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Maintenance of Competency (MOC)

Policy

The Opticians of Manitoba (OOM) believe that Opticians have a professional responsibility to demonstrate that they are engaged in lifelong learning and ongoing continuing education, formally referred to as Maintenance of Competency (MOC).

Scope

OOM is mandated by the Province of Manitoba Opticians Act and its Bylaws and Standards of Practice to:

  • Develop, establish and maintain standards of academic or technical achievement and qualification required for registration as a member and monitor compliance with and enforce those standards
  • Develop, establish and maintain a Maintenance of Competency program to maintain the competence of its members, promote high standards of knowledge and skill and to enhance the practice of Opticianry through a program that may provide for, but is not limited to:
    • Reviewing the professional competence of members
    • Requiring members to participate in programs intended to ensure competence
    • Conducting practice audits
    • Promoting the ability of members to respond to changes in practice environments, advances in technology and other emerging issues

In keeping with OOM bylaws and the Province of Manitoba Opticians Act:

  • All members are required to attend a minimum of hours of MOC education on an annual basis and in every three year cycle, in order to maintain their license
  • Members can begin to accumulate MOC credits as soon as they become Licensed in Manitoba and it is the responsibility of each member to ensure they are in compliance with MOC requirements
  • Inactive members must continue to maintain all MOC requirements

This policy applies to all Licensed Opticians and Contact Lens Fitters in Manitoba.

Process

  • Members of the Opticians of Manitoba are required to obtain a minimum number of MOC credits during every three-year MOC cycle.
    All credits must be related to the maintenance of the member’s standards of practice or competence.
    Credits will be calculated and applied in accordance with the OOM Maintenance of Competency Policy.
    Members are responsible for submitting details of events attended which are not provided by the OOM including a completed application form for the credits.
    Reports identifying the number of credits reported and recorded are available in the members’ section of the OOM website.
    At the end of each cycle you will receive a report on the status of your credits if you are not in compliance with credit requirements.
  • If you find you have more credits than you need for a cycle, it is your responsibility to advise the office in writing if you wish to have the surplus ‘banked’ for the following cycle. A maximum of 4 surplus credits may be advanced to the next cycle.
  • It is strongly recommended that Opticians complete one third (1/3) of the total number of credits required for the three year cycle, by August 31 of each year of the three year cycle, in order to avoid having to obtain credits required in order to be eligible for obtaining a license at the end of the third year of the cycle. PLEASE NOTE however that members who had failed to comply with MOC requirements at the end of the previous three year cycle, will be required to complete one third of the total number of credits in each year of the next cycle.

How to Earn MOC Credits

All MOC credits must be related to the maintenance of the member’s standards of practice competence, i.e. eyeglasses and/or contact lenses.

A member must obtain a minimum of 75% of their MOC credits from “Category A” activities and 25% from “Category B” activities. A maximum of 4 credits may be advanced to the next cycle.

OOM Members may obtain MOC credits from:

  • Attending Eyeglasses (EG) or Contact Lens (CL) related seminars, lectures, workshops or online MOC modules
  • Attending Advanced Practice Courses: Opticians enrolled in Advanced Practice Year One, Advanced Practice Year Two Contact Lenses, and Advanced Practice Year Two Sight Testing will be awarded 9 credits per year, divided between the Eyeglasses and CL categories, upon successful completion of the year of studies.
  • Participating in “Other” activities, which may be used to supplement the total MOC requirements, subject to the minimum and maximum totals and the OOM policy for calculating credits in the “Other” category. “Other” activities may include, but are not limited to:
  • Relevant lectures or online MOC modules having content that can be applied to the practice of Opticianry e.g. St. John’s Ambulance, CPR, Management/Motivational Seminars etc.
  • Attending presentations sponsored by the OOM
  • Activities  which are not considered as an educational tool for the individual member but would be considered as a volunteer activity that enhances the practice of Opticianry
  • Completing education modules online

If a supplier, company, organization believes that there are courses, seminars or a learning module that should qualify for MOC credits, they may submit the form Request for Evaluation of Credits for a Proposed MOC Activity (Appendix E) to the Registrar. Their request will be considered by the Standards Committee and they will be advised in writing of the Committee’s decision.

