GOC notes ABDO and UCLan as first dispensing qualifications to meet new education requirements

The General Optical Council (GOC) has noted that the Association of British Dispensing Opticians Examinations and Registration’s (ABDO) and University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) will be the first to deliver Ophthalmic Dispensing undergraduate qualifications under the GOC’s new education and training requirements.

ABDO will be an awarding organisation, with various centres offering their Level 6 Diploma in Ophthalmic Dispensing qualification, whilst UCLan will be delivering a BSc (Hons) Ophthalmic Dispensing qualification.

Both providers will deliver the updated qualifications to the first cohort of students from September 2023.

Providers of existing GOC-approved qualifications are required to submit detailed plans of how their adapted qualifications will meet the new education and training requirements, with the GOC reviewing and noting these changes.

The updated qualifications will still be subject to the GOC’s routine quality assurance processes to ensure they satisfy the GOC’s requirements.

Samara Morgan, GOC Head of Education Development, said: “We are pleased to note ABDO Examinations and UCLan as the first dispensing optics qualifications to meet the new education and training requirements. We continue to work with each provider to ensure a smooth transition to the new requirements so that incoming students are prepared to meet the future needs of patients.”

Miranda Richardson, Head of Professional Qualifications and Education at ABDO, commented: “We are delighted to receive recognition from the GOC for our updated ABDO Level 6 Ophthalmic Dispensing programme, as one of the first organisations to deliver education under the new requirements we are excited to welcome our September year one students. A huge amount of work goes into producing a syllabus that prepares students to become outstanding dispensing opticians of the future, and I would like to thank all those involved. Working alongside our partner institutes ABDO College, Bradford College and City & Islington College, we will continue to provide support for the academic teams, supervisors, and students.

The new syllabus has been future proofed to reflect changes within the optical profession, the assessments are appropriate to modern practice and will maintain the FBDO standard. Under the new education and training requirements we will ensure patients remain at the heart of all decisions made and the ophthalmic dispensing profession will continue to adapt to technological advancements and changes in scope of practice. I believe that there has never been a better time to become a dispensing optician.”

Rupal Lovell-Patel, Academic Lead at UCLan, said: “It will be our pleasure to offer the two-year accelerated BSc Ophthalmic Dispensing degree to the next generation of Dispensing Opticians from September 2023. It has been a team effort and I would like to thank the team for their hard work to be one of the first dispensing optics qualifications noted to meet the GOC’s new education and training requirements.”