CET completion rates are tracking behind the end of the last cycle in 2015, when 412 registrants did not meet requirements.
Speaking at the latest General Optical Council (GOC) meeting (14 November, London), the regulator's interim chief executive Lesley Longstone highlighted that completion rates were 5% lower than expected and letters were being issued to affected registrants.
“We shouldn’t be panicking about it. I’m sure over the next few months people will collect the points that they need to,” she said.
She highlighted that the slow completion rate underlines the rationale for changing CET; to create a system where registrants view learning as valuable and useful in practice.
“[At the moment] people are only doing the points because we tell them they need to,” Ms Longstone said.
The GOC’s head of standards and CET, Marcus Dye, shared that at the end of the last CET cycle in 2015, there were 400 registrants who did not meet requirements.
This resulted in 200 registrants being removed from the register for CET reasons, while a further 200 were removed from the register for a variety of reasons – for example, because they wanted to retire or take a sabbatical.
Mr Dye said that at the moment there are around 5000 registrants who have not met CET completion requirements, with a lower completion rate among dispensing opticians, contact lens opticians and therapeutic prescribers.
“We’re hoping to see a sharp rise in completion over the next month or so,” he said.