How to Lodge a Complaint:

The Alberta College of Optometrists is committed to carrying out its activities and governing its regulated members in a manner that protects and serves the public interest. Although complaints against optometrists are rare, it is the responsibility of the ACO to address complaints against Alberta optometrists.

If a patient has an unresolved concern with an optometrist the College encourages the patient to follow a three step process in attempting to resolve his/her concern:

  • As an initial step, the patient is encouraged to speak directly with the optometrist in an effort to resolve the situation. Once the optometrist is made aware of your concern, he/she may be able to offer several options that would be acceptable to both the patient and the practitioner and resolve the issue.

  • If this approach is not successful, the ACO has mediators in various locations throughout the province who act as intermediaries and attempt to resolve the conflict on an informal basis.

  • If a complaint cannot be satisfactorily resolved through this informal mediation process, a letter of complaint should be forwarded to the ACO office, addressed to the ACO Complaints Director.
In accordance with the Health Professions Act (HPA), all complaints must be written and signed. When a written and signed complaint is received by the Complaints Director, the complaint will be reviewed to determine whether the ACO has jurisdiction in regards to the matter complained of, and a decision will be made as to how the complaint will be processed. Under the HPA, the Complaints Director has various options regarding the action taken with respect to a complaint, and he or she must advise the complainant of the chosen action within 30 days of receiving a complaint. As per the HPA, the optometrist who is the subject of the complaint will be provided with a copy of the letter of complaint and the complainant’s identity at some point during the complaint process.

The time frame for the complaint process varies depending on a number of factors, including the complexity of the issues involved, the number of and availability of individuals involved, and the volume of materials to be reviewed.

The Alberta College of Optometrists website contains downloadable PDF files. Please make sure you have the most recent version of Adobe Reader installed on your system.

> Click here to download a Complaint Form.