Higher qualifications in low vision

The College’s higher qualifications in low vision enable optometrists to provide high quality care to patients with non-complex and complex low vision.

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Professional Certificate in Low Vision (Prof Cert LV)

This qualification provides optometrists in hospital and community practice with the enhanced knowledge required for the holistic management of patients with visual impairment.

Topics covered include: 

  • definitions of low vision and visual impairment
  • assessment of low vision: prescribing, dispensing and training  in the use of electronic and optical low vision task appropriate device
  • sensory substitution: clinical low vision services and referral pathways 
  • communication with individuals, families, carers, organisations and professionals.

Learning outcomes

Providers

Cardiff University

Entry requirements: GOC-registered optometrists and dispensing opticians and eye care professionals

Course length: One term/four months

Course delivery: Online lectures and case-based learning, one day of practical sessions, three one-to-one progress meetings

Placement: No

Assessment: Written assessment inc MCQ, KFS, PMCS, online coursework, practical assessment (direct observation)  

Masters level credits: 20

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City, University of London

Entry requirements: GOC-registered optometrists 

Course length: Three months  

Course delivery: Online learning and self-directed study, two practical days inc lectures, workshops and discussion

Placement: No

Assessment: Written assessments inc MCQ and written report and practical assessment

Masters level credits: 15

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Ulster University

Entry requirements: GOC-registered optometrists 

Course length: Four months  

Course delivery: Online learning and self-directed study, optional on-campus practical day inc face-to-face tutorial and workshops 

Placement: No

Assessment: Written assessment including examination and coursework assignment, practical assessment (comprising a full low vision assessment under examination conditions).

Masters level credits: 20

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Professional Higher Certificate in Low Vision (Higher Cert LV)

This qualification enables optometrists in a hospital or community setting to provide an enhanced standard of low vision care for specialist groups of patients. 

Topics covered include:

  • the causes and epidemiology of low vision in different groups of people  
  • assessing and managing patients with low vision 
  • optical and non-optical devices 
  • mental health and low vision 
  • evidence base for low vision rehabilitation  
  • communicating effectively with patients, carers and fellow professionals.

Learning outcomes

Providers

Cardiff University

Entry requirements: GOC-registered optometrists and dispensing opticians and eye care professionals with the Professional Certificate in Low Vision or who were accredited to provide the Low Vision Service Wales prior to 2012. Students must be seeing low vision patients regularly in practice.

Course length: One year 

Course delivery: On-line learning including interactive lectures, webinars and podcasts, two practical days including workshops and case discussions 

Placement: No

Assessment: Written assessment including MCQ, KFS, PMCS, writen case studies, direct observiation and logbook of patient cases from practice

Masters level credits: 20

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Key
KFS – key feature scenarios
MCQ - multiple choice questions
OSCE - objective structured clinical examination
PMCS  - patient management case scenario
SAQ – short answer questions
VRICS -  visual recognition and interpretation of clinical signs

 

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