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Rule changes make way for Therapeutic prescribing specialty

4 Jul 2008

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Members agreed amendments to the GOC Registration Rules that will create a new Independent Prescribing specialty. The amendments follow changes to medicines legislation which enables optometrists to independently prescribe medicines for the treatment of some ocular conditions. The new legislation came into force 4 June 2008. Following recommendations by the Standards Committee therapeutics working group, members also agreed changes to the CET Rules to simplify CET requirements for optometrists who hold more than one therapeutics speciality ie Additional Supply, Supplementary Prescribing, and Independent Prescribing. Crucially, new CET Rules will not apply retrospectively. Therefore, a two-phase calculation of the required number of CET points will stand:

  • For the period before the new CET Rules are implemented: each therapeutics specialty will have to be treated separately (as they are under the existing CET Rules). For example, if the new rules come into force on 1st August 2009, and a registrant has held both the Additional Supply specialty and Supplementary Prescribing specialties for six months prior to the 1st August, when they will need six specialty points for this period within the cycle (ie three points for each specialty).
  • Once the new CET Rules are implemented: optometrists with multiple therapeutics specialties will be required to gain the number of points equivalent to half the number of whole months in which they have held those specialties during the current CET cycle. For example, if a registrant has held both the Supplementary and Independent Prescribing specialties for 12 months during this cycle, they will be required to gain six CET specialty points by 31 December 2009.

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