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GOC approves European Diploma as partial route to UK registration

3 May 2006

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General Optical Council and European Council on Optometry and Optics Joint Press Release – 3 May 2006

For immediate release

GOC approves European Diploma as partial route to UK registration

At the meeting of the European Council of Optometry and Optics (ECOO) in Milan this week, the General Optical Council (GOC) will announce that the European Diploma in Optometry has been granted conditional approval as a partial route to UK registration.

Candidates who have passed the ECOO Diploma examinations will be eligible for registration with the GOC, provided that the Council is satisfied they have demonstrated a satisfactory scope of clinical practice, and they are proficient in the English language.

GOC deputy registrar and director of education Dian Taylor said: “The Council has carried out an audit of the Diploma examinations. We congratulate ECOO on taking these important steps towards creating a Europe-wide optometry qualification, and we look forward to working with them to continue to develop the assessment.”

ECOO president Bob Chappell said: “The European Diploma is designed to promote mobility and a high common standard of practice throughout Europe. Diploma candidates will normally either have a recognised qualification enabling them to practise as an optometrist or optician in an EU country, or be in their final year of training for entry to the profession.

“ECOO is pleased to cooperate with the GOC on this project and looks forward to full recognition of the Diploma in due course. This partial recognition of the Diploma by the GOC is a historic step towards a harmonised profession in Europe. We hope that other regulatory bodies will follow the GOC’s example.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Kate Fielding
Communications Manager
General Optical Council
Telephone: 00 44 (0) 20 7307 3472
Mobile: 00 44 (0) 7763 210019
Email: kfielding@optical.org

Richard Carswell
Secretary General
European Council of Optometry and Optics (ECOO)
Telephone: 00 44 (0) 20 7207 2193
Mobile: 00 44 (0) 7986 378 211


Notes

The portfolio of clinical experience is analogous to the College of Optometrists ‘log book’ for pre-registration students in the UK. The GOC will be able to review the adequacy of the portfolio of any candidate applying for registration in the UK. Any assessment will pay particular attention to adequacy in the practical fitting of contact lenses, use and application of diagnostic drugs in a practical setting and clinical experience in the identification of ocular pathology and the relationship between ocular and general disease.

About the General Optical Council
The GOC is the regulator for the optical professions in the UK. Its purpose is to protect the public by promoting high standards of education and conduct amongst opticians. The Council currently registers around 22,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.

About the European Council of Optometry and Optics
The European Council of Optometry and Optics is the confederation of national bodies representing optometrists and opticians in twenty-five European countries. ECOO represents the profession to the institutions of the European Union, in particular the European Commission and the European Parliament. ECOO also provides a forum for the profession to compare and assess its progress at national and European levels. It cooperates actively with industry and educational organisations.



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