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Pre-Qualification Period

The purpose of the Pre-Qualification Period (PQP) is for you to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to register as a qualified dispensing optician with the General Optical Council. This is achieved through you learning in the workplace and is assessed by you demonstrating compliance in the Association’s PQP requirements and passing ABDO’s final qualifying examination, which examines nine core competencies. Once you have embarked on a recognised course of dispensing study leading to the FBDO qualification, your training institute will provide you with an ABDO PQP portfolio folder. The ABDO Examinations and Registration department can provide replacement PQP folders (eg in instances of loss or damage), but do charge for sending out folders; therefore you are recommended to ensure that your training institute provide you with the PQP portfolio folder in the first instance.

PQP guides for students and supervisors: 2015 Syllabus

  • To access PQP guidance for students relating to the 2015 syllabus click here
  • To access PQP guidance for supervisors relating to the 2015 syllabus click here

PQP guides for students and supervisors: 2008 Syllabus

  • To access PQP guidance for students relating to the 2008 syllabus click here
  • To access PQP guidance for supervisors relating to the 2008 syllabus click here

Pre-Qualification Period (PQP) Portfolio Forms

The following documents are available for you to download/print off. Please note that all the forms must be completed in full, otherwise they will not be accepted. Documents do not have to be printed double-sided and the use of white paper is acceptable, regardless of the colour of the paper generally used in the ABDO PQP portfolio.

  • Initial Declaration formOpen

    Once you receive the PQP folder, providing you are a student ABDO member, a student registrant with the General Optical Council and you are in practice working as a trainee dispensing optician (TDO), you may complete and submit the Initial Declaration form (a pink form found towards the beginning of the PQP folder). This needs to be sent to ABDO Examinations and Registration at ‘The Old Dairy’ address. Please send all documents to ABDO by secure, traceable mail.

    ABDO will write and acknowledge receipt of your Initial Declaration form and will confirm your PQP commencement date. Once this has been done, you may start recording your supervised hours: 1,600 hours in no less than 200 days, plus completing all required PQP tasks and producing 50 case records within this time under registered supervision. Only record the actual times you are supervised in practice by either your principal and/or secondary supervisor. Do not record time at college, annual leave, bank holidays or even lunch times!

    Evidence of this experience as documented by the trainee in a PQP Portfolio folder will record a minimum number of patient experiences and dispensing tasks. The PQP is currently assessed as one of the sections of the ABDO Final Qualifying Examination and therefore the PQP must be entirely completed prior to any candidate sitting that examination.

    The initial declaration form is only suitable for students who have not yet been given a date of commencement for their PQP Portfolio. You and your supervisor(s) must have read through your PQP portfolio folder prior to signing this document. If you do not have a PQP portfolio folder, please speak to your training institute if you have never been issued with one or contact ABDO for replacement folders (charge applies).

  • Change of practice and/or supervisor formOpen

    Students should use the change of practice and/or supervisor form to inform ABDO Examinations and Registration of any changes to their previous practice or supervisor details. Any changes agreed by ABDO for a student’s PQP are always confirmed in writing, therefore if you do not receive a confirmation letter within 20 days of submitting a form, please contact ABDO to enquire about the progress of your form. We always advise that you keep any confirmation letters for your records.

  • specialist clinic supervisor formOpen

    The specialist clinic supervisor form is for students who temporarily need to work outside their registered practice to gain experience in a specialist field (eg low vision, paediatrics). Please note that, if agreed, this would be a fixed period of supervision for a maximum of three months.

    If you have had a break from your PQP, as maybe your records have been suspended due to maternity leave, study break, extended sick leave etc., or have been ceased due to a lapse in your ABDO membership or in your registration with the General Optical Council, please contact ABDO so that we can advise you regarding the most appropriate form for you to complete and submit.

  • case record form / Data Protection formOpen

    The case record form is available as a Word document, for students to use if they wish to complete these on a PC, or as a PDF file to print off and complete. If you decide to use the Word document, please ensure that it is printed off promptly after completion for your supervisor to sign. Never leave documents unsigned for long lengths of time, as supervisor’s circumstances can change unexpectedly. There is also an example of a Data Protection form which you may wish to use in practice, as ABDO may request to view any original patient record that relates to case records included in your PQP portfolio folder.

  • tracking sheet of supervised time form / tracking sheet dispensing tasks formOpen

    The tracking sheets for presentation of case records are only available as a PDF file to print off and complete (a set of four different sheets). Please note that you may only use this style of tracking sheets for your case records if they are numbered 1 through to 50 and if each of your 50 case records have been individually signed by your supervisor(s).  If your case records do not meet this criteria, please contact the ABDO Examinations and Registration department and we will send you out the ‘older style’ tracking sheets for completion of case records.

    The tracking sheet of supervised time form and tracking sheet dispensing tasks form are available as an Excel document, for students to use if they wish to complete on a computer, or as a PDF file to print off and complete. Again, if you decide to use the Excel document, please ensure that you print it off as soon as each sheet is completed for your supervisor(s) to sign.

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