CET to remain unchanged until 2022
General Optical Council eBulletin 39
December 2018

CET to remain unchanged until 2022

Following a Council meeting in November 2018 we have decided to delay making any significant changes to the CET scheme until 2022.

We had initially considered making 2019 a transition year before making significant changes from 2020. But due to feedback from stakeholders our Council agreed that more time was required before a new CET scheme could be put in place which fulfilled all the aspirations the sector has in a new program.

The current three-year CET cycle will finish on 31 December 2018 and the next cycle will run from January 2019 to December 2021. The CET cycle for 2019-21 will have the same requirements as now, which means all dispensing opticians and optometrists must secure 36 points, and meet other requirements, over the three-year period. Registrants are strongly encouraged to stagger their learning throughout the three-year cycle.

We are committed to modernising the CET scheme to ensure it better supports registrants’ continuing professional development to prepare them for expanded and more diverse roles. To achieve greater understanding about the opinions of the sector we conducted a CET consultation, ‘Fit for the Future’, which ran from 18 July to 11 September. The aim of the consultation was to investigate the ways in which the CET should change.

We commissioned an independent research agency to analyse the responses. The consultation, which received 994 responses, explored stakeholder views on the existing CET scheme and how it can evolve to meet the challenges of the future.

The report revealed that registrants have positive opinions about the current CET scheme. Over 75 per cent of registrants agreed that the CET allowed them to develop their skills and knowledge to keep pace with the changes in the optical sector and a further 80 per cent said that that the CET helps keep registrants up to date with good practice.

The consultation also sought to identify the ways in which registrants wanted to enhance the CET in the future. Areas for development highlighted by registrants included:

  • A more central role for peer review;
  • Developing the correct balance between autonomous and mandatory learning to prevent deskilling; and
  • More support for registrants around reflective practice and a greater emphasis on professional development.

Stakeholder organisations also provided valuable feedback. An increased promotion of lifelong learning and reflection and enhancing the ability of registrants to have more control over their learning and development were two priority issues. Some stakeholders also indicated that the name ‘Continuing Professional Development’ would be more appropriate than ‘Continuing Education and Training’.

The report is available to read in full at https://www.optical.org/en/Education/cet-review/index.cfm. We will use the insights of the consultation and the findings from the Education Strategic Review to develop a revamped CET which will commence in 2022 for all registrants


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