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What's in store for 2016

Changes to the GOC's CET cycle is good news for practitioners, and the AOP will be delivering engaging and expanded content throughout the new cycle

18 Dec 2015 by Ian Beasley

Based on past experience, Jools Holland and his Big Band will have barely finished bidding their fond farewell to 2015 before I breach at least two thirds of my customary pledges for the New Year – eat less, smile more and take on an operational approach with domestic chores. Well, there’s always next year I guess.

ianbeasley_greyscaleThe General Optical Council (GOC) revealed its New Year’s resolutions ahead of time with changes to the enhanced cycle for 2016–18 announced several weeks prior to my annual venture into the loft to retrieve a tired collection of garish Christmas decorations.

Undoubtedly the most surprising change to the CET requirements is a need for all practitioners to undergo quarterly practical performance assessments (QPPA) throughout the cycle. OK, so I made that part up, but at least I now have your full attention.

In fact, you will be pleased to hear that the GOC has adopted a light touch for 2016–18. First, there is a change to one of the core competencies as we bid farewell to Professional Conduct and welcome Standards of Practice, designed to ensure that practitioners are familiar with the new code to be introduced from 1 April 2016.

The second change, and arguably the most impactful for registrants, is the requirement to complete a reflective statement after each piece of CET. I can hear the groans: ‘How am I supposed to remember the key learning outcomes from an article I read three months ago?’ Still, I suppose it may prevent those from taking a cursory glance at the content in the hope of having an educated stab at the MCQs. Go on, admit it.

Practitioners can be assured though that the AOP will be delivering engaging content throughout the cycle regardless of your mode of practice or learning preferences. So sit back, relax and discover the CET opportunities on offer from the AOP in 2016.The first chance to get a head start on your CET tally is right here in this very issue of OT with five points on offer covering competencies for all types of practitioner.

"Returning for 2016 will be the popular AOP peer discussion nd legal roadshows with further professional development opportunities on offer throughout the year"

Alternatively, why not explore our multimedia offering with an extended invitation to participate in online discussion for those with a preference to earn interactive points from the comfort of their own armchair? If you prefer to interact with real human beings then 100% Optical (6–8 February is just around the corner, with an impressive line up of speakers from the world of optometry, ophthalmology and academia. An opportunity to catch up with friends, see the latest products on offer and gain access to the AOP’s VIP lounge for member only sessions.

Returning for 2016 will be the popular AOP peer discussion and legal roadshows, with further professional development opportunities on offer throughout the year, including courses on communication and leadership, alongside techniques to bolster your powers of persuasion.

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September sees the return of the AOP therapeutics event in partnership with SECO International. Hosted in London, the two-day conference brings together colleagues with a therapeutics specialty, plus those contemplating independent prescribing, or wanting to sharpen their clinical skills. The event will be refreshed for 2016, including a name change to Therapeutics London to better reflect the target audience.

Autumn continues to be a busy point in the optical calendar with the Hospital Optometrists Annual Conference, National Optical Conference and the AOP Awards celebration. Not forgetting our undergraduates, of course, with a fresh approach to the AOP Student Conference, as we will welcome third-year, as well as second-year students for the first time.

So that’s your whistlestop tour of the AOP’s plans for 2016. For more details about all of the AOP’s education opportunities, look out for our CET events guide coming out in January.


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