ETR background

Why change the qualifying process for optometrists?

Professional regulatory bodies need to review and renew their qualifying structures on a regular basis to stay up to date and to adjust for changes to the profession and within the sector. They also need to benchmark against other similar professions. This review was led by the GOC to replace the existing handbooks for dispensing opticians and optometrists, which had not been changed for some years.

How were changes decided?

The GOC launched the Education Strategic Review (ESR) in March 2016, steered by its Council and expert advisory groups in dispensing optics and optometry. The proposals went out for extensive engagement and consultation in 2020 and new requirements for dispensing optics and optometry were published in March 2021. Following this, the new qualification requirements have been referred to as Education and Training Requirements (ETR)

What was the College's response to the ESR consultation?

We produced an extensive response to the ESR consultation, which is available on our website. Following the publication of the new requirements in March 2021, we also carried out our own consultation with employers, regulatory bodies and universities. This helped shape our own proposal, building on our strengths in work-based learning and assessment, to help the sector with the challenges of delivering the patient-facing learning experience needed for the new degrees. 

Our UK-wide network of contacts, and our expertise in delivering placements, allows universities, students and employers to benefit from economies of scale and deliver the best results.