Extending or restarting the Scheme

A trainee may be able to apply for an extension to their time on the Scheme for Registration or for the ability to begin their training one further time if they have encountered exceptional circumstances.

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You must complete the Scheme for Registration within the ‘Allotted Time’. This means within two years and three months of your start date, or on your fourth attempt at the OSCE, whichever occurs first

If you are unable to complete the Scheme within this time, you can apply either to extend the Allotted Time or to restart the Scheme one further time only. 

Please note that if you have not passed the Scheme by your fourth attempt at the OSCE you can only apply to restart the Scheme.

You can apply to extend or restart the Scheme due to disability and / or exceptional circumstances. 

All applications are considered by the Examinations Panel in the first instance. More complex applications may be referred to the Appeals Panel. 

Dates and deadlines for the meetings of the Examinations and Appeals Panels can be found here.

The full regulations governing the Scheme for Registration can be found here.

 

Extending the Allotted Time

You can apply to extend ‘Allotted Time’ (2 years and 3 months) in the following circumstances:

a) where you are a Disabled Person and – as a result of your disability – you are, or will become, unable to pass the Scheme for Registration in the Allotted Time
and/or

b) where due to Exceptional Circumstances you are, or will become, unable to pass the Scheme for Registration in the Allotted Time. 

If you are awarded an extension and then experience additional Exceptional Circumstances during that extension, then a further extension can be approved only by the Appeals Panel. You cannot apply for an additional extension if the Exceptional Circumstances occurred outside of the original extension.

In order to apply for an extension, please click below and fill out the form. You will be required to upload any supporting evidence in pdf format.

 

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Extending the Allotted Time (Family Friendly Leave)

The Allotted Time may also be extended if you take Family Friendly Leave.

If you take Family Friendly Leave after enrolling on the Scheme for Registration, you will be allowed to extend the Allotted Time by the same length of time as your Family Friendly Leave, normally up to 52 weeks. 

For example, if you take 33 weeks’ Family Friendly Leave, you will be entitled to extend your time on the Scheme for Registration by 33 weeks. 

If you are a partner* who, after enrolling on the Scheme for Registration, takes shared parental leave in addition to the statutory two weeks' paternity leave, you will be allowed to extend the Allotted Time by the same length of time as your combined paternity and shared parental leave. This extension is up to a maximum of 50 weeks, dependent on the amount of Family Friendly Leave the mother or primary adopter takes. 

For example if the mother or primary adopter takes 39 weeks and you, her partner take 13 weeks' leave, you will be entitled to extend your time on the Scheme for Registration by 13 weeks. For the avoidance of doubt, this also applies to if you are a partner who takes adoption leave.

*A partner includes biological and adoptive fathers and husbands, civil partners, and partners of either sex who live with the mother in a family relationship.

If you plan to take Family Friendly Leave during the Pre-registration Period, please submit written evidence from your employer on headed paper to confirm the start date of the leave. 

You will also need to contact us again once you have confirmed the end date of your leave. 

Please email your evidence to lee.rolls@college-optometrists.org.

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Restarting the Scheme for Registration

You may apply to restart the Scheme for Registration one further time only in the following circumstances:

a) where you are a Disabled Person and – as a result of your disability – you are, or will become, unable to pass the Scheme for Registration in the Allotted Time
and/or

b) where due to Exceptional Circumstances you are, or will become, unable to pass the Scheme for Registration in the Allotted Time. 

In order to apply to restart the Scheme for Registration, please click below and fill out the form. You will be required to upload any supporting evidence in pdf format.

 

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If you are unable to complete the Scheme for Registration but the circumstances in above do not apply, you may be able to restart the Scheme one further time by renewing your GOC Stage One competencies.

The GOC states that you can go back to a training institution and ‘undertake any further training or assessment to allow that institution to sign off on the stage one competencies and re-award the Certificate of Professional Competency at Stage One'.  You are then able then enrol to start the Scheme for Registration again as a new trainee.

Do you have any further questions?

 

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