Education Strategic Review Update
General Optical Council eBulletin 42
June 2019

Education Strategic Review update

At our last Council meeting in May, our Council discussed the findings from our consultation on our draft Education Standards for providers and Learning Outcomes for students as well as our next steps going forward.

We’ve undertaken this review to ensure that the system of optical education and training is up to date in order to develop eye care professionals that are fit for the future as the optical sector continues to change due to an ageing population, new technology and increased service delivery pressures.

Our consultation received a total of 539 responses and asked for views on whether the draft standards and learning outcomes were fit for purpose, the timescale for implementation and continuing student registration.

Generally, there has been support for the key concepts and principles of the review, such as more flexibility for education providers and earlier clinical experience. However, respondents raised concerns surrounding the drafting and suitability of the standards and learning outcomes, funding and the timeline for implementation.

Council provided clear steers and expressed support for the following key elements:

  • A model in which any ‘programme of study’ which leads to registration is led by one accountable provider;
  • A standardised assessment framework which maintains comparable outcomes between providers;
  • Increasing clinical content of undergraduate education and training to support early exposure to patient groups;
  • Increasing emphasis on professionalism and clinical leadership; and
  • Support for newly qualified professionals, exploring CPD that includes requirements around mentoring and peer reflection.

We have listened to all the concerns raised and are aware there is more work to do in order to achieve an educational system that is fit for the future to address the changes in the needs of patients and roles of optical professionals. We will continue to engage with you and our stakeholders to make sure we get the detail of the standards and learning outcomes right.

We will be publishing a response to the consultation shortly and we will seek agreement with Council on the next steps.

To read the consultation report, click here.

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