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College investigation of a pre-reg for falsifying certificate

Newly qualified optometrist, Jay's story

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What happened?

Jay (not his real name) got in touch with our legal team when he was notified that he was under investigation by the College of Optometrists for failing to complete a module for Stage two and consequently falsifying the certificate on completion. The College suspended Jay’s progress on the scheme pending a decision by the Appeal Panel.

How we helped

The AOP’s professional discipline team and accompanying counsel held meetings with Jay to discuss how he could demonstrate remediation and insight into the consequences of his actions.

We accompanied Jay to the College’s investigatory interview, where he was transparent and accepted that he acted dishonestly without integrity. Furthermore, Jay accepted that no amount of pressure or fear was a plausible excuse for his actions.

The outcome

The appeals panel considered the matter serious. However, the panel held that Jay demonstrated insight and could understand what consequences his actions may have had on himself as well as others and the public’s confidence in the profession as a whole. The appeals panel took no further action and permitted Jay to proceed on the scheme.

Jay told the AOP professional discipline team that he was very grateful for our help and advice, and that he had learnt from the experience.