June 23, 2016
Classification of Cosmetic Contact Lenses by Health Canada
In Saskatchewan, the regulation, enforcement, and dispensing of contact lenses falls under purview of the Saskatchewan Opticians Act, and as of July 16, 2016, cosmetic contact lenses will be regulated by both the Saskatchewan Optician's Act and Health Canada regulations. As such, after July 16, 2017, to comply with Health Canada regulations, anyone distributing or importing medical devices, must obtain a medical device establishment licence (MDEL), in order to provide assurance that the medical devices being sold or imported into Canada meet the safety and effectiveness requirements set out in Health Canada's regulations. As well, a person must also have procedures in place to protect the public should a problem with a medical device be identified. Further information is available from Health Canada.
As it relates to the selling and dispensing of contact lenses in Saskatchewan, the Opticians Act, provides that only properly trained and licensed professionals are allowed to dispense contact lenses in Saskatchewan including, non-prescription lenses, such as cosmetic contact lenses. In this regards, Section 23 of the Opticians Act states the following:
23(1) Subject to the terms, conditions and limitations of that member's
licence, a member may perform the following authorized practices
(2) No person shall perform any of the authorized practices described in
subsection (1) unless:
(a) the person is a member who is authorized by his or her licence to
perform that practice; or
(b) the person is authorized pursuant to another Act to perform that
(c) fit and dispense contact lenses and provide follow-up care in
accordance with the regulatory bylaws.
The Health Care Regulations, in no way overrides or supersedes the Saskatchewan Legislation and even though a person may obtain a MDEL, or purchase lenses from someone that has an MDEL, they can only be dispensed by a properly trained and licensed professional in the Province of Saskatchewan.
As of July 16th, 2017, the Saskatchewan College of Opticians and its members will not be buying, dispensing or fitting any cosmetic contact lenses that have not been assessed for safety or effectiveness by Health Canada, in order to ensure the health and safety of our patients.
The College of Opticians will continue to prosecute any individual who breaches Section 23 of the Act.
If anyone requires any further information or clarification please contact the SCO office at (306) 652-0769.
Notice-decorative contact lenses
The SCO office will be closed Monday, May 2nd - Thursday, May 5th, 2016
THE SCO OFFICE IS MOVING!!!
As of February 1, 2016 our new address will be:
#13– 350 – 103rd Street East
Telephone, Fax and email address will remain the same
ADVANCE NOTICE OF A PILOT PROJECT ON CONTINUING COMPETENCY ASSESSMENTS
A pilot project on Continuing Competency Assessments will soon be taking place across Canada. The SCO is seeking volunteers to participate in this project.
Implementation of a competency program in Saskatchewan would be on a voluntary basis and used as a tool by practicing members, to supplement the existing credit program set out in the current Regulatory Bylaws. Practicing members would be able to seek self-assessment on their own to identify areas for development in their skills, knowledge and attitudes and then, take continuing education or bridging to improve their opticianry skills.
The SCO will soon be receiving the pilot continuing competency Assessment questions, and opticians are encouraged to participate in the pilot project, to assist the developers in gathering enough information and statistics to properly test the program. The goal is to have at least 400 participating opticians across the country in order to provide a suitable cross section of participants Canada wide.
The pilot project will consist of participating opticians, being given a set of 100 assessment questions to be answered in a two hour time period. Participants will be rewarded with 4 EC continuing education credits accredited by NACOR, as well as being entered into a draw for a chance at an item such as an iPad or iWatch.
The college encourages our members to participate and do their part, to ensure there is a good cross section of participants across the country. This is also a great opportunity for members to test their skills while participating in a very worthwhile and important project. Interested Opticians are asked to contact Cathy as soon as possible at (306) 652-0769.
January 13, 2015
On January 13, 2015 members of the legislative group appeared in Provincial Court in Regina, Saskatchewan with regard to three cases of illegal dispensing of contact lenses against the Spirit Halloween stores.
Counsel for Spirit Halloween appeared and entered a plea of guilty to illegally dispensing contact lenses and a fine of $1000 was rendered. In addition to the fine, the owner of the Spirit Halloween franchises is required to enter into an undertaking with the College that the Spirit Halloween stores will never illegally dispense again.
The guilty plea will be the SCO’s third conviction. Several more charges are before the courts, and the college will continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute anyone found to be dispensing contact lenses illegally, that have failed to heed the colleges warning to stop their illegal activities.
The Saskatchewan College of Opticians is an important part of the Saskatchewan Health Care circle of organizations. Being a College gives our members the professional respect they deserve. These changes will give us a much stronger and respected voice when dealing with government, and other organizations. As a College, our main focus will continue to be protecting the public interest. We will do this by ensuring that our membership abides by the Act, Bylaws and Standards of Practice and by continuing to ensure that our membership is properly educated.
Our Act is available on line at:
Our Bylaws are available at:
Amendments to our Bylaws can be found at: