Appeal Policy

Refer to the Appeals Policy herein for procedures on appealing your results of the OSCE components. The deadline for appealing results is 30 days from the date the results were issued.  

May 2018 exam results appeal deadline: July 15, 2018

Appeal requests with payment should be mailed or couriered to:

Optometry Examining Board of Canada
37 Sandiford Drive Suite 403

Stouffville ON L4A 3Z2

Note: To request a rescore of your written exam results, please see Scoring and Rescoring

Purpose and Synopsis:

This Policy relates to any issues involving the examinations conducted by the OEBC and the processes concerning the application and/or taking of the examination.

The purpose of this policy is to create a transparent and fair internal appeal process for dealing with issues raised by a candidate.  This policy avoids the necessity of a candidate appealing to the courts for a review of any decision of OEBC.  The first part of the process (Level One Appeal) involves a matter being raised directly with the chief executive officer.  In the event that the candidate is not satisfied with the decision of the chief executive officer, the candidate may proceed with a further appeal process (Level Two Appeal) heard by a panel in which the chief executive officer and candidate each provide their written submissions.  In addition, full briefs of all documents are provided to the panel and the individual requesting the appeal.  In the event that the candidate is not satisfied with the Level 2 appeal decision the candidate may have the decision reviewed by a panel made up of different individuals (Level 3 Appeal).  The chief executive officer and candidate provide further written submissions. In addition, full briefs of all documents are provided to the panel and the individual appealing.  Thereafter the panel will hear from the chief executive officer, the individual appealing and any witness.
 

Section 1: Interpretation

A candidate may appeal a decision of OEBC in accordance with this Appeal Policy.  

If the candidate considers circumstances to have prejudiced the examination, the OEBC office must be notified in accordance with this Policy.   If the candidate considers circumstances to have prejudiced the results of the examination, the OEBC office must be notified at the time an extraordinary circumstance arises by way of an Incident Report submitted prior to leaving the exam site except in the case of a medical emergency in which case the incident must be reported to the OEBC office at the first opportunity.  Extraordinary circumstances are unexpected or unanticipated situations outside of the control of the candidate relating to the examination.  Where no documentation (e.g. filed incident report) at the time of the exam exists, candidates cannot seek to appeal examination results after the results have been issued to the candidate.

Candidates cannot seek to appeal the content of the examination. A request for a rescoring of the written examination is considered to be outside this Appeal Policy.
 

Section 2: Definitions

In this document, unless the context otherwise stipulates, the following definitions shall apply:

“OEBC” means the Optometry Examining Board of Canada

“Candidate” means an individual who is applying for and/or been accepted for the writing of OEBC Examinations;   

“Attendance” shall mean participation during a process;

“Examination” means the examinations held by OEBC; 

“CEO” means the chief executive officer of OEBC; 

“Panel” means a group of individuals in Level 2 or Level 3; 

“First Notice of Appeal” means the written document filed by the candidate to the chief executive officer (the CEO); 

“Second Notice of Appeal” means the written document filed by the candidate for a Level 2 Appeal; 

“Third Notice of Appeal” means the written document filed by the candidate for a Level 3 Appeal   

“Extraordinary circumstances” means unexpected or unanticipated situations outside of the control of the candidate relating to the examination. 
 

Section 3: Procedure

3.1 Level One: CEO

  1. Level One Notice of First Appeal shall be directed by the Candidate in writing to the CEO within thirty (30) days of the decision. For an appeal of exam results, the deadline is within 30 days of the issuance of results as published on the website under “Deadlines”.
  2. Acknowledgement of the receipt of the Notice is sent to the candidate.
  3. The CEO shall determine the validity of the appeal by having regard solely to Sections 1 and 2.
  4. The CEO shall within 10 days request further information if required
  5. The CEO shall, within thirty (30) days of acknowledgment of the receipt of the Notice of Appeal referred to in Section 3.1.1 notify the Candidate that the appeal has been approved, rejected or alternatively that the appeal has been forwarded to Level 2 Appeal for further consideration.
     

