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What will 2019 have in store?

There is a sense of relief as the New Year’s Eve stragglers finally close the door on a tough year. Dr Ian Beasley is certainly ready to welcome 2019

09 Jan 2019 by Ian Beasley

Being candid, at the final analysis, 2018 was a mediocre year for me at best. In fact, it probably ranks about 43rd in my all-time list of 45 to date.

It certainly doesn’t compete with the carefree Christmas of ‘81 as a short-trousered Star Wars enthusiast, defiantly (and repeatedly) mowing down my sister’s Barbie doll collection with my Millennium Falcon’s rapid-fire action. The dolls didn’t stand a chance.

Nor can it rival that unforgettable summer of yesteryear when the culmination of university finals transitioned seamlessly through to Euro ‘96. It would have been the perfect year if it wasn’t for those pesky Germans. But what will 2019 have in store?

How will 2019 fare?

From a professional perspective, there are exciting plans afoot at the AOP nerve centre with the launch of an extensive programme of education for 2019 to chime with the arrival of a new three-year CET cycle.

Of course, the General Optical Council (GOC) did flirt with the idea of a transitional CET year for 2019 ahead of comprehensive change in 2020. However, it sensibly applied the brakes on this concept at a safe stopping distance to allow time for more radical changes to be explored and implemented in 2022.

So, the waters have broken on a fresh cycle, with the rules of engagement essentially unchanged from the last. Nevertheless, the profession needs to brace itself for a new era beyond 2021, which is likely to call for greater emphasis on reflective practice and hopefully deliver more control to practitioners over their continuing professional development (CPD), aligned to individual scope of practice.

“The profession needs to brace itself for a new era beyond 2021, which is likely to call for greater emphasis on reflective practice”

With the MyCET points tracker reset to ‘0/36,’ practitioners can begin to make a significant dent in their new points tally as early as 12–14 January as 100% Optical once again opens its doors to an expected gathering of over 9000 visitors.

As the official UK partner at the event, the AOP has commissioned a varied programme of well over 100 sessions of education covering a wide range of competencies for all practitioner types. In addition to a mix of peer discussions, workshops and seminars, the event will also offer handpicked CPD sessions suitable for the whole practice team to complement the more traditional CET offerings.

Building upon the concept of offering support for frontline staff, 2019 will see the introduction of comprehensive quarterly CPD themes through Optometry Today, designed to support the practitioner and the wider practice team, allowing them to keep pace with the evolving clinical landscape, advances in technology, and to reflect changes in the expansion of services being delivered to patients in a primary care setting.

Well, goodbye 2018, and quite frankly good riddance. And welcome 2019. Here’s hoping for a top-10 year.

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