23 September 2021

CET to CPD: What you need to know

We look at the new CPD requirements in a bit more detail, including why it’s changed, what’s new and what the similarities between the new and old systems are.

With the final CET cycle coming to an end, it’s time to wave goodbye to continuing education and training points, and say hello to the new continuing professional development (CPD) system – active from 1 January 2022. 

Why has it changed? 

The GOC’s new CPD system aims to give you more control over your learning and development. You will have more opportunities to reflect on your practice, and tailor your learning to your own personal needs and requirements. The new system is set to be less prescriptive, and will support you to develop the skills you need throughout your career.

The move to CPD will also bring optometry in line with other healthcare professions, including dentistry, nursing and ophthalmology. 

What’s new?

In the new system competencies will be replaced with four core domains which group together the ‘Standards of Practice’ for optometrists. These are: 

  1. Professionalism.
  2. Communication.
  3. Clinical practice.
  4. Leadership and accountability.

    Plus the following:
  5. Specialty CPD for therapeutic prescribing or contact lens practice.
  6. Current risks (this will only be invoked by GOC in response to a clear identified risk. Registrants will receive plenty of notice before this competency is invoked).

You will need to collect a minimum of one CPD point for each of the four core domains, per three year cycle. Your remaining points can be gained in the domains which best suit your learning and development needs, for example you may want to improve your communication skills and gain more points from domain two, or develop your leadership capability by concentrating on domain four. Those with specialities, such as therapeutic prescribing and contact lens practice, will need to gain a minimum of 18 points in the fifth domain, ‘Specialty CPD’ over the three years. 

Half of your total minimum points can now come from CPD providers that are not formally approved by the GOC. You will also have the ability to log half a point for any CPD lasting between 30 minutes to an hour. 

To log your points you’ll need to head to the MyGOC website. Here you will submit evidence of your attendance, or a completion certificate from your CPD provider - giving you more control and responsibility over your own learning. Please note, your provider will no longer be uploading your points to the system.

The new system will also have a greater emphasis on reflective learning. This means you will need to complete a mandatory reflective practice exercise based around your professional development. If you have already completed reflective statements under GOS, NES Optometry, or similar, you won’t need to complete a second reflective exercise. Instead you can upload evidence of the one you have completed in order to meet the requirement. The GOC will provide a professional development plan template and a reflective exercise template for anyone who wishes to use them.

Are there any similarities to the old system?

There are a few aspects that will remain the same. This includes the total number of CPD points required per three year cycle (36 points for optometrists; 54 points for AS/SP/IP), along with the split between interactive and non-interactive CPD - a minimum of 18 points must be interactive. 

When can we expect more information?

We are working to bring you practical information to help you smoothly transition to the new CPD system. This will come to you in a range of formats over the next few months. We’ll update you with any new developments as they happen and let you know how the College will help you meet the new requirements. 

If you have any further questions, please email us at cpd@college-optometrists.org.