Scheme for Registration Terms and Conditions - Supervisor

These Terms and Conditions set out what is expected of you when supervising on the Scheme for Registration. 

By accepting these terms and conditions, you are undertaking to comply with the College of Optometrists’ criteria for acting as a principal supervisor for a trainee enrolled on the Scheme for Registration.


1. I confirm that I am currently on the General Optical Council (GOC) register and have been registered continuously with the GOC for at least two years.

2. I confirm that I am a member of the College of Optometrists and, as such, recognise that I am bound by The College of Optometrists’ Code of Conduct.

3. I confirm that I have completed The College of Optometrists’ supervision training via the College’s website.

4. I recognise that as an optometrist and supervisor, I must adhere to the GOC’s Standards of Practice for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians.

Trainee employment arrangements

5. I will seek to ensure that my employer provides the following arrangements for a trainee for whom I act as the principal supervisor:

  • Written conditions of service and terms of employment
  • Remuneration at least at the minimum wage for the duration of the contract
  • Cover under its liability insurance.

Trainee supervision

6. I understand and accept that as a supervisor I will follow GOC Standards of Practice, Section 9.

7. I understand as the supervisor that, should there be an allegation of deficient professional performance or misconduct, I will be subject to investigation by the GOC, as well as the trainee.

8. I undertake to give my continuous personal supervision to the trainee and accept full responsibility for the trainee’s actions. I know that in accordance with the GOC’s ‘The Testing of Sight by Persons Training as Optometrists 1993’ the GOC has taken the view that the phrase ‘continuous personal supervision’ requires the presence of the supervisor on the premises whilst the person training as an optometrist is testing sight, and the supervisor must ensure that no untoward consequences to the detriment of the patient can arise from the actions of the trainee.

9. I will be close enough to intervene if there is a problem. This means that, in the very early stages of the placement, or when the trainee is undertaking a procedure that carries risk such as contact tonometry, I will be in the room during the consultation. As the trainee progresses I will use my professional judgement about how near the consultation room to be. I will be near enough to intervene or help my trainee if necessary. This means that where a practice is in two or more buildings, I will be in the same building. I undertake to be directly available on the premises for a minimum of 50% of the trainee’s supervised practice, or make formalised arrangements to share this responsibility with the joint principal supervisor to a trainee, with whom I share the principal supervisor responsibilities.

10. Where appropriate and safe for the trainee’s supervised practice experience, I will draw in other eye health regulated professionals to act as additional supervisors to the trainee for whom I am the principal supervisor (see para.10 below). This includes if I have to leave the practice premises temporarily. I recognise that I remain accountable for the supervision arrangements for my trainee.

11. In making arrangements for additional supervisors to contribute the supervision arrangements of a trainee for whom I am the principal supervisor, I will ensure the following:

  • Practitioners fulfil the criteria to act as an additional supervisor
  • Individuals have agreed to undertake the additional supervision responsibilities for the named trainee
  • It is clear the elements of practice for which an additional supervisor can provide safe, appropriate supervision (in line with their profession’s scope of practice and their current scope of practice as an individual practitioner)
  • The specific additional supervision arrangements are clear to all parties
  • The supervision arrangements for specific elements of the trainee’s experience are recorded and signed off in their logbook.

12. If I am no longer able to act as the trainee’s principal supervisor due to absence from the practice at which my trainee is based for a continuous period of more than six weeks, I will ensure that The College is notified of the registered optometrist who will act as the trainee’s principal supervisor for that period.

Trainee support

13. I will ensure, where appropriate, the trainee is given the opportunity to attend extended tutorials, revision courses or gain further experience.

14. I will make arrangements for the trainee to the requisite experience to meet the GOC requirement of a minimum of 520 patient encounters, and to fulfil College requirements to ensure an appropriate balance of patient encounters, prior to applying to sit the final Scheme assessment.

15. I will support my trainee to engage with and complete the online hospital eye service (HES) resource provided by The College if an observational visit at the hospital is not available.

16. I will take an active interest in helping the pre-registration trainee gain the experience necessary for registration by:

  • Ensuring that the trainee gains experience relating to the Scheme competencies1 and related patient encounters
  • Regularly observing the trainee during the year carrying out complete examinations and afterwards commenting on the trainee’s performance
  • Discussing cases with the trainee, including to guide and support their clinical activity, management and advice
  • Encouraging the trainee to obtain the widest possible range of patient experience in support of their learning and development and fulfilment of the Scheme requirements
  • Working with the trainee to ensure that they follow and complete the action plans agreed with the assessor after each assessment visit.

Trainee facilities

17. I will give the trainee sole access to a consulting room for the testing of sight for a minimum of 20 hours per week.

