Cardiff University has this week been accredited as the first provider of the Professional Diploma in Glaucoma. The Diploma, which lasts one academic year, aims to prepare optometrists to participate in community or hospital-based schemes and develop the required management skills for patients with glaucoma. Cardiff University is the first higher education institution to offer this specialist qualification, designed to enable optometrists to progress in their careers and offer patients enhanced services.
The Professional Diploma in Glaucoma is part of a growing collection of higher qualifications developed by the College of Optometrists in order to enable optometrists to provide extended services in key areas such as low vision, contact lens practice and medical retina. In addition to the glaucoma Diploma, Cardiff University also offers the Professional Certificate and Professional Higher Certificate in Glaucoma, the Professional Certificate and Professional Higher Certificate in Low Vision and the Professional Certificate in Medical Retina.
Jackie Martin, director of education at the College of Optometrists, said: “It’s very exciting to be able to accredit the final level in the glaucoma higher qualifications and to meet the increasing demand from optometrists looking to develop in this field. We are also delighted to see such a high level of interest from others wishing to progress their careers by taking higher qualifications. As well as helping optometrists to boost their knowledge and confidence in specific areas, the College’s higher qualifications also allow them to take full advantage of opportunities to deliver community services. This helps to relieve some of the pressure being experienced by Hospital Eye Services and, ultimately, will give patients the benefit of expert experience from their optometrist.”
Dan Rosser, principal optometrist and head of department at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital and module leader for the Glaucoma Diploma module at the Wales Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre, Cardiff University said: “We are very excited to be the first UK University to be able to offer the College of Optometrists Professional Diploma in Glaucoma. This qualification follows on from the other glaucoma modules in our Post Graduate Taught Programme. We have worked hard to develop a module which provides optometrists with the skills and knowledge to provide either a comprehensive community glaucoma service, or to work with a high degree of autonomy within a Hospital Eye Service glaucoma sub-specialist clinic. Successful candidates will be equipped to make appropriate evidence-based management decisions in a wide range of glaucoma-related conditions and will have a comprehensive knowledge of diagnosis and treatment, and the ability to detect clinical change.”
The College of Optometrists accredits courses in Contact Lens Practice, Glaucoma, Low Vision and Medical Retina specialisms. The College is currently accepting applications for higher qualifications in a Professional Certificate and Professional Higher Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care. Courses are undertaken on a part-time basis and are designed to fit with life in a busy practice or hospital department.