Optimising outcomes in education

30 September 2020
Acuity digital

As the General Optical Council (GOC) consults on updating its requirements and processes for optometry and dispensing optician pre-registration education, Helen Gilbert looks at the rationale for the move. 

The College is urging eye health professionals and other stakeholders to submit their views on the General Optical Council’s (GOC’s) plans to update its requirements and processes for approving qualifications that lead to optometrist registration or as a dispensing optician (DO).

“The College holds a huge amount of expertise and we could and should have an important role to play in continuing to deliver the Scheme for Registration in an updated format, working closely with universities and employers,” says Sally Gosling, Director of Education at the College. “As the UK professional body, we can also contribute to the detail of how the new GOC outcomes are implemented, including to ensure the quality of practice-based learning and assessments.”

The consultation, which opened on 27 July and closes on 19 October, forms part of the regulator’s Education Strategic Review (ESR). It makes recommendations on how pre-registration education should evolve to prepare future optometrists and DOs for changing roles and models of patient care. 

Under the plans, the existing Quality Assurance Handbooks for optometry (2015) and ophthalmic dispensing (2011) will be replaced by three documents: Outcomes for registration, Standards for approved qualifications, and Quality assurance and enhancement method (see Views needed below).

The proposals herald a shift to an outcomes-based approach to defining pre-registration education requirements with a singular journey and point of accountability for routes to registration. This means a move away from the current competency-based approach and the GOC defining requirements for two stages of pre-registration education. 

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