GOC seeks feedback on changes to CET

Optometrists are invited to submit their views through the GOC’s online consultation hub by 20 August

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The General Optical Council (GOC) is calling for feedback from optical professionals on changes to Continuing Education and Training (CET).

A consultation on a proposed overhaul of optical CET is running through the GOC’s online consultation hub from 28 May to 20 August.

The GOC is calling for views on how CET can be made more flexible and less prescriptive, giving optometrists and dispensing opticians the chance to undertake learning and development that is most relevant to their scope of practice.

A consultation by the optical regulator in 2018, Fit for the future: a lifelong learning review, highlighted five areas where respondents wanted change to be implemented.

These included enhanced flexibility of the scheme, the ability to tailor learning, a focus on reflection to improve patient care, changing the name of the scheme to Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and introducing a new proportionate system of CPD approvals for efficiency.

GOC director of education, Leonie Milliner, highlighted that the current CET scheme was introduced in 2013.

The type of work that optometrists and dispensing opticians are performing has expanded and diversified since the introduction of the scheme, she added.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted the importance of having a highly skilled and flexible workforce, which is able to work effectively as part of multi-disciplinary teams across the healthcare sector. We must therefore ensure that our scheme is agile and able to support an optical workforce which is likely to see many more changes in the coming years,” Ms Milliner said.

The AOP’s head of education, Dr Ian Beasley, highlighted that in response to the 2018 GOC consultation, the AOP noted that the current CET scheme is inflexible and needs to reform to better meet the needs of individual registrants’ practice.

“Although it’s a challenging time for many of our members, we think it is helpful to finalise the new CET framework in good time ahead of the 2022 cycle starting. We will be seeking views from across our membership in the coming weeks to inform the AOP response to the GOC consultation,“ Dr Beasley said.