College of Optometrists announces accreditation of Professional Diploma in Glaucoma

Moorfields Eye Hospital and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology have been accredited as a provider of the Professional Diploma in Glaucoma by the College of Optometrists. The diploma is designed to prepare optometrists to participate in community or hospital-based schemes for the management of patients with established chronic open-angle glaucoma (COAG) and other cases of glaucoma deemed suitable for management by optometrists.

The course will consist of a combination of online learning and face-to-face teaching and students will be required to complete a clinical placement as a part of the qualification. The first course will begin on 8 November 2017 and applications for the course are currently being accepted. Before enrolling on the course, optometrists should have completed the Professional Certificate and Professional Higher Certificate in Glaucoma.

Jackie Martin, director of education at the College of Optometrists, said: “We know there is a demand for this course from optometrists who have already completed the Professional Higher Certificate and are keen to complete the suite of qualifications, so we’re very pleased to be able to accredit the final level qualification at Moorfields. This course will be of particular interest to optometrists who work full-time or part-time in a glaucoma clinic in a hospital. The College’s higher qualifications allow optometrists to take full advantage of opportunities to deliver community services and they are proving very popular. We are working closely with existing and potential new providers to continue to meet the demand for these courses.”

Jay Varia, principal optometrist at Moorfields Eye Hospital said: “We are delighted to have had our course accredited for the College of Optometrists Diploma in Glaucoma. Optometry is changing rapidly. As the needs of our patients and the demands on our healthcare system increase, the profession is ideally placed to extend its traditional role into more direct clinical care. The College of Optometrists suite of glaucoma higher qualifications that we deliver allows optometrists to gain the skills that clinical care roles require. With the knowledge gained, optometrists can work safely and confidently to manage stable glaucoma patients in the community or co-manage complex glaucoma in hospital clinics. These qualifications allow optometrists to demonstrate an ability to provide the best patient care in their chosen area and level of qualification.”

The Professional Diploma in Glaucoma 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 contact lens practice, paediatrics, low vision 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.