Legislation and Standards
Health Legislation in Alberta
As registered health care professionals, opticians must remain current and knowledgeable about the legislative requirements for practice in Alberta. Opticians are regulated by a number of key Acts, Regulations, and Standards of Practice to protect patients and ensure the effectiveness of the health care system.
Health Professions Act
The Health Professions Act sets out common requirements for the regulation of health professionals in Alberta. This legislation establishes the College of Opticians of Alberta and sets out the mandate of the College.
The Government of Alberta has developed a Health Professions Act Handbook to simplify and summarize the Act for the benefit of the public and regulated health professionals.
Key concepts explained in this handbook include:
- Health Professional Regulatory Colleges – page 6
- Registration as a Health Professional – page 12
- College Registers – page 15
- Mandatory Registration – page 17
- Students – page 18
- Unregulated Health Providers – page 20
- Guidance and Oversight – page 22
- Restricted Activities – page 26
- Protection of Titles – page 28
- Access to Information and Confidentiality – page 33
- Practice Permits – page 36 & 37
- Continuing Competency Programs – page 38
- Practice Visits – page 41
- Incapacity – page 42
- Complaints – page 45
- Alternative Complaint Resolution – page 48
- Investigations – page 52
- Discipline Hearings – page 56
- Liability Insurance – page 58
Government Organization Act
The Government Organization Act outlines which health services are restricted activities and sets out offence and penalty provisions for unauthorized practice and activities.
Health Information Act
The Health Information Act outlines the requirements for the collection, use, and disclosure of patient health information, as well as the duties and powers of custodians (regulated health professionals who use and have access to patient health information.
Opticians Profession Regulation
The Opticians Profession Regulation complements the Health Professions Act and sets out the requirements specific to the registration and regulation of opticians.
The College of Opticians Bylaws are the overall guiding principles of the College. They direct the Council in their work to oversee the College of Opticians of Alberta.
Standards of Practice
The Standards of Practice for Opticians are set by the College and approved by the Minister of Health. The standards establish minimum enforceable and acceptable levels of performance, qualifications, and professional practice requirements for opticians in Alberta to ensure the provision of safe, competent, and ethical eye care. The standards are accompanied by practice guidelines to assist opticians with the application of the standards.
Code of Ethics
The Code of Ethics for Opticians is set by the College and includes standards specific to professional conduct.
Health Professions Restricted Activity Regulation
The Health Professions Restricted Activity Regulation is set by the Government of Alberta to outline all parameters around restricted activities specific to each health profession in the province. Regulated members of each health profession listed in the regulations may perform these restricted activities within the practice of their respective profession as set out in the Regulation.