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CET changes could take effect from 2020

GOC suggests transition period in 2019, with practitioners required to complete 12 points across the year

23 May 2018 by Selina Powell

The General Optical Council (GOC) has discussed plans to bring forward changes to CET by two years.

A document tabled before the latest GOC meeting (9 May, London) detailed a proposal to move the changes from 2022 to 2020, with 2019 becoming a transitional year.

The paper highlighted that the updated system would link educational requirements to high-level learning outcomes, rather than requiring registrants to do CET in relation to all competencies regardless of their scope of practice.

“The proposed new learning outcomes will cover all aspects of what it means to be an optical professional and therefore do more to promote professional development,” the document noted.

The transition year (2019) would involve practitioners completing 12 points, including six interactive points.

There is no requirement to complete a peer review as part of this, however practitioners will be encouraged to do so.

An initial consultation on the approach will take place alongside the Education Strategic Review in June and July, with a final consultation on proposals to take place between October and December.

GOC councillor, Josie Forte, highlighted during the meeting that the transition from CET to CPD is something that the optical sector has been moving towards for some time.

She noted that there may be challenges for some people during the transition year of 2019.

“As much as 12 points seems like a small number, it’s something that we need to bear in mind,” Ms Forte commented.

Fellow councillor, Glenn Tomison, said that he remembered when the current CET system was first introduced and highlighted that it was originally intended as a starting point.

“It was a way of getting agreement – CPD was seen as a step too far,” he shared.

“The plan was to move towards self-development but it has just taken rather longer than was thought at the time,” Mr Tomison observed. 


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Comments (3)

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    In the United States from where, one suspects, some of these “uninformed petty politicians” have taken the idea of onerous CET/CPD requirements for Optometrists, the median starting salary for an Optometrist is the equivalent of over £90,000. Our professsion might be served better if some of these CPD-fanatical colleagues would, redirect their substantial energies towards more relevant things like securing, from Government, an NHS eye exam fee that truly reflects the immense value Optometry adds to the NHS. Just a thought.

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    I agree with the previous post. After 33 years in the profession, I think I will bring my retirement forward.

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    CET was far from being an "agreement" as Glenn Tomison is reported as saying - it was an imposition bitterly opposed by some and still resented by many of those. The obvious true intention, as has already been confirmed by changes so far, was to keep tinkering with the system to make it more and more difficult for practitioners to retain their professional qualifications if they simply want to work quietly without doing any harm rather than constantly striving to climb the greasy pole . The whole thing is just a box-ticking exercise to satisfy uninformed petty politicians, combined with a vanity project run by those who want to be "known names" in optics and who enjoy telling others how they must practice. Racking the system up by a few more notches to transform it into CPD is another part of that vanity project. There are so many in this profession who STILL haven't learned that no matter how many qualifications are amassed, no matter how much service is delivered to the NHS at paltry rates of pay, and no matter how much extra responsibility is accepted, governments will not offer the optical profession a better deal. Decades of history prove that point. When the new CPD system takes effect, sit back and watch the number of early retirements increase as perfectly good practitioners head for the exits rather than struggle with yet more impositions. Independent practice is already almost impossibly difficult owing to the number of highly burdensome optical and non-optical rules and regulations that have to be satisfied and the associated costs that have to be covered. Good independent practices owned by older practitioners in some parts of the country are already nigh-on impossible to sell on to younger members of the profession who are justifiably scared to death of trying manage both professional responsibilities and small business matters. This is not the time to be adding to the problem with new CET/CPD requirements!

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