GOC commissions SPOKE to establish Knowledge Hub
The General Optical Council (GOC) is pleased to announce that following an open tender process, it has commissioned the Sector Partnership for Optical Knowledge and Education (SPOKE) to establish a Knowledge Hub to facilitate collaborations within the optical sector to meet the updated requirements for independent prescribing categories and contact lens opticians.
One of the first key projects the hub will consider is the demand for indicative requirements to accompany the Outcomes for Approved Qualifications for the additional supply, supplementary prescribing, and independent prescribing categories, and contact lens optics.
It will also undertake further projects in close consultation with the optical sector and academic community, which could include topics such as development of fitness to train procedures, work-based/experiential learning, and mentoring and supervision.
The hub will have a limited lifespan, beginning in January 2023 and closing in July 2025, when the GOC expects providers of currently approved and provisionally approved qualifications will have adapted to the new GOC education and training requirements.
Steve Brooker, GOC Director of Regulatory Strategy, said: “We are pleased to appoint SPOKE to take forward this crucial work to ensure programme leaders and academic faculty are supported as they design and develop their qualifications to meet our updated requirements for independent prescribing and contact lens opticians.
SPOKE has already produced useful work in relation to the knowledge hub for optometry and dispensing optics qualifications, and we look forward to continuing to work with them in supporting the sector to adapt their qualifications we approve.”
Professor Lizzy Ostler, Director of Education at The College of Optometrists, added: “I am delighted that the work of SPOKE will be extended to support the sector in developing new specialist qualifications, which aim to advance the profession and build more capacity. University and employer engagement with SPOKE projects for optometry and dispensing optics has been fantastic and has enabled us to develop high quality new outputs. I look forward to working with independent prescribing optometrists and contact lens opticians, as well as course providers and potential students – to understand how they would like SPOKE to help them reap the benefits of the new education and training requirements for specialist qualifications.”
If you would like to be part of SPOKE, or would like to hear more, please email: Spokehub@college-optometrists.org.