Are Dispensing Opticians getting left behind?

Only 32% of Dispensing Opticians have met all their CET requirements

With just 3 months of the current CET cycle left, figures published by the GOC in their CET provider update at the end of September 2021 show that only 32% of Dispensing Opticians have met all their CET requirements. This compares to 44% of Optometrists and Therapeutic Optometrists and 41% of CLOs. Progress in the current CET cycle for all registrants is significantly behind the previous cycle. By the end of September 2018 45% of all DOs and 50% of Optometrists had already met all their CET requirements.

Availability of CET compared to the 2016-2018 CET cycle

The reasons behind this are clear and appear to be a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. The GOC's figures show that by the end of August 2021 CET providers had run a total of 12250 CET events; a 14% drop compared to the 14170 CET events to the end of August 2018. Of the bigger providers, the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO), the College of Optometrists, the Association of Optometrists and NHS Education for Scotland all saw a significant reduction in the number of new CET courses applied for. In particular ABDO, likely to be one of the main sources of CET provision for Dispensing Opticians, saw its approvals for new CET courses drop by more than half compared to 2018. Couple this with the fact that face-to-face meetings organised by employers and LOCs are only just starting to return, and many of us are facing a backlog of patient appointments and increasing workloads and it's easy to see why all registrants, Dispensing Opticians in particular are behind previous years at this stage in the CET cycle.

GOC concessions

The GOC has made some significant concessions in this CET cycle to help registrants meet their requirements and to improve the availability of CET. In 2020 they dropped the annual CET requirement and allowed many forms of CET that used to be the preserve of face-to-face meetings to run online. As a response to these changes, CETpoints.com ran a series of free weekly webinars in 2020 and continues to run free monthly webinars and online Peer Review sessions. It is highly unlikely that the GOC will extend the CET deadline and therefore it is important that all registrants meet all their CET requirements by 31 December 2021.

Offer for ABDO members

To specifically address the shortage of CET points amongst Dispensing Opticians CETpoints.com has teamed up with ABDO to offer a discount on new unlimited subscriptions. ABDO members who can provide us with their ABDO registration number are eligible for a discount code to get 25% off an unlimited annual subscription, reducing the cost from £160 to £120. Simply contact ABDO or [email protected] to get the code. An annual subscription provides access to all courses, webinars and peer reviews on CETpoints.com for 12 months from the date of joining. So not only will it provide enough CET to meet this cycle's requirement, it can also be used next year to give you a head start in the new CPD cycle.

CETpoints.com already provides 24-hour access to CET courses covering all the CET requirements for Optometrists, Dispensing Opticians, Contact Lens Opticians and Therapeutic Optometrists. We provide some free CET as well as pay as you go and unlimited subscription options. Your first CET course with us is always free, so if you haven't already registered at CETpoints.com you might want to consider doing so now.

About the author

Peter Charlesworth MSc MCOptom

Peter Charlesworth is an optometrist and Chief Executive of CPDpoints.com. He is a former examiner and councillor of the College of Optometrists, a former member of the GOC’s fitness to practise committee and holds an MSc in Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science from the University of Manchester. He was Boots Opticians Tutor Practitioner at the University of Bradford for 7 years. His duties there included teaching the Law and Management module to final year students and a clinical investigative techniques module to the second year.

View all posts by Peter Charlesworth MSc MCOptom


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