The General Optical Council (GOC) has today released figures showing that 98 per cent of all registrants met their Continuing Education and Training (CET) requirements for the 2013-15 cycle.
Just 412 registrants out of 21,158 face removal from the register for not meeting their requirements, including 255 optometrists and 157 dispensing opticians. 75 of those registrants had already told the GOC they intend to retire or come off the register.
In line with GOC rules some registrants may be able to demonstrate exceptional circumstances for not meeting their CET target, meaning the number of registrants removed is likely to be even lower than 412.
A further 12 contact lens opticians face losing their specialty registration, although they will be able to continue practising as dispensing opticians.
Marcus Dye, GOC head of education and standards, said: “I am delighted that almost all registrants completed their CET by the 31 December 2015 deadline. CET is vital in ensuring registrants keep their skills and knowledge up to date so they can continue to deliver good care to their patients.
“We will be writing shortly to all registrants who did not meet the requirements to explain the steps that we will take before they are removed from the register, including the appeal process.
“I would like to thank all stakeholders for their support over the cycle, including professional bodies who encouraged registrants to meet their targets, and all CET providers, especially for their work in providing CET so close to the deadline for registrants still requiring points.”
The CET cycle ran from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2015. All registrants were required to obtain 36 CET points, adjusted pro-rata for those who joined the register later in the cycle. Registrants were required to undertake CET in relation to each competency relevant to their registration, obtain 50 per cent of their points through interactive learning methods, and all optometrists and contact lens opticians had to complete one peer review CET session. Specialists had further requirements in relation to their specialty.
99 per cent of optometrists and contact lens opticians completed the mandatory peer review requirement. This was the first cycle in which this was a requirement.
The new 2016-18 CET cycle started on 1 January 2016 and will run until 31 December 2018.