18. I will ensure that the trainee has access to equipment in the practice that is normally required for eye examinations, contact lens appointments and dispensing, and receives practical experience in using this equipment. This includes access to visual fields equipment, colour vision evaluation tests, facilities for measuring intra-ocular pressure, and equipment for the evaluation of the ocular motor state and binocular perception. If possible, the trainee should also have access to imaging equipment and practical experience in using this.

19. Specifically, I will ensure that the trainee will have access to the equipment listed below in their consulting room, and that all equipment listed will be in working order and fit for purpose. I understand that a Scheme for Registration assessor may check to verify that the items listed are present via an assessment visit.

  • Access to a wash basin
  • Amsler charts manual
  • Colour vision test x 2
  • A condensing lens for binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy with the slit lamp
  • Direct ophthalmoscope*
  • Distance and near oculomotor balance tests
  • Distance vision tests (adults and children)
  • Focimeter
  • Frame rule*
  • Keratometer
  • Means for measuring peripheral visual field
  • Measuring device for accommodation
  • Near vision tests (adults and children)
  • Near vision unit; for example Mallett unit
  • Pen torch*
  • Personal Protective Equipment ( PPE)
  • Retinoscope*
  • Slit-lamp biomicroscope
  • Test for stereopsis
  • Threshold controlled visual field equipment
  • Tonometer – both contact applanation and non-contact applanation (and calibration equipment)
  • Trial lenses, trial frame and accessories including pinhole.

* The trainee should normally own these pieces of equipment to support their professional development.

20. I will give access to, and encourage the use under supervision of, those drugs and contact lens solutions normally used in the practice of optometry; e.g. cycloplegics, mydriatics, topical anaesthetics and stains.

21. I will give access to, and encourage the use of, a range of contact lens types used in contact lens practice. If the contact lens types, mode of fitting, and after care are limited in the practice, then I will arrange for the trainee to receive sufficient experience to become confident and competent in relation to the core competencies.

22. I acknowledge that I may, from time to time, be required to furnish information about staff, premises, equipment, etc., and will permit authorised representatives of the College to visit the premises at any time.

Trainee assessment

23. I will ensure that my trainee and I arrange times and dates for assessments with the trainee’s College assessor when requested, with these arrangements agreed to and confirmed in writing by all parties. In the event that the visit has to be cancelled, I will ensure that we give the trainee’s assessor at Stage One and the College at Stage Two at least 15 days’ notice. If a visit is cancelled without 15 days’ prior notice, I understand the College reserves the right to raise additional charges for the expenses incurred as a result of any additional visit required.

24. I will ensure that the trainee is directly and solely available to the assessor for the duration of the assessment visit and that a suitable room is provided with sight testing facilities and any necessary equipment in the case of a face-to-face assessment. Although I will not attend the assessment, I will be available for a discussion with the trainee and assessor following the assessment visit, including those conducted remotely.

25. I will ensure, when required, that the trainee provides a suitable patient for a face-to-face assessment visit.

26. I will read the completed assessment report forms and agree to carry out any further actions recommended by the assessor. If I am not in agreement with any of the actions, I will contact the assessor to discuss them.

27. I will complete the monthly supervisor training review score forms with my trainee. As part of my support and to allow my trainee to prepare for assessment visits, I will complete the supervisor score on the framework assessment document prior to each visit.

28. I will review the trainee’s logbook on a monthly basis.

29. I will ensure that the action plan agreed after an assessment visit is carried out by the trainee.

Fitness to practise

30. I have read and understand The College of Optometrists’ Supervisor Fitness to Practise Policy.

31. I will notify the College, as required in the policy, should my status on the GOC register change.

Performers List

32. I will notify the College if I am removed from the NHS Ophthalmic Performers List.

Information sharing

33. In order to facilitate the timely payment of the pre-registration training supervision grants, The College of Optometrists will share with NHS organisations in the devolved nations the name, GOC number, training start date and practice address for pre-registration trainees and the name, GOC number and practice address for trainees' supervisors. This information will be shared once a year. The purpose of this information sharing is solely to support the payment of pre-registration training supervision grants.


34. As a supervisor, I understand I will have access to my trainee’s personal data, including their assessment results and, if applicable, information regarding reasonable adjustments and exceptional circumstances applications. I will not share this data and will take all reasonable steps to ensure its security and protect it against accidental loss, damage or destruction.

35. When the trainee has completed the Scheme for Registration and/or leaves my employment, I will destroy all records relating to their enrolment on the Scheme.

1. The Scheme competencies are the same as the GOC Stage 2 performance criteria, as specified under the GOC units of competency and elements of competence.