The College of Optometrists has confirmed that it will offer safeguarding training to all pre-reg optometrists free of charge.
The training, which is normally a requirement before optometrists can join the NHS Performers List, can be accessed via the College’s website ahead of qualification. Previously training was only available through DOCET after qualification. The College said that as a result this often meant that there was a delay in newly-qualified optometrists being able to practice unsupervised.
Director of education at the College of Optometrists, Jackie Martin, said: “The College is paying to provide this safeguarding training to all pre-reg trainees in response to the urgent need we have identified. This provision will mean that all trainees, regardless of where in the UK they are located, or which employer they work for, can apply for entry onto the NHS Performer List before taking the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), enabling them to undertake NHS practice immediately after qualifying.”
The training being offered by the College has been developed by DOCET and is approved by the Optical Confederation and the General Optical Council. It consists of two modules – the first on safeguarding children, and the second on safeguarding adults.
On passing the OSCE, the training will no longer be available to newly-qualified optometrists and therefore the College is urging all pre-regs to complete the training during their pre-reg period.