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New route to qualification in optometry, with CLiP

College announces Clinical Learning in Practice (CLiP) placement programme partnerships

New master’s degree courses in optometry starting in 2023 under GOC Education and Training Requirements will integrate with College CLiP

The College of Optometrists is pleased to announce partnerships with twelve universities to deliver Clinical Learning in Practice (CLiP) placements as part of the new route to qualification in optometry, as set out by the General Optical Council (GOC).

The College will be partnering with: 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 and University of the West of England. Some of these will launch new master’s degrees in 2023, some in 2024. The first CLiP placements will start in the 2025/26 academic year.

These partnerships mark an important milestone for the delivery of new programmes. Since March 2021, when the GOC Council approved the new Requirements for Approved Qualifications in Optometry or Dispensing Optics, the College has been working with sector-wide stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition to the new routes to registration. The requirement to integrate all patient-facing learning into a single master’s level qualification means that university qualification providers and practices offering placements need new ways to collaborate. To meet these needs, the College has developed a solution, now known as CLiP.

CLiP integrates into multiple different university programme designs in order to:

  • Enable remote collaboration between all who are involved in supporting and assessing optometry placement students
  • Ensure all involved have clarity on the progress each student has made towards achieving GOC outcomes throughout the CLiP experience
  • Facilitate the placement of students for most of their patient-facing experience
  • Train, approve and support supervisors
  • Set standards for, and quality-assure, the placement experience and settings
  • Deliver a well-structured, and readily navigated, work-based assessment regime.

Speaking about the partnerships, Prof Lizzy Ostler, Director of Education at the College of Optometrists, said: “We are really excited to have agreed partnerships with these twelve universities and to have the backing of the large employer groups including Boots, Hakim Group, Specsavers and Vision Express.

We will draw on the UK-wide network of expertise and experience that we have established from delivering the Scheme for Registration to ensure that students feel supported as they progress through this part of their master’s degree and meet GOC outcomes.

We will continue to deliver the Scheme for Registration to current and future trainees throughout the transition period and will work with the GOC to align the two routes to minimise the impact and gain most benefit for the sector.”

The College is hosting a webinar dedicated to CLiP hosted on Wednesday 12 July at 6pm. Visit the College website to register your place.

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