Clinical audit in optometric practice

It is complementary to The College of Optometrists’ Clinical governance in optometric practice.1  Clinical audit is a key aspect of clinical governance.

The College provides an e-learning module on clinical audit training for optometrists, which is free for members to use.2 It includes a filmed case study that shows you how to carry out an audit, examples of audits that have been done in optometric practice, and materials to help you audit your own practice. 

This document complements the e-learning module and outlines the four stage process of auditing. It highlights the importance of each stage of the cycle with examples of how to plan and implement audits and make the best use of audit outcomes. 

The four UK nations:

Most of this document is generic to all four nations. However, there are differences in the health service provision across the UK.

Quality in Optometry (QiO)3 was written to help optometrists comply with the requirements for the provision of NHS services in England, with a Welsh version currently being developed by Optometry Wales.4 QiO includes General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) checklists, including a practitioner checklist and a staff checklist, NHS standard contract checklists and interactive audit tools. 

In Northern Ireland and Scotland, the GOS provision is based on the GOS regulations rather than on contracts with optical practices.  As such, the contract compliance framework for England, around which QiO is based, is not applicable. However, optometrists in Northern Ireland and Scotland may still find the QiO helpful as it includes useful tools and information such as a record audit tool and detailed checklists to ensure that appropriate systems are in place. 

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