The General Optical Council has decided that the next Continuing Education and Training (CET) cycle will be a standard three year cycle, running from 2019-21, before the GOC makes significant changes to the scheme from 2022.
The GOC had initially planned to make 2019 a one year transition period before fully revising the scheme from 2020. However, the input to its recent CET consultation – presented at the meeting by independent research agency Enventure – and other feedback showed that stakeholders, in particular CET providers, were concerned that they would not be able to meet the requirements of a revised system by January 2020.
Dr Subo Shanmuganathan, GOC Interim Director of Education, said: “There is a widespread recognition in the sector that CET needs to change to meet the challenges of the future and we want that to happen quickly.
“But our recent discussions with key stakeholders suggest that January 2020 – which would have come only a matter of months after a consultation next year – would have been too soon for providers and registrants to adequately prepare. Change is important but the consultation does not suggest that the need for change is so urgent that we should rush change through before providers are ready.
“So instead, the next CET cycle will be another three year cycle with the same requirements we have at the moment. This will give us the time to make long-term changes in a considered, evidence-based way that allows providers to make the necessary preparation for January 2022 and registrants to prepare themselves for a scheme that will have a greater emphasis on reflective learning.”
The GOC will now consult next year on changes to CET, which will come into effect for the 2022-24 cycle.
Meanwhile, the GOC is changing the MyCET online system so that it will be more user-friendly from January 2019. The system will work similarly to now but the GOC has used feedback from registrants, providers and approvers to improve the interface of the system, particularly on portable devices.
This work will be delivered by the current MyCET provider, Synaptiq Ltd trading as Perceptive, after the GOC tendered for the contract in April 2018 in accordance with EU procurement legislation.