A Trailblazer Group that has been formed by a number of optical groups and individuals, including Specsavers and Vision Express, has submitted plans for the creation of a degree apprenticeship to train to become an optometrist.
The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education confirmed to OT that it received an application for the establishment of an optometry apprenticeship on 18 September.
A spokesperson for the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education explained to OT that it is: “responsible for overseeing the development, approval and publication of new apprenticeships, including end point assessment plans which take place at the end of an apprenticeship to ensure they are fully able to do their job.”
The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education confirmed that the Trailblazer Group has been cleared to develop an occupational standard for the apprenticeship, which includes a summary of key knowledge, skills and behaviours that must be learned through the apprenticeship in order to be able to do the job, and that this standard should align to the General Optical Council’s (GOC) standards for education and training.
“They will work on this over the coming months and submit it to the Institute for approval,” the spokesperson told OT.
A statement by the pan-sector Trailblazer Group said that the standards and end-point assessment would comply with GOC requirements and be co-created with universities.
In the process, the occupational standard, an end point assessment, and a funding band need to be approved before the apprenticeship can be used by employers and apprentices, the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education said.
If the apprenticeship is approved, employers will be able to begin recruitment for apprentices, who, on completion of the programme, will be able to register with the GOC as optometrists.
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