A correlation between the performance of a pre-reg optometrist during university and then the Scheme for Registration (SfR) has been identified in a new report published by the College of Optometrists.
Analysing data from a cohort of 594 pre-registration trainees who were enrolled on the SfR between 1 June 2013 and 31 May 2014, the College found that 70% of trainees who had achieved a first class degree did not require any additional visits or resits during the pre-reg period. This was compared to 25% of trainees who had achieved a 2:2 degree.
Producing the report for the first time, the College explained that it aimed to provide detailed information of trainees’ performance over a year that related to a number of factors including the classification of their undergraduate degree and common areas of failure during the SfR.
Sharing its findings, the College reported that 42% of trainees required no resits or additional visits at any stage during the pre-reg period, while 71% of trainees needed a maximum of one resit at Stage 2 of the SfR.
Interestingly, the College also revealed that if a trainee struggled during the pre-reg period, it tended to be at the beginning of the SfR, with data showing that 14% of trainees were classified as ‘struggling’ during Stage 1 of the SfR, compared to just 3% and 5% during Stages 2 and 3 respectively.
Focusing on gender, the report details that 68% of the cohort were female and 32% male. Furthermore, females outperformed their male counterparts, with females classified as performing 11% higher than males.
A total of 82% passed the Objective Structured Clinical Examination on first attempt, with a 97% pass rate achieved on the second attempt.
Speaking about why the report was produced, director of education at the College of Optometrists, Jackie Martin, said: “We hope [this report] will provide useful information for trainees, supervisors, universities and employers. It will give helpful insight into where students need to be better prepared and help supervisors, universities and employers to identify areas in which trainees typically need support. For the wider sector it can be used to provide a snapshot of demographic information about the future of the optometric workforce including gender, ethnicity and distribution across the College regions.”
While this is the first time a report of this kind has been published, the College confirmed that it would publish this “periodically” in the future.
Ms Martin concluded: “The College is satisfied that the SfR is doing its job in terms of setting and maintaining the highest standards for the profession and in identifying and improving the performance of those trainees who struggle in the early stages of the scheme.”
The report can be viewed in full on the College’s website.