AOP support

AOP insight: professional development, CPD and the return of HOAC

Ava Williams, AOP events manager, and Dr Ian Beasley, head of education and OT  clinical editor, discuss what is to come from AOP events in the remainder of 2022

pen to paper

Commercial: Ava Williams, AOP events manager

What does the AOP events schedule look like for the rest of 2022?

We have 21 events planned for the remainder of the year, with a mixture of both face-to-face and online events, including peer reviews, discussion workshops and webinars.

How has the events schedule been received so far?

Ava Williams
We have had a good uptake for the first half of the year, including with the return of face-to-face events. We ran a series of peer review and discussion workshop events in partnership with Johnson & Johnson Vision in various locations and have more planned later in the year. In May, we held our first MAYopia Day event, where we delivered five back-to-back webinars focusing on various topics related to myopia. Over 2300 delegates attended across the sessions.

What will be the focus of the events team for the next six months?

Our next cycle of events launches in early August, so we have been preparing for that, and we are also in the early stages of planning for 100% Optical 2023, which is very exciting. We are currently also looking at how to improve the way we communicate with event delegates and will be implementing new methods of keeping attendees updated and reminding members of any events they may have booked.

What key message do you have for members regarding AOP events and CPD?

If members have booked an event but are no longer able to attend, we would ask that they please ensure they cancel their place as soon as possible to open the space up to those on our waiting list. This can easily be done via their MyAOP account, or by emailing us at [email protected]. We would also remind members that, after attending a CPD-accredited event, certificates will be available to download within 10 working days from their MyAOP account. Members should ensure they upload their certificate to the GOC portal.

Education: Dr Ian Beasley, AOP head of education and OT clinical editor

What have been some of the key topics covered so far this year, and how do these reflect themes in the profession?

Dr Ian Beasley
The first half of the year has given our members a gentle introduction to the new CPD scheme, covering core themes through our events portfolio as well as targeting specific areas of clinical interest, including our MAYopia Day. Clinical articles and videos through OT have covered a broad range of key topics including optical coherence tomography angiography, prosthetic contact lenses, acanthamoeba keratitis, childhood eye disease, papilloedema and ocular allergy. These can be viewed as practice exams in OT’s Education library.

The latter half of the year is a good opportunity for registrants to revisit their personal development plan

Dr Ian Beasley, AOP head of education and OT clinical editor

What is on the agenda for education content in the next few months?

The final four months of the year will cover 21 events, including a full day of online education at the Hospital Optometrists Annual Conference, with a series of webinars accessible to all members, providing a platform for shared learning, along with peer reviews tailored specifically for those working in secondary care. There will be a continuation of our health and wellbeing webinar series, as well as face-to-face professional development courses, each offering 15 interactive CPD points.

How are sessions tailored to the different domains?

Content through our events portfolio is tailored to specific practitioner types, including locums, independents, specialty optometrists and those working in secondary care. Throughout the year, our line-up of events and suite of OT articles offers practitioners from all modes of practice the opportunity to cover every domain under the GOC’s new CPD scheme.

What tips would you have for a strong end to the first year of CPD?

I would advise members to remember that, as with the previous CET scheme, registrants need to earn a minimum of six CPD points in the first year of the cycle, so be sure to log on to the GOC portal to ensure this requirement has been met. The latter half of the year is a good opportunity for registrants to revisit their personal development plan to make sure they are on track and update where necessary. It is also important to emphasise that under the new scheme, registrants are now responsible for uploading evidence of CPD completion rather than the provider.