One component of the Quality Assurance Program is mandatory continuing education (CE) (O. Reg. 119/94). All members of the College, whether in active practice, or non-practising, have an obligation to meet the minimum CE requirements and are subject to a random audit at the conclusion of each three-year CE cycle. The regulations under the Optometry Act require the Registrar to refer members who fail to earn the required number of CE credit hours to the Quality Assurance Committee for a practice assessment.
The current cycle runs from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2017. Members are encouraged to carefully review the current CE policy, which can be found on the College website.
Reporting of CE Activities
Members are required to report their CE activities on the annual report. It is the responsibility of the member to claim only credit hours that represent an organized program of learning that is relevant to the member’s maintenance of practice and/or continuing competence.
For the current CE cycle, the College uses OE TRACKER to capture and store CE data for optometrists. All members must be assigned an OE TRACKER number by the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO). Using these numbers, the College can verify members’ CE hours for every three-year CE cycle.
With OE TRACKER, members can:
Receive email notification when CE credits are uploaded into their accounts
Access their CE data anytime from anywhere
Reduce paperwork and filing with online storage of CE certificates
Print a CE transcript to submit for licence renewal, board certification eligibility, or credentialing renewal for hospital privileges
Track the CE hours they have earned and the hours they need to meet licence renewal requirements
Certain CE providers can send attendance information directly to ARBO. Members can also submit their own documents by email or fax.
The new OE TRACKER mobile app is now available for tracking attendance at COPE-approved CE courses. Members can download the app to their iPhone or Android phone and use it to instantly send their attendance of the courses to OE TRACKER.
Mobile Phone Requirements: The recommended minimum OS for Android is 4.0.3 and iPhone is iOS 7.0. If when installing the OE TRACKER mobile app you are prompted with "unable to download" or "invalid software," you should update your mobile phone's operating system.
How to Download the App: Go to the App Store or iTunes on your iPhone or go to Google Play on your Android phone and search for "OE TRACKER." Follow the instructions to download the app.
How to Use the App: After downloading the app, enter your OE TRACKER username and password to log in. The CE provider will post a course-specific QR code to scan at the end of each course to record your attendance.
To find out what your OE TRACKER number is or to set up a username and password, call ARBO at 704-970-2710 or 866-869-6852. For more information about the OE TRACKER mobile app, visit the ARBO website.
Random CE Audits and CE Certificates
The College randomly selects members at the conclusion of each three-year reporting cycle to determine the accuracy of reporting. As the current CE cycle is the first cycle for which the College is using OE TRACKER, all members are encouraged to retain proof of CE activities for at least six months after the completion of this reporting cycle. For example, for the current CE period (January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2017), members should retain certificates of validation for all CE activities until at least June 2018. The College expects to remove the need to retain hard copies of certificates for future CE cycles.