28 April 2021

Virtual clinics now included in IP qualification workplace session requirements

This week, the GOC agreed to the College’s proposal for a more flexible approach to meeting logbook requirements for optometrists training to be independent prescribers.

COVID-19 distancing requirements have led to serious restrictions on direct clinical observation. This has made it challenging for optometrists training to become independent prescribers to fulfil the hospital clinic sessions required for logbook completion.  

This week, the GOC agreed to the College’s proposal for a more flexible approach to meeting logbook requirements. Trainees must continue to complete a minimum of 24 x 3-hour sessions in the HES or specialist general practice. However, these can now be divided into:

  • a minimum of 11 x 3-hour of face-to-face sessions (45%)
  • a maximum of 13 x 3-hour sessions in remote or virtual clinics (55%)

All remote or virtual sessions must generate evidence of activities relevant to the GOC-specified learning outcomes and will need to be signed off by a designated ophthalmologist, approved by the College. 

The College is delighted that this adjustment has been agreed, as it will increase the accessibility of hospital clinical training provision by using technology that has become commonplace during the pandemic, and will help to increase the numbers of optometrists able to complete their training to offer prescribing services.

Related further reading

This article reviews the research into digital technology innovation and home monitoring in the management of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma.

This article summarises the key findings of a survey taken by members of the College of Optometrists investigating changes in clinical optometric practice in the UK as a result of the pandemic including the challenges and benefits identified.

COVID-19 and its impact on eyecare: a review