Enrolment on the Scheme in 2022-23

Enrolment for the 2022-23 Scheme for Registration opens on 1 July 2022. You can enrol throughout the Scheme year.  Please read the guidance below and the FAQs before beginning the process. 

If you have any other questions about enrolment, please contact us

Watch our video

Some of the changes we have made to the Scheme for Registration in response to COVID-19 will continue for 2022-23 trainees. This means: 

  • Visits 1 and 2 at Stage One will be delivered remotely, with visit 3 face-to-face in practice. Additional Stage One visits will either be remote or in-person, as advised by your assessor.
  • Stage Two will be split between a face-to-face direct observation visit and a remote overarching competency visit.
  • The Hospital Eye Service experience can be completed either in person or remotely, using our virtual HES experience or a fusion of the virtual and face-to-face experience.
  • You will need to complete 520 patient episodes (if you are a qualified DO or CLO you will be accredited for prior learning). 
  • You must nominate either a principal supervisor, or two joint supervisors, who have been qualified for at least two years. Your supervisor can supervise three trainees in total (this total includes you), with a maximum of two trainees at the same stage at any time.

You can read our more information about the Scheme here.

You can enrol at any time once you have graduated. Your time on the Scheme (two years and three months) begins once we have confirmed your enrolment. If you’re due to start in practice later in the year, we usually recommend that you enrol two-four weeks before your start date.

Due to the high volume of enrolment applications, it can take up to 10 working days for us to process your enrolment. You can help ensure all goes smoothly by:

  • Ensuring your supervisor meets our requirements
  • Ensuring your supervisor accepts you as their trainee in the My College area. 
  • Only applying once your degree result has been released and confirmed.

You can only start testing under supervision and logging dispensing encounters once you have received an email from us confirming you have been enrolled.

Visit 1 typically takes place six weeks after enrolment is confirmed. Your assessor will be in touch within two weeks of your enrolment being confirmed to book your first assessment.

There is plenty you can do before enrolling: you can work in practice as an optical assistant, and keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date with our exclusive online course to help you prepare for pre-reg.

The Scheme for Registration has been fully reviewed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. All parts of the Scheme have been adapted and approved by the GOC. We will continue to review the Scheme, and may make adjustments in light of new evidence or changes to practice.

Once you have enrolled on the Scheme for Registration, the time on the Scheme cannot be paused. We understand there are can be extenuating circumstances that may impact on trainees' time during their pre-registration period, e.g. if they are unable to work due to ill health, or not being able to secure a new pre-registration placement. If these extenuating circumstances mean that the Scheme for Registration cannot be completed in the allocated time, a trainee can apply for an extension to their time on the Scheme, or if there are exceptional circumstances, they can apply to restart the Scheme. Find out more about extending or restarting the Scheme.

Eligibility criteria

To enrol as a trainee you must :

  • have one of the following qualifications:
    • a degree in optometry of at least 2.2. standard from an institution whose course is approved by the GOC for direct entry to pre-registration training
    • be currently enrolled on a GOC approved integrated Masters course
    • have successfully completed the Optometry Progression Scheme or Career Progression Scheme
    • have permission from the GOC to enrol on the Scheme for Registration as a non-EEA optometrist

You must also:

  • be on the GOC Student Register, and remain on the register throughout your Scheme for Registration training.
  • have a valid Certificate of Clinical Competence. Normally a Certificate of Clinical Competence will be awarded to all trainees who graduate with a 2.2 grade or above or who have completed the required modules of an integrated Masters course.
  • know the email address and GOC number of your principal supervisor(s). For information on supervision requirements on the Scheme, see our page on supervision.
  • know who will be paying your Scheme for Registration fee. More information on Scheme fees.

Next steps

Within 10 working days of your supervisor accepting you as a trainee and of receiving your confirmed degree result, we will send you an email that will confirm that we have enrolled you on the Scheme for Registration, and that you may begin testing under supervision.

You must not begin practising under supervision until you have received email confirmation from us.

If you've not heard within 14 working days, please check the application status of your form via your My College area. This will explain if there is any reason why we are unable to complete your registration. 

Important note

Due to the extremely high volume of enrolment applications, there is a delay to our usual 10 working day turnaround to process your enrolment. We are working very hard to process your enrolment as soon as possible. To avoid any additional delays, please ensure you respond quickly to any requests for further information to support your application from the education team.

Please also ensure that your supervisor logs in to their 'My College' area to accept you as a trainee as this is essential to complete your enrolment.  

Please accept our apologies for the delay and be reassured that your progression on the Scheme will not be affected.

Privacy statement 

We will retain and process your data in accordance with GDPR requirements in order to support your progress through and qualification from the Scheme for Registration. The lawful grounds for retaining and processing your personal data in this way are that it is in the legitimate interests of the College of Optometrists and specific third parties as detailed below.

We will retain and process your data as follows:

We will retain your contact information indefinitely as part of the record of your outcome on the Scheme for Registration. We will use it to contact you to support your progress through the Scheme.

We will share your name and enrolment status on the Scheme for Registration with the General Optical Council, in order to provide evidence of your eligibility for student registration.

We will share your name, practice address, contact phone number and email with College assessors. We will share your name and practice address with our mystery patient agency. This is order to facilitate the arrangement of work-based assessment visits.

In order to facilitate the payment of pre-registration fees, we will supply your name and enrolment status to your employer and / or employer group.

In order to facilitate the payment of pre-registration supervisor grants, we will share your name, your supervisor’s name, your practice address and the dates during which you are being supervised with the NHS or the body processing the grants on their behalf.

We may need to share your identification information with examination venues for security purposes.

We process your progression information in order to support your progress through the Scheme for Registration. We will retain your progression information for no more than five years after you complete or leave the Scheme for Registration. This may be extended in the case of any ongoing investigation with the College or the GOC.

For the purposes of marking your work-based assessments and Final Assessment OSCE, we will enter your name and results into our record management systems. This information will only be accessed by the College and any relevant software companies in order to process your results and to undertake statistical analysis.

Your listed supervisor/s will receive a copy of all your Stage One and Stage Two work-based assessment reports. This includes results and feedback. 

We will also share this information with your university if you are studying on an integrated degree programme. 

We will provide your employer and / or employer group with data showing your progress through the work-based assessment.

We will notify the NHS or the body responsible for managing performers’ lists on their behalf when you are eligible to sit the Final Assessment OSCE. We will also notify your employer and / or employer group and your university if you are studying on an integrated degree programme.

In the event of an investigation which results in referral to the GOC under its fitness to practise proceedings, we will share the investigation documents and your assessment records and information with the GOC. 

We will retain records of your final outcome on the Scheme for Registration in perpetuity, in order to provide evidence of your eligibility for full registration with the GOC. This includes if you leave the Scheme without completing it successfully. 

We will share your final outcome on the Scheme for Registration with the GOC, your supervisor, your employer / your employer group and NHS or body responsible for managing performers’ lists on their behalf. 

We will also share this information with your university if you are studying on an integrated degree programme. 

We acknowledge the rights available to individuals in respect of this processing, including the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office. If you have any queries or concerns about the way in which we retain and process your data, please contact gdpr@college-optometrists.org.

This policy will be reviewed annually as part of our Quality Assurance and Enhancement processes. Trainees still on the Scheme at the time of revision will be notified of any changes.