Interview with Marcus Dye
General Optical Council eBulletin 43
August 2019

Interview with Marcus Dye, Head of Standards and CET

We sat down with Marcus Dye, GOC Head of Standards and CET, to discuss the CET Review, the benefits of reflective practice, and more.

1. What was the most surprising insight which emerged from the Fit for the Future consultation?

The consultation findings revealed conflicting views in some areas. For example, some registrants were very keen to follow the lead of other healthcare professions and move to a system which would allow registrants to select CET based on their own scope of practice.  However, in contrast, we heard that registrants were also keen to maintain a core set of competencies to prevent individuals deskilling, in keeping with our current model. In developing the new scheme, we will need to balance both of these requirements as well as the specific contexts of optometry and dispensing optics.

2. What do you say to those registrants who feel that CET is a tick box exercise?

I would encourage registrants to think of CET as about more than just meeting the minimum requirements of the GOC. Registrants can take advantage of the reflective practice tools, such as the scope of practice questionnaire and the learning goal template to identify and plan the learning they require. After completing CET many registrants use the reflection forms to not only capture what they have learned from the session but to also consider any areas where further personal learning is needed. Recent analysis of the 2016 -18 CET cycle demonstrates how reflective the professions are, with 80% of registrants creating more than the minimum one learning goal and 60% using reflection statements to reflect on activities other than peer review.

3. The GOC in conjunction with eight other regulators recently produced a statement about the ‘Benefits of becoming a reflective practitioner’. What practical advice can you offer registrants to help them become better reflective practitioners?

I think understanding your own learning needs and drawing on the information that you have available to you from practice is essential. Clinical audits of patient records can help identify trends and themes within practice and many employers will already have systems in place for this.  Reviewing and discussing adverse incidents in practice, i.e. where things have gone wrong, and drawing out the learning from this is another invaluable source of learning for healthcare professionals. Peer review and case-based discussions can help facilitate this and there may also be workplace systems to identify and share learnings. Patients are also a good source of insight particularly in practices which have a patient feedback process.

4. What do you think we can learn about continuing professional development from other healthcare regulators?

The key insight from other schemes is that continuing professional development is only effective when individuals take responsibility for their own learning. Practitioners are best placed to understand their own learning needs and select training which is relevant for them.

5. What is next for the CET review?

After consulting with the professions last year, we decided to halt our plans for a transition year and major changes to the scheme in 2020 – this was the right decision to allow the sector enough time to prepare and adapt for change. 

We have now focused the review on some key areas which we believe will have the most impact. These are how we support registrants to take control of their learning and link it to their own scope of practice; how we promote a culture of reflective practice; and how we support the undergraduate system of supervision and the transition to practice for newly qualified registrants.

Initial proposals for an updated CET scheme will be presented to Council in November 2019.


Welcome to our CET-themed eBulletin

Interview with Helen Tilley

Interview with Marcus Dye

Interview with Roma Malik

CET cycle evaluation 2016-18

News in brief

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