3.2 Level Two Appeal

  1. The Candidate may appeal the Level One CEO decision by submitting a Second Notice of Appeal, in writing, to the Level 2 Appeal Chair, through the CEO, including a response to the CEO’s decision together with the required fee, within ten (10) days of the decision by the CEO being sent to the Candidate.
  2. Acknowledgement of the receipt of the Notice is sent to the candidate.
  3. Within seven (7) days of #1 the Chair is advised an appeal has been lodged.
  4. Within fourteen (14) days of #1 the CEO sends the candidate the response prepared for submission.
  5. Within five (5) days of #4 the candidate may submit a response.
  6. Within five (5) days of #5 the CEO may further respond to the candidate.
  7. Within fourteen (14) days of #3 the Chair will appoint members to a panel and advise the CEO and candidate of their names for the purpose of determining if there is any issue with a member.
  8. Within two (2) days of #7 the candidate will confirm or reject the composition of the panel.
  9. Within twenty (20) days of #8 a hearing date is set by the Chair and OEBC sends submissions to the panel and the candidate as follows:
    1. the Candidate’s First Notice of Appeal to CEO;
    2. the decisions of the CEO and the reasons therefor;
    3. the Candidate’s Second Notice of Appeal;
    4. the submission(s) of the CEO;
    5. the response, if any, of the Candidate;
    6. copy of the Appeals policy. 
  1. Within ten (10) days of #9 the hearing is held.
  2. Within fourteen (14) days of the hearing the Chair will render a written decision with reasons to the CEO.
  3. Within seven (7) days of #10, a copy of the decision will be issued to the candidate by mail or email.
  4. The panel shall only consider appeals referred to it, in writing, by the CEO, pursuant to this Policy
  5. Meetings of the panel may be held in person, by telephone or video conference, as determined in the sole discretion of the Chair.
  6. The panel shall be composed of three (3) persons as follows: i. one (1) member of the Board of OEBC who shall act as Chair and ii. two (2) registered (licensed) Canadian optometrists chosen by the Chair.
  7. In the event that any member shall be unable to continue to sit on the panel, the appeal shall continue, with no less than two (2) members. Provided that the appeal hearing has not been held, an alternative member may be appointed by the Chair.
  8. A simple majority of the members of the panel including the Chair shall determine all issues within its authority.
  9. The Level 2 Appeal panel, in making its decision shall:
    1. take notice of facts that may be judicially noticed;
    2. take notice of any generally recognized, scientific or technical facts; information or opinions within its scientific or specialized knowledge;
    3. admit, upon the panel being satisfied as to its authenticity, any documentation or other thing.
       

3.3 Level Three Appeal

  1. The Candidate may appeal the Level Two Appeal decision by submitting a Third Notice of Appeal, in writing, to the Level 3 Appeal Chair, through the CEO, including a response to the Level 2 decision together with the required fee, within ten (10) days of the Level 2 decision having been sent to the Candidate by the OEBC Office.
  2. Acknowledgement of the receipt of the Notice is sent to the candidate.
  3. Within seven (7) days of #1 the Chair is advised an appeal has been lodged.
  4. Within fourteen (14) days of #1 the CEO sends the candidate the response prepared for submission.
  5. Within five (5) days of #4 the candidate may submit a response.
  6. Within five (5) days of #5 the CEO may provide a further response to the candidate.
  7. Within fourteen (14) days of #3, the Level 3 Chair will appoint members to a Level 3 panel and advise the CEO and candidate of their names for the purpose of determining if there is any issue with a member.
  8. Within two (2) days of #7 the candidate and/or the OEBC will confirm or reject the composition of the panel.
  9. Within 7 days of days of #8 two possible hearing dates are set by the chair. OEBC notifies the candidate and chooses a date or requests an alternate date in which case the Chair is notified to set two alternate hearing dates. If the candidate cannot agree to any of 4 hearing dates, the panel will proceed to hold the hearing on a date determined by the Chair.
  10. Once the hearing date is set, the submissions are sent to the panel members and the candidate through the OBCE office. Submissions include:
    1. the Candidate’s First Notice of Appeal to CEO;
    2. the decisions of the CEO and the reasons therefor;
    3. the Candidate’s Second Notice of Appeal;
    4. the submission(s) of the CEO;
    5. the response, if any, of the Candidate;
    6. the Candidate’s Third Notice of Appeal;
    7. the submission(s) of the CEO;
    8. the response, if any, of the Candidate;
    9. copy of the Appeals policy. 
  1. The candidate and the CEO shall be in attendance at the hearing with such other persons as shall be required by them to provide evidence with respect to the Appeal. All persons who will be in attendance must confirm to the CEO in writing no later than five (5) days before the hearing that they will be at the meeting.
  2. Within fourteen (14) days of the hearing the Chair will render a written decision with reasons to the CEO.
  3. Within seven (7) days of #10, a copy of the decision will be issued to the candidate by mail or email.
  4. The panel shall only consider appeals referred to it, in writing, by the CEO, pursuant to this Policy.
  5. Meetings of the panel may be held in person, by telephone or video conference at the sole discretion of the Chair.
  6. The panel shall be composed of five (5) persons as follows: i. one (1) member of the board of OEBC who shall act as Chair ii. three (3) licensed Canadian optometrists chosen by the Chair iii. one (1) member who may or may not be an optometrist. No member of the Level 2 Appeal panel shall sit on the Level 3 Appeal panel.
  7. In the event that any member shall be unable to continue to sit on the panel, the appeal shall continue, with no less than three (3) members hearing the appeal. Provided that the hearing has not been held, an alternative member may be appointed by the Chair.
  8. A simple majority of the members of the panel including the chair shall determine all issues within its authority.
  9. Testimony given at a hearing may, at the discretion of the Chair, be given under oath with the witness being sworn or affirmed to tell the truth.
  10. The Level 3 Appeal panel, in making its decision shall:
    1. take notice of facts that may be judicially noticed;
    2. take notice of any generally recognized, scientific or technical facts; information or opinions within its scientific or specialized knowledge;
    3. admit, upon the panel being satisfied as to its authenticity, any documentation or other thing. 
       

