Increasing numbers of optometrists with a specialist qualification in Independent Prescribing are needed to address developing and post pandemic workforce needs. The College has been working with the GOC on enabling IP optometrists to qualify despite the challenges of accessing appropriate clinical experience. The GOC has already approved our proposals to include remote clinic observation as part of the required logged sessions, and more recently that individual clinical sessions can be supervised by a suitably experienced IP optometrist.
We have now agreed with the GOC a mechanism for granting extensions to IP trainees who need to exceed the two years between completion of the theoretical element of the programme and the start of their clinical placement (provided they can demonstrate currency of IP knowledge through appropriate CPD activities). We encourage any IP trainees concerned that they may need to start their clinical placement experience more than two years after they completed their university course, to contact us as soon as possible - please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
These changes are intended to support the continued qualification of IP optometrists during the transition period until the GOC agrees the new IP qualification requirements. It is currently consulting on proposals for these. Current information on the IP qualification can be found on our website.