26 August 2021

GOC approves College proposal for additional IP mentors

Registered independent prescribers will be able to sign off individual clinical practice placement sessions for IP trainees.

The GOC has approved a College proposal to allow Individual Clinical Practice Placement sessions to be signed off by a designated ophthalmic practitioner who is registered as an independent prescriber.

The designated ophthalmologist (mentor) will continue to have oversight of achievement of all requirements, however this may be via indirect rather than direct supervision. The designated ophthalmologist mentor will still be responsible for the overall sign-off of the logbook.

The designated ophthalmic practitioner must:

  • Have at least two years post-specialist qualification experience and be listed on the appropriate regulator’s register as such.
  • Be working under the supervision of the designated ophthalmologist (mentor).
  • Be approved by the College of Optometrists to undertake this role.

For the purposes of College approval, the designated ophthalmic practitioner must either be:

  • An IP-qualified optometrist who has at least two years’ experience as an IP-qualified optometrist and is listed on the GOC register as such.


  • A GMC registered doctor currently engaged on, and at least two years into, an ophthalmic-speciality training programme, listed on the GMC register as such.

The change applies immediately to all IP trainees at all stages of completing their logbook, and will remain in place for the life cycle of the qualification route.

Find out more about our independent prescribing qualification.

Related further reading

Jane Veys MCOptom on reducing the tears and fears of our patients

It has been over 15 years since prescribing rights were granted to optometrists, writes Dr Paramdeep Bilkhu MCOptom, Clinical Adviser for the College. How has this affected clinical practice and patient outcomes?

Which elements are key to the process of shared decision-making between clinician and patient? Georgina Wintersgill reports.