The Scheme for Registration, and in particular the OSCE, are the final step in qualification for optometrists. Passing the Scheme via the OSCE allows a pre-registration trainee to become a full GOC registrant and practise independently. This is not the case for many other healthcare professionals, where there is further training and assessment after graduation.
Early on in the pandemic we decided that the OSCE examination should remain in its current form as much as possible, to ensure that all trainees graduating from the Scheme, before, during and after the pandemic had been assessed to the same standard.
However, we have allowed university students to carry over any outstanding GOC stage 1 competencies into the Scheme, which allowed them to graduate from university in summer 2020.