Fees for MOC Events

Effective April 1, 2011, a $25.00 fee will be charged to all Active members for attendance at events sponsored by the OOM.

Effective April 1, 2011, a $35.00 fee will be charged for all inactive members to attend lectures or seminars arranged by the OOM.

OOM members who are members of the OAC are charged $15.00 per module to complete OAC education programs online. OOM members who are OAC members receive 4 free MOC monetary credits at the beginning of each year from the OAC. The value of these monetary credits is $120.00 – $240.00.The OAC enters the amount of the available monetary credits in a bank for the member who can then apply them towards the cost of completing online MOC credits offered by the OAC.

Reporting Requirements for MOC Credits

  • Members who attend OOM sponsored MOC events will be required to hand in a completed Evaluation Form at the registration table, at the completion of the event in order to receive their MOC credit form for attending the event
  • Members must retain proof of MOC activities and are responsible for submitting details of events attended which are not provided by the OOM (using the form Application for MOC Credits (Appendix G), to the Registrar for approval by the Standards Committee, if they wish to receive credits for these events. If the sponsor of the event has provided attendees with an MOC certificate verifying the member’s attendance, these can be submitted with the application form as verification. If a certificate has not been provided by the sponsor of the event, the verification of attendance section on the Application form must be signed by the sponsor, in order to be considered for MOC credits.
  • The form “Application for Approval of Other MOC Credits” must be submitted to the Registrar and approved by the Standards Committee, before MOC credits can be awarded for the activities in the “Other” category
  • Although the OAC records a members credits earned for OAC education modules, OOM members are still required to submit a copy of their MOC certificate for each module so the credits it can be entered in the OOM data base for the member, as proof of completion.

MOC Education Certificates

Copies of MOC Education Certificates will be provided to members at the conclusion of each event arranged by the OOM, and the member’s credits will be entered by OOM in the member’s MOC file.

Notice to Members Who Are Noncompliant

If a member is noncompliant at the end of a three-year cycle, the member will:

  • Receive a letter sent by registered mail, advising them of their noncompliant status at the beginning of October of the year in which the three year cycle ends. A second letter will be sent by Registered mail on December 15 if by that date the member is still in non-compliant status.
  • Be provided with a grace period within which to bring themselves into compliance with MOC requirements .The grace period will allow the member until March 1 of the year following the end of the three year cycle, to achieve compliance.
  • Credits earned from January 1 – March 31 in the first year of the next three-year cycle in order to bring the member into compliance with the previous three-year cycle, cannot be applied to the current/new three year cycle
  • If a member fails to achieve compliance by December 31 of the last year of the three-year cycle, the Education Committee may, in the absence of a reasonable excuse being provided by the member:
    • Withdraw the member’s certification under the Opticians’ Act
      OR
    • Require the member to successfully complete a suitable examination of their skills and knowledge, at the member’s expense
  • The Standards Committee must make their decision to either withdraw the member’s certification or require the member to complete an examination within 30 days following the compliance deadline
  • The Standards Committee must forward a letter to the member by registered mail within 15 days after their decision has been made, advising him/her:
  • If the member’s certification is being withdrawn, the specific reasons and the date that the withdrawal becomes effective
  • That in order to maintain certification, the member is required to take an examination, at their own expense, to demonstrate their skills and knowledge, which must be successfully completed within 30 days and that  a copy of the examination results must be forwarded to the Standards Committee within 10 days of receiving them
  • Of their right to appeal the decision of the Standards Committee by submitting a letter to the OOM Council within 10 days

A copy of the letter must also be forwarded to the OOM Council.

Method of Review/Appeal

Any decision by the Standards Committee to withdraw certification may be appealed, in writing to the OOM Council.

Practice Audits

The Standards Committee must facilitate annual practice audits utilizing internal or external resources through a random selection of the members each year.

Reporting Requirements

In keeping with the Bylaws of the Opticians of Manitoba the OOM annual report must include the following information for the year in respect of which the report is submitted:

  • The number of practice audits conducted and the results of the audits
  • A description of the Maintenance of Competency program and other methods used to maintain the competence of the members
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