GOC confirms updates to CPD requirements following review

Specialty registrants are now eligible to declare self-directed CPD, while contact lens opticians can participate in peer review alongside optometrists and obtain points

SP GOC meeting

The General Optical Council (GOC) has confirmed that registrants with a specialty are now eligible to declare self-directed continuing professional development (CPD) points following a review of its education scheme.

The current CPD scheme, which is in the second year of its current three-year cycle, was established in January 2022, superseding past CET requirements.

When launched, under the new scheme, some registrants were eligible to collect a specified number of their 36-point three-year CPD requirement through self-directed CPD, which allows registrants to count learning from sources other than GOC-approved CPD providers towards their points totals. The GOC identifies examples of this as: reading a relevant article, giving a lecture or talk, or mentoring or supervising a colleague.

Following the change to this rule, registrants with a specialty, such as contact lens opticians or optometrists with prescribing rights, are now also able to collect points in this manner. The GOC confirmed that technical modifications to registrants’ MyCPD portal have now been implemented to allow for self-directed specialty points and that registrants can claim points for activities completed at any stage of this cycle.

The announcement of the change comes after the GOC reviewed its CPD scheme to see how it has been received after 18 months. 

Additionally, through the review, the GOC has clarified that contact lens opticians are able to participate in peer reviews with optometrists.

Director of regulatory strategy at the GOC, Steve Brooker, said: “Our CPD review was a valuable exercise in helping us reflect on the progress of the scheme so far, and seeing if we need to make modifications to the scheme this cycle. We hope our announcement today brings clarity and benefits registrants, particularly those with a specialty, as we approach this cycle’s final year.”

He added: “Uptake of self-directed CPD has been low so far, and in the coming months we will do further promotion to support registrants to take advantage of this easy and flexible way of gaining CPD points.”

The GOC’s CPD: A guide for registrants  has been updated.

Welcoming the update, Dr Ian Beasley, AOP head of education and OT clinical editor, said: “We are pleased to see the GOC implement this long-awaited change that will give specialty registrants improved flexibility in gaining CPD points from activities that directly apply to their professional practice. This increased scope for qualifying education opportunities will undoubtedly benefit practitioners with a speciality as we approach the final year of this cycle.”