About CLiP placements

Many aspects of the current work-based placements will continue with CLiP:  

  • Students will work in a clinical setting, under supervision arrangements
  • College assessors will arrange visits to assess them, remotely and in the workplace
  • Placement opportunities will be advertised and employers will be able to select a candidate through application and interview
  • Employers will have a contract with the student and will pay them
  • The employer can arrange to continue working with the student when the CLiP placement ends.

The Scheme for Registration will continue to be delivered until at least 2030, as students complete the BSc degrees in optometry. The College will continue to support the Scheme as we introduce CLiP. To make the transition as seamless as possible, we aim to introduce some of the CLiP innovations to Scheme trainees and supervisors.

How CLiP compares with the Scheme for Registration 

With the introduction of the GOC’s Education and Training Requirements, the CLiP work placement will be integrated into the degree rather than happening after graduation. 

Scheme for RegistrationClinical Learning in Practice (CLiP)
Trainee typically starts after graduationStudents starts while still a student on the degree
Placement can start at any point in the year after the trainee has graduatedPlacement needs to start and finish at set points in the year, to fit with the university calendar
The trainee’s placement is the responsibility of the student and is arranged between the student and employerThe College has responsibility for arranging the student placement, delegated from the university 
Trainees log their experience in an offline workbookThe CLiP Portal will enable all who support the student to monitor progress in an online logbook
Assessment happens when the Supervisor decides the trainee is readyAssessment needs to happen during set times in the placement, although there are opportunities for flexibility
Types of clinical encounter are recorded, and the trainee can progress when certain numbers of encounters have been reachedA risk framework approach will be used to monitor student progress
There is no written component to the assessmentThere is a written Service Evaluation Project element in the CLiP assessment
All Scheme trainees complete the College OSCE as a final stage of assessmentThere is no requirement for a set final stage of assessment which tests everything learnt so far
On completion of the work-based learning elements and OSCE, the trainee can register with the GOCAfter completing the CLiP placement, the student will need to complete university assessments and be awarded their master’s degree in order to register with the GOC
Many Scheme supervisors only receive initial training and approval from the College with limited ongoing supportAll involved in CLiP supervision will benefit from an improved package of training which attracts CPD points and includes ongoing development.

Placement timings

Students will need to complete the CLiP placement while they are still studying for their degree. The times when they start and finish their placement will be fixed. Most university master's degrees start their CLiP placement in year four. This means that: 

  • the placement will start from July, or August at the latest
  • students will be assessed from September and then at regular intervals throughout the placement
  • the placement will end in early June of the following year
  • students will need to complete some final assessments with the university and should be able to register with the GOC from the autumn.

Further details can be found in our CLiP Employer Handbook.

Support and development

The student will be supervised, and the new arrangements bring more opportunity for supervision to be drawn from across the multidisciplinary team, including newly-qualified registrants. As with the Scheme, a suitably qualified registrant will need to be on the premises while the student is working to ensure patient safety. The supervisor or supervisory team will need to make decisions about how closely to observe them in clinical practice at different stages of the placement.

Using the CLiP Portal software platform, the supervisor will be able to access a RAG-rated dashboard based on activity the student has included in the logbook. This will make it easier to assess the risk and level of supervision required for activities students undertake. These logged activities will also enable supervisor, university and College to ensure that the student has the right experience to prepare them for each CLiP assessment.


Students on CLiP placements will be assessed mainly through remote and face-to-face visits with a College assessor. Assessors will discuss selected cases from the student’s logged interactions and observe them carrying out eye examinations, dispensing and contact lens activities. To fulfil some of the new requirements for assessed experience, the student will also complete a written service evaluation project and discuss this with the assessor. 

Students will have the opportunity to re-take assessments if they are not successful at the first attempt, and this will be arranged in advance of or at the next assessment visit so that they stay on track in their CLiP placement. 

Assessment visits will be grouped into tasks, so students who fail an element would need to re-sit that task rather than the entire visit. See the CLiP Employer Handbook for more details on assessment. 

The final assessment will be with the university and will happen shortly after the student has passed and completed their CLiP placement. These will be arranged to happen soon after the CLiP placement. This will allow for the student to continue in employment with the practice if desired. 

University partners

These universities have committed to incorporating the CLiP placement in their master’s degree programmes in optometry.

  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Aston University
  • University of Bradford
  • Cardiff University
  • University of Central Lancashire
  • City, University of London
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • Huddersfield University
  • Plymouth University
  • Teesside University
  • Ulster University
  • University of the West of England

We will announce any further partnerships as they are agreed.