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Changes to optometry training

Changes to optometry training

The GOC’s new Education and Training Requirements (ETR) mean optometry and optical education is changing.

Read our original story posted by the College here

Background 

Instead of graduate optometrists completing a pre-registration year as now, in the future optometrists will follow a more integrated programme, completing their practice placements as part of their undergraduate training before they graduate and join the Register. The new degrees will all be Masters qualifications.

The College of Optometrists has announced that 12 universities have signed with the College to manage their undergraduate long placement arrangements. This new scheme is known as Clinical Learning in Practice (CLiP).

CLiP will only cover long placements (two practice placements of 22 weeks each, which may be consecutive in the same practice). CLiP will not deal with short observational placements which the universities will arrange direct with local providers.

Universities that have signed up with CLiP for programmes starting in 2023 and 2024 (long placements from 2025/26 and 2026/27) are:

  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Aston University
  • University of Bradford
  • Cardiff University
  • University of Central Lancashire
  • City, University of London
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • University of Huddersfield
  • University of Plymouth
  • Teesside University
  • Ulster University
  • University of the West of England.

FODO director David Hewlett said: “We welcome this news. Throughout the GOC’s review of education and training, FODO and its members have worked with HEIs and the College, and through the ETR Sector Strategic Implementation Steering Group (SSISG) and SPOKE, to lay the foundations for high-quality placements for undergraduates under the new system.”

He added: “As set out in Principles and priorities for primary eye care, (published recently by FODO) we are committed to working with all sector partners to help implement the ESR. Greater practice-based learning and experience is a key element of this and the College’s announcement is a milestone towards this goal. However, training grants to placement providers are still not clear in any of the UK nations. In addition, there is still much to do to ensure collectively that, as a sector, we can meet demand not only for long placements (CLiP and others) but also for short observational placements in the early undergraduate years.”

FODO members already provide most clinical placements, but FODO encourages all its members to step forward as placement providers and supervisors. Mr Hewlett said: “There is no better way to maintain skills and progress than by teaching others to do the same, and you will be forming the professionals of the future at the same time.”

 

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