1 August 2022

College launches new vision for the optometric workforce

The College of Optometrists has launched a new vision which sets out its ambitions for the future of the profession, and its plans to put the optometric workforce at the forefront of eye care provision, education and research.

The new vision puts optometrists at the heart of patient-centred eye care, ensuring that optometrists’ expertise and competencies are fully recognised, and their skills are utilised in new, funded models of care. As part of this, the College will be working with its members and key stakeholders in gathering data and insights to better understand the current eye care workforce and future needs. This will enable optometrists to play a central role in the delivery of evolving eye health services. 

As part of the planned Workforce Vision activities, the College is launching a new eye care workforce data modelling project, which will be crucial in understanding workforce supply and patient demand. The College will be working with partners across the eye health professions to commission this multidisciplinary project, which will provide a comprehensive analysis of current and future need.

Professor Leon Davies FCOptom, President of The College of Optometrists, says: “The College’s Workforce Vision provides an ambitious and unique chance to shape the future direction of eye health provision, and our profession. The activities planned are vital to build the evidence base needed to advocate on behalf of optometrists across the UK. There are many exciting opportunities ahead, and I hope you will all join me in support of the College’s work in this area as we move towards a greater recognition and future role for all optometrists.”

Further planned activities by the College include: 

  • Championing optometrists as first contact practitioners who can manage and treat more patients in primary care.
  • Working with the GOC and other stakeholders to ensure that the future of pre-registration optometry education supports the future requirements of our profession.
  • Offering high quality and relevant post-registration higher qualifications in advanced practice, as well as training and CPD.
  • Supporting optometrists to contribute to the education of the next generation through supervision and mentoring schemes, and
  • Championing and encouraging the role of optometrists in taking the lead in clinical research.

Related further reading

Clinical Adviser for the College Daniel Hardiman-McCartney FCOptom on how to ensure a sustainable optometry workforce.

Clinical case studies can make a small but important contribution to the sum of clinical knowledge. Why do we need them, asks Kim Thomas, and how do you write one?