The General Optical Council (GOC) has today launched a consultation on new draft standards for education providers and learning outcomes for students as part of its Education Strategic Review (ESR).
The purpose of the ESR is to ensure that students are equipped for the roles for the future and this means having standards for education providers and learning outcomes for students that reflect how the optical sector is evolving to meet the needs of patients. It will also require a robust approach to the accreditation and quality assurance of education programmes.
GOC Interim Director of Education Dr Subo Shanmuganathan said, “The aim of the new standards and learning outcomes is to deliver more flexibility to education providers while taking into account the need for a greater focus on clinical training and the reality of increased multi-disciplinary work.
“The proposed learning outcomes and standards have been drafted to incorporate feedback from the previous consultation on ESR concepts and principles. There are five proposed standards covering areas including quality of learning, patient safety and access to clinical experience.
“The draft learning outcomes would replace the current competencies required by all students to complete before they join the register as a qualified optical professional. The proposed outcomes cover technical skills and the ‘softer’ skills required to become a professional.”
There are separate draft learning outcomes for student optometrists, dispensing opticians and contact lens opticians. For independent prescribers, the GOC is proposing to adopt the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Competency Framework for all Prescribers.
The consultation asks for feedback on the opportunities and risks, as well as the content and drafting of the proposed standards and learning outcomes, including any areas that may have been missed.
The consultation closes on 25 February 2019 and the GOC will analyse the feedback before publishing final versions.