You and your College in 2016

Are you making the most of your College membership? We’re here to make your life in practice, hospital clinic and lecture hall a little bit easier. Here are just some of the ways we can support you:

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Author: David Parkins FCOptom, President of the College of Optometrists
Date: 13 January 2016

New CET cycle: helping you meet your requirements

It’s hard to believe that the last three year cycle has already ended – it doesn’t seem that long ago that we were getting to grips with the ‘new’ system, and we’re back again already. Your requirements for 2016-18 will remain largely the same, but there are some key changes on standards of practice, reflective learning, and setting personal learning goals.

As always, we can help you meet your requirements for the year, and the whole cycle. Our regional events and conference will provide you with those important interactive points - including peer discussion, while the multiple choice quizzes in our practice-based journal, Optometry in Practice, will help you pick up non-interactive points. And if you’re IP qualified, Optometry Tomorrow will provide you with your additional therapeutics points.

New website

We’re working on a brand new website – it will offer you more personalisation and content tailored to your specific interests. We’ll reveal more details in enews as we move closer to launch. But if you’re particularly interested to help out, keep an eye out for when we’re asking for members to join our user testing group.

New events

Our events cycle began in the autumn and many of you have already attended one of these free events. But there are many more in the calendar, covering subjects such as dementia and binocular vision. And if you’re going to be anywhere near Cardiff on 6 July, book a place on our brand new skills workshop.

New research

In the last year the College has invested over £600,000 in research that will help build the evidence base and change how you practice in the future. And we will see the fruits of some of this in 2016.

For example, we’ll soon be providing a member briefing on the NICER (Northern Ireland Childhood Errors of Refraction) which is examining the same cohort of children as they grow up and will provide crucial data on myopia development, and the widely anticipated Optical Workforce Survey which will give a snapshot of the changing face of the profession.

If you want more information on any of the points raised here, please get in touch. In the meantime, may I take this opportunity to wish you the very best for the coming year. 


David Parkins MSc FCOptom FEAOO
Past President, Trustee, Council Member - London

David was the President of the College of Optometrists from March 2014 until March 2016. He is the Chair of the Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning, Chair of the London Eye Health Network and a member of the General Optical Council.

He works in independent and hospital practice in south east London, and works part time as assistant director of quality for the Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group.  He is currently conducting doctoral research into the clinical decision making and the referral practice of UK optometrists.

David is a Fellow of the European Academy of Optometry and Optics (EAOO), a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers and has been awarded Honorary Life Membership of Vision Aid Overseas.
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