CLiP for students

About CLiP placements

If you are taking a master’s degree in optometry with one of the College’s university partners, you will complete an extended supervised work placement called Clinical Learning in Practice, or CLiP. At most of our partner universities, this will happen in the fourth year of your degree. The CLiP work placement is designed to build your clinical and professional knowledge and experience, and to develop essential professional skills such as communication, decision making and team working, which are needed to meet the GOC learning outcomes. 

Be aware that if you started your degree in 2022 or you are taking any BSc in optometry, your long placement will be taken on the Scheme for Registration

Developing with the College

The College will work with students in the first and second year of their degree to suggest ways in which you can best prepare for the CLiP placement experience. This will include suggestions for maximising the value of work experience you already have, gaining new experience and using the logbook in the CLiP Portal to record your professional development. 

When CLiP placements happen

When you reach the second year of your degree programme, you will be able to apply for a CLiP placement. Your application process will, in most cases, happen over a year before you need to start the placement. You will receive an invitation to use the College’s CLiP Portal to set up your profile and start to search and apply for jobs. 

All students in your year of degree programme are going to start and finish their CLiP placements at the same time, and then complete final assessments with the university. For most students, the CLiP placement will start in year four, with your work in the placement setting starting in the July or August after you complete year three. 

Finding a placement

You will receive login details and training to use the College’s CLiP Portal software platform. One of the ways in which you will use the platform, is to search and apply for CLiP placement opportunities. You will only be able to work with employers who are registered with the College to deliver CLiP placements and it is essential that you meet College deadlines for application to avoid missing out, and potentially delaying completion of your degree. If you already have a connection with a practice and would like to work there, you will need to let us know in advance. 

Once you have made applications to jobs on the Portal, the employers will carry out the interview and selection process. If you are not successful in securing a placement at the first attempt, there will be subsequent application rounds and the College will be here to support you. 

What the placement involves

Your CLiP placement, while facilitated by the College, will be a contracted, paid role with an employer. You will work for four days each week, up to a maximum of 30 hours. Your employer will provide you with a learning day each week in which you are not required at work. On this day you will complete study activities arranged by your university. 

While you work on the placement, you will be supervised and will be given a range of clinical and non-clinical work to do so that you experience all aspects of optometry and the optical setting. Your experience will be focussed on patient-facing activity such as eye examinations, with at least 20 hours of your working week spent in the consulting room. You will use the CLiP Portal to log your clinical interactions and reflect on your experience, discussing your development and progress regularly with your supervisor(s). Your logged activity will also underpin and provide evidence for your CLiP assessments. 


During your CLiP placement, you will also be working toward passing College assessments under the guidance of your supervisory team. You will need to pass all elements of CLiP assessment but will have opportunities to re-take elements if you are not successful, as with other parts of your degree. The university will use the results the College provides to ensure that you have met all the GOC learning outcomes before you graduate.  

College membership

You have the opportunity to become a student member of the College while you are taking your degree, at no cost. This will allow you access to the CLiP Portal and a wide range of College resources. 

After you complete your CLiP placement you will complete some final assessment with the university and, on graduation, will be able to register with the GOC to work as an optometrist.

You can then become a full member of the College. This will allow you to benefit from all the resources and tools you have used as a student as you start your professional journey.