How to get an independent prescribing (IP) qualification

To qualify in independent prescribing you must: 

  • be a registered optometrist
  • have been practising in the UK and registered with the GOC for two full years before beginning the clinical placement
  • train in competencies which focus on the consultation, prescribing effectively and prescribing in context.

Regulations around the independent prescribing qualification as a whole are detailed in the GOC IP Handbook

The three stage qualification process

1. Attend a course 

2. Undertake a clinical placement 

3. The examination 

Universities offering independent prescribing courses

The IP course is designed to fit around your work and other commitments. It is usually taught over a year through part-time blended learning – mainly online but with some face-to-face learning. You will also complete a clinical placement. Your course provider may sort this for you - you need to check. IP courses are offered currently offered by the following UK universities:

Once you have qualified as an independent prescriber

Once you have successfully completed the IP qualification, your course provider will pass your details to the College and we will issue your certificate. You can start using the DipTp(IP) affix. College members are invited to the College’s prestigious annual Diploma Ceremony to have your achievement officially recognised. 

You must register your speciality with the GOC before you start prescribing.