Section 4: Fees for Appeal

Fees for requesting a Level One, Level Two or Level Three appeal are found under “Exam Fees” on the website. The fee must accompany the Notice of Appeal directed to the CEO. Appeal requests will not be considered as having been filed without full payment of the fees to the OEBC Office. 
 

Section 5: Miscellaneous Matters

1. All appeals shall be set out in writing, stating “Notice of Appeal” on any correspondence, detailing the nature of the appeal and all particulars necessary to sufficiently allow the appeal to be adjudicated, together with the applicable fee.

2. Under no circumstances shall an appeal or any process, information or communication relating thereto be done verbally or other than in writing.

3. (i)   The CEO and the Level 2 Chair and the Level 3 Chair shall be entitled to obtain such legal advice from OEBC legal counsel and such other representation as they deem appropriate, from time to time, provided that OEBC legal counsel, in the case of the Level 2 Chair and/or Level 3 Chair shall not in any manner whatsoever participate in a decision making capacity and shall be limited to providing advice relating solely to process. 
3. (ii) The Candidate shall be entitled to obtain their own legal counsel or representation as they may so desire, at their own expense.  OEBC is not responsible for any costs related to the appeal that may be incurred by the Candidate.  A failure by the Candidate to seek or obtain legal advice or representation, for any portion or portions of an appeal shall not be grounds for further appeal.

4. Any waiver of procedure by the CEO or any member of the panels shall not be deemed to be a waiver of any further procedural requirements.

5. The panels shall not be required to keep a detailed account of testimony or of its proceedings, but shall compile a record of proceedings in which adjudication has been determined, which shall include:

a. any notice of appeal;
b. any documentary evidence filed with the CEO or panels;
c. the decisions, and the reasons therefor, of the CEO or panels. 

  1. The record required to be compiled herein may be destroyed by OEBC after the expiration of two (2) years from the date of a final Level 1, 2 or 3 decision.
  2. Any notice or notices required to be given pursuant to this Policy shall be sent by regular mail, email or fax in which case delivery shall be deemed to have taken place at the time of transmission. It is the responsibility of the Candidate to ensure that mailing or email addresses provided to OEBC is correct and that there is no delay in receipt of transmissions by voluntary or involuntary controls.
  3. No action, or proceeding whatsoever, shall be commenced against any member of OEBC panel, staff, or OEBC agent, for their having participated in the process governed hereby, and it shall be an express undertaking by a Candidate that the instituting of an Appeal shall be based upon the Candidate's acknowledgement of this undertaking, and agreement to be bound by same, which shall be a complete defence to any action by the Candidate in contravention thereof.
  4. The CEO shall represent the interests of OEBC with respect to the appeal and shall be empowered to undertake such investigations as may be necessary for the purposes of presenting evidence and documentation to a panel.
  5. No decision of a panel shall be set aside as a result of any irregularities which occur pursuant to and under this procedure.
  6. No decision, order, direction, declaration or ruling of the CEO or a panel shall be questioned, appealed, or reviewed in any court; and no order shall be made or process entered or proceedings taken in any court, whether by way of injunction, declaratory judgment, judicial review, or otherwise; to question, review, prohibit or restrain the CEO or a panel or any of its proceedings.
  7. All Appeals shall take place within the Province of Ontario, at a place and time as determined by OEBC unless consented to by OEBC.
  8. It is the intent of the OEBC to expedite appeals to the extent reasonably available.