Cardiff University has been accredited as the first provider of the College’s Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care. The course has been produced for optometrists, particularly those working in primary care, who want to develop their skills and build their confidence when working with children. Cardiff University is the first higher education institution to offer this qualification, designed to enable optometrists to progress in their careers and offer patients enhanced services.
The certificate will provide optometrists with knowledge to support evidence-based eye care for infants and children of all ages. It will span two semesters and will cover areas such as vision screening pathways and will support development, communication and delivery of a management plan for infants and children. The first course will run from September 2016. Following completion of the course, candidates will have the opportunity to advance to the Professional Higher Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care.
Jackie Martin, director of education at the College of Optometrists, said: “We’re delighted to be able to accredit the Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care for the first time. We know from a recent survey of successful higher qualifications candidates that there is demand for qualifications and training in paediatric eye care so it’s great to be in a position to offer this to those interested. As well as increasing knowledge in specific areas, the College’s higher qualifications allow optometrists to deliver more community services.”
Dr Margaret Woodhouse, senior lecturer at Cardiff University and course leader at Wales Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre (WOPEC) said: “This new course is an opportunity to update and expand on our current Paediatric Optometry one semester course. The professional certificate will have much greater emphasis on practical elements such as communication and clinical management and the students will have something concrete to show for their studies. In delivering the course, I will be joined by experts in all fields of paediatric optometry; this is a very exciting prospect!”
The Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care is part of a growing collection of higher qualifications developed by the College in order to enable optometrists to provide extended services in key areas such as glaucoma, low vision, contact lens practice and medical retina. Courses are undertaken on a part-time basis and are designed to fit with life in a busy practice or hospital department.
In addition to the new certificate, Cardiff University also offers all three levels of qualifications in Glaucoma, the Professional Certificate and Professional Higher Certificate in Low Vision and the Professional Certificate in Medical Retina. In March of this year, Cardiff University was accredited as the first provider of the Professional Diploma in Glaucoma.
Applications for the course close on 14 August, 2016. Further details are available from Pgoptom@cardiff.ac.uk.