Clinical Learning in Practice (CLiP)

Clinical Learning in Practice, or CLiP, is the name for the new optometry degree placement programme.

How will CLiP placements be allocated?

Students will apply for placements and go through a selection process with employers. CLiP placements will start at regular fixed points each year, with scheduled times to apply for, start and finish placements and for the assessment stages. Students will be able search and apply for placements from across the UK, as well as manage their progress on the College's website.

We will be working with the universities to help students maintain currency of practice and a relationship with their employer after CLiP assessment finishes and in the last stages of their degree. 

Will CLiP placements be paid employment opportunities?

CLiP placements will be paid employment contracts, with four working days and one learning day as the standard arrangement. 

How will CLiP be different to the Scheme for Registration?

As CLiP will be delivered as part of the degree, work-based placements will be completed by students before, rather than after, they graduate. The College will help prepare students for employment throughout their degree, and students will be supported by the College and their university during CLiP. 

On completion of the CLiP placement, some students will return to complete their studies, others will at least need to pass the CLiP placement and assessments before their degree can be awarded. Students will be expected to complete the CLiP placement within an 11 to 12-month timeframe, although there will be support for students with exceptional circumstances, and for those who need to repeat assessments or gain additional time on placement. 

Other differences include the provision of learning material leading up to and whilst on the placement, enhanced quality assurance, and changes to the assessment structure to reflect the shift from GOC competencies to learning outcomes. 

At what stage of the degree will the CLiP placement start?

Universities partnering with the College to deliver the CLiP placement have a choice of two start dates: 

  • Students start CLiP placements in January or February of their third year and then return to university study to complete the fourth year following the placement. 
  • Students start CLiP placements at the end of the third year in July or August and the placement will take place in the fourth year of their degree. 

How will CLiP be assessed?

CLiP assessments will be similar in many respects to the Scheme for Registration, with remote visits, direct observation and OSCE forming the main elements. Students will still have a Principal Supervisor and may have additional supervisors for support and to help with their development toward the assessment points. There will, in addition, be a written Service Evaluation Project, which will test the new learning outcomes relating to auditing and evaluating practice to improve patient experience and outcomes. 

Is it better to qualify in the Scheme for Registration or through CLiP?

Both will be operating for some years and both lead to registration as an optometrist. The important point for students and employers is that completion of an ETR qualification will enable the graduate to register with the GOC as an optometrist. Employers have indicated that they do not expect to differentiate between applicants on the basis of their qualification route.