GOC commissions Sector Partnership for Optical Knowledge and Education

The General Optical Council (GOC) is delighted to announce that it has commissioned Sector Partnership for Optical Knowledge and Education (SPOKE) to establish a Knowledge Hub/Information Exchange to facilitate knowledge-led collaborations within the optical sector to meet our updated requirements for qualification approval.

The College of Optometrists are the lead partner for SPOKE and will be supported by Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO), Optometry Schools Council (OSC) and bodies from across the sector to deliver projects, online resources and networking activities. The full Knowledge Hub Oversight Committee and Advisory and Review Group representation can be found in the ‘notes to editors’ section.

The hub will be a resource for programme leaders, academic staff, module coordinators, supervisors and practice-based staff/ employers and sector businesses. It will support the academic community in their design and development of qualifications, to meet our outcomes and standards, and further support practices and sector businesses in their role as placement providers within the new qualifications.

The first crucial project of the Knowledge Hub/Information Exchange will be to develop the sector-led co-produced indicative guidance, to supplement the ‘Outcomes for Registration’. SPOKE will shortly be recruiting expert volunteers from across the sector to support the hub steering group in undertaking this work.   

The Knowledge Hub/Information Exchange will also undertake further projects which will address topics such as; facilitating and assessing experiential and work-based learning, mentoring and supervision, values-based admissions and hosting successful placements.

Leonie Milliner, GOC Director of Education, said: “We are delighted that The College of Optometrists, OSC and ABDO’s proposal for their collaborative knowledge hub, Sector Partnership for Optical Knowledge and Education, has secured GOC support for the next four years. This is an important initiative for the GOC, and we thank the sector for responding so positively to our request for proposals.

We look forward to working with stakeholders and experts across the field as part of SPOKE to support providers of GOC approved and provisionally approved qualifications adapt their provision to meet our updated requirements for qualifications we approve in optometry and dispensing optics.”

Lizzy Ostler, Director of Education at The College of Optometrists, said: “I am really excited that the SPOKE bid, developed in collaboration with Joy Myint (Optometry Schools Council) and Alistair Bridge (Association of British Dispensing Opticians) has been successful. As a steering group, our plan is to involve the whole sector in establishing expected and best practice guidance for the qualifying education of optometrists and dispensing opticians. This will be a great opportunity to bring to life the GOC’s new requirements for providers and those involved in course approval for years to come. 

A wide range of experts have already volunteered to support the activities of SPOKE, and we look forward to moving forward at pace to produce the indicative guidance. We are keen to involve all stakeholders and welcome all interested parties to step up, join in and contribute to this sector-wide collaboration.”

If you would like to be part of SPOKE, or would like to hear more, please email: Spokehub@college-optometrists.org.