The General Optical Council (GOC) has published a call for evidence to launch its Education Strategic Review. The main aim of the review is to ensure that education programmes and qualifications leading to GOC registration equip students to meet patients’ future needs, as technological change and the increased prevalence of enhanced services are altering the roles that optometrists and dispensing opticians play in delivering eye care.
The GOC is now seeking views from a wide range of stakeholders – optical professionals and students, education providers, patient representatives, employers, professional bodies, commissioners and fellow regulators; with a view to publishing a statement summarising the responses and setting out the way forward in spring 2017.
Alistair Bridge, GOC director of strategy, said: “The Education Strategic Review will be crucial in ensuring that the UK’s system of optical education prepares optical professionals for the roles of the future and therefore serves the best interests of patients and the wider public. The optical sector is undergoing major change and we must be forward thinking. Optical professionals will need to be fully equipped to tackle the challenges of the coming decades, working closely with other professionals, particularly ophthalmologists, orthoptists and ophthalmic nurses, as part of a flexible healthcare workforce. If we are to make the best possible improvements to the system, it is essential that we hear from a wide range of voices. This is a great opportunity to influence the future direction of the optical professions so I strongly encourage everyone with an interest in eye care to let us know their views.”
Carrying out and implementing the Education Strategic Review is one of the main objectives set out in the GOC’s draft strategic plan for the three years from April 2017 to March 2020. We are also consulting on the draft strategic plan at the moment. The consultation closes on Monday 23 January 2017.