Education and training requirements

Aston University IP course is the first to meet new GOC requirements

Students will begin the updated postgraduate independent prescribing course in October

Two women wearing graduation gowns and caps embrace by a lectern
Pixabay/Maura Nicolaita

Aston University will be the first university in the UK to deliver a postgraduate independent prescribing (IP) course under the General Optical Council’s new education and training requirements.

The first cohort of students to go through the updated course will begin the qualification in October.

Dr Preeti Bhogal-Bhamra, of Aston University, described the approval of the course as a “step forward for the profession as a whole.”

“The Aston IP team are excited to be offering the new structure for IP qualification and are looking forward to supporting optometrists gain IP status,” she said.

As part of the update to education and training requirements, providers of existing GOC-approved qualifications are required to submit detailed plans of how their adapted qualifications will meet the new standards, with the GOC reviewing and noting these changes.

All qualifications are subject to the optical regulator’s routine quality assurance processes.

Head of education development at the GOC, Samara Morgan, shared that great progress has been made by providers to adapt courses across optometry, dispensing optics, and independent prescribing.

“There are still more qualifications due to adapt and we continue to work closely with each provider to ensure our expectations are clear, and that the updated qualifications are satisfactory to adequately prepare students to meet the needs of patients in the future,” she said.