GOC approves SPOKE Project 5 output

The General Optical Council (GOC) has approved the fifth output of the Sector Partnership for Optical Knowledge and Education (SPOKE). The output is now available to download from the College of Optometrists website.

(SPOKE) is a cross-sector collaboration funded by the General Optical Council (GOC), led by The College of Optometrists, and managed by a steering group comprising representatives from the College, the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) and the Optometry Schools Council (OSC).

Project Five is entitled Developing autonomy in student optical professionals. It has been developed through desk-based research, and a series of sector meetings in consultation with a wide range of sector stakeholders.

The resulting web-based toolkit focuses on how students can best be encouraged and supported to become fully independent practitioners, and the kinds of mentorship and preceptorship that might continue to support that journey into roles undertaken as a new registrant.  

Research has shown that encouraging and enabling students to become autonomous learners, through supporting them to develop their critical thinking, problem solving and decision-making skills, is an economical and effective way of improving their progress1.

Once these students advance into employment, this enhanced workplace autonomy means they are able to work with less supervision or guidance, so will be valuable in enhancing productivity.

To enable course providers to embed this approach into their curricula, Developing autonomy in student optical professionals also has a downloadable curriculum review template that can be used to consider measures to increase learner autonomy across the four strands of the project:

  • Self-leadership
  • Independent learning
  • Co-creation
  • Mentorship & preceptorship

Professor Lizzy Ostler, Director of Education for The College of Optometrists, said:

“I am delighted to see this SPOKE toolkit published. It captures and will support some of the shift in focus introduced by GOC’s ETR. Developing autonomy in learners as they progress to registration is an integral part of ETR courses, that will ensure new registrants are equipped to navigate progress in technology and healthcare throughout their careers.”

Samara Morgan, GOC Head of Education and CPD Development, said:

“We are pleased with the output of SPOKE’s latest project, which will help support optical students, so they are capable of adapting to present and future changes in the optical sector. We encourage all education providers to refer to SPOKE’s website for useful resources to aid the implementation of the ETR.”

You can find out more information about SPOKE on the website: www.spokehub.org.uk alternatively, you can contact SPOKE via email: spokehub@college-optometrists.org