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B.C. College of Optics Inc. v. The College of Opticians of B.C., 2014 BCSC 1853
Professional Regulatory Alert

The B.C. College of Optics (the “School”) is a private school for Opticians. The School applied to the provincial regulator, the College of Opticians of B.C., (the “College”) seeking recognition of the School’s academic program. Graduates of recognized academic programs were eligible to write a national entry to practice examination while graduates of unrecognized programs had to complete additional requirements before they could write the exam. The School asked what documentation the College would need in order to consider the School’s application for recognition.

The College had adopted an accreditation process administered by the National Association of Canadian Optician Regulators (“NACOR”), an umbrella organization of which it was a member. The College took the position that all institutions seeking recognition must go through the accreditation process with NACOR. The College was not prepared to recognize the School without the same thorough review. The College refused to create its own accreditation process just for the School. 

Rather than pursue NACOR accreditation, which it found objectionable, the School applied for judicial review and argued the College was required to assess the School itself and could not delegate that function to NACOR or fetter its discretion.