Overarching assessment

The overarching assessment is conducted remotely via video call and will last up to two hours. An assessor will use case scenarios, images, field plots and questions to assess your competence in 13 overarching elements of competence.

You and your supervisor will be emailed the outcome of your assessment and will be able to view the results in your My College area within one week of completing both the DO and OA sections of Stage Two.

Preparing for the overarching assessment

You have access to a bank of over 100 case scenarios for advance preparation. 60 minutes before your scheduled assessment, your assessor will contact you to let you know which eight of these scenarios will be used in your assessment.

This matrix illustrates which overarching element of competence is covered by each scenario. You will be assessed in 13 different elements of competence. The elements of competence are the same as at Stage One.

We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the format and content of the case scenarios by selecting a range from each unit to revise.

Your assessor will introduce each scenario in turn. They will ask you to describe the case and assess your understanding. You may not get through all eight cases in the assessment.

Before the assessment starts:

  • Find a quiet space to complete the assessment. This can be in your practice or at home.
  • Make sure you have access to a computer or tablet with a camera.
  • Have a form of photo ID ready to show your assessor.

Your assessor will ask you to confirm that you are alone before the assessment. If appropriate, you can use your camera to show that you are alone.

You must keep your camera on at all times. If you deliberately turn off your camera without agreement from your assessor, they have the right to terminate your assessment.

On the day of the overarching assessment 

Your assessor will contact you 60 minutes ahead of the scheduled assessment time with Zoom details and the eight case scenarios you will use.

If you have not received your email with the assessment details 50 minutes before your assessment, at education.help@college-optometrists.org.

Read each of your eight scenarios and highlight the key points. Make yourself aware of what competencies are covered by the record according to the matrix. Consider:

  • What other questions would I ask the patient?
  • What other tests would I do to investigate further?
  • Are the results what I would expect?
  • How would I manage the patient?
  • How would I manage the patient if they were older/younger?
  • How would I communicate the findings to the patient?
  • Is the scenario complete and are all details recorded fully?

When discussing any scenario your assessor can ask questions beyond those competencies listed in the matrix. For example, if a scenario covers 5.1.1 (soft contact lens fit), you could also be asked how you would approach a spectacle dispense for this patient.

Competencies will be assessed using at least two forms of evidence. One form will be a case scenario, but field plots, additional images and questions may also be used.

Before the assessment starts

Your assessor will check your ID and ask you to show a sweep of the room to ensure that you are on your own and that you do not have access to a phone or electronic device other than the one you are using for the video call.

If you turn off your screen it is assumed you are cheating and the assessment will stop. Tell your assessor if you need a break – you will need to leave your screen on throughout the break.

This is an open book exam and so you are permitted to access reference material such as notes and reference books.

You must not, however, collude with anyone to complete this assessment or use any other unfair means in an attempt to enhance performance. Any attempt do this will be considered cheating and dealt with as per the Scheme for Registration Regulations.