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Statement on testing of sight

29 Apr 2013

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In response to a number of enquiries from registrants about refraction following recent press articles, we wish to remind registrants of the restrictions surrounding the testing of sight.

Refraction for the purpose of issuing a prescription is an essential part of the sight test1. As such, refraction for the purpose of sight testing is restricted2 and can only be conducted by a registered optometrist, a registered medical practitioner or a student optometrist under supervision. No part of the sight test can be delegated to a dispensing optician or contact lens optician, even under supervision.

Refraction for purposes not associated with the testing of sight, for example to verify a prescription issued by an optometrist or registered medical practitioner, is not restricted. This can therefore be undertaken by dispensing opticians and contact lens opticians.

Further guidance can be found here.

 

Footnotes:

1. under Section 26 of the Opticians Act 1989 (as amended by the Opticians Act 1989 Amendment Order 2005) and the Sight Testing (Examination and Prescription) (No. 2) Regulations 1989.
2. by Section 24 of the Opticians Act and Rule 3 of the Testing of Sight by Persons Training as Optometrists Rules 1993
 

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