

The role of the professional provider is to ensure that all registrants have access their CE courses and activities, and that their Continuing Education is specific and relevant to Opticianry issues and developments. The COBC requires all registrants to obtain at least 2/3 of their CE credits through CE courses and activities by professional providers.

The professional providers are:
  • All Canadian educational institutions with accredited Licensed Optician programs
  • Canadian provincial/national Licensed Opticians associations 
  • Approved study clubs 
  • Recognized Canadian provincial Opticianry organizations
2) Other providers (1/3 credits)

Registrants can complete a maximum of 1/3 of their CE credit requirements through other providers:
  • Private training
  • Industry corporations
  • Allied professions
2/3 of your MCE credits must come from a professional provider and the other 1/3 can come from any other MCE provider.


Should you have any questions about your MCE cycle requirements, please contact the College office at (604) 278-7510 or email reception@cobc.ca.
Notice of Board Meeting - April 23, 2016
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April 13, 2016 |
The College's next Board meeting is on Saturday, April 23, 2016 from 9:00 AM-10:30 AM at the College's office - Suite 403, West 2nd Avenue, Vancouver, BC. All Board meetings are open to registrants and the public to attend with advance notice. Please notify the College office by email at jtorres@cobc.ca at least 3 days prior to the board meeting if you wish to attend.


The Court of Appeal for British Columbia Finds in Favour of the College of Opticians of British Columbia
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February 25, 2016 |
VANCOUVER, Feb. 23, 2016 – The BC Court of Appeal unanimously ruled in favour of the College of Opticians of BC today, which overturns the BC Supreme Court decision made in October 2014.
VANCOUVER, Feb. 23, 2016 - The BC Court of Appeal unanimously ruled in favour of the College of Opticians of BC today, which overturns the BC Supreme Court decision made in October 2014. The Court found that the COBC can continue using a third party review of educational programs as a precondition for program recognition. The power to recognize educational programs includes the power to set minimum criteria and procedures for those that seek to be recognized. To find otherwise would undermine the COBC's mandate to serve and protect the public. Honourable Madam Justice Neilson released her decision today, which states that the College has the power to "... imply a procedural step as a matter of practical necessity." Read the full decision in the link above. At present the COBC requires all educational programs to be reviewed by the National Association of Canadian Optician Regulators (NACOR). From there, the NACOR review, and any other information that the applicant views as pertinent to their application, is distributed to the COBC Board who makes the final decision for program recognition. QUICK FACTS - The College has a duty under the law to protect public safety one aspect of which is to ensure the proper training and education of licensed opticians and contact lens fitters. - The College does accept applications from graduates of unaccredited students through their Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) program to determine whether or not they meet the entry level requirements for an optician and/or contact lens fitter. TIMELINE - The College has required all opticianry education programs that seek recognition and accreditation to undergo the NACOR accreditation process since 2003. - B.C. College of Optics Inc. (BCCO) filed a petition against the College for judicial review on July 28, 2009 claiming that the College had established an unlawful precondition for recognition by delegating responsibility to NACOR. - On September 4, 2009 Madam Justice Satanove dismissed the application arguing that "the order it seeks would effectively guarantee the Petitioner approval of its program, unconditionally and in perpetuity." - BCCO amended its 2009 petition on April 3, 2014 alleging that an exchange with the College regarding accreditation in 2013 constituted an application. - On October 2, 2014 a Supreme Court released its decision in favour of the BCCO and the College filed with the BC Court of Appeal. - A full hearing was held in the BC Court of Appeal on September 24, 2015. - The BC Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the College of Opticians of BC on February 23, 2016.
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