Registrants to be able to gain self-directed specialty points following review of GOC’s Continuing Professional Development scheme

Registrants with a specialty, such as contact lens opticians and optometrists with prescribing rights, will now be able to obtain points in the specialty domain through self-directed Continuing Professional Development (CPD) following a review of the General Optical Council’s (GOC) CPD scheme.

Self-directed CPD allows registrants to count learning from sources other than GOC-approved CPD providers towards their points totals. Examples include reading a relevant article, giving a lecture or talk, or mentoring or supervising a colleague. Technical modifications to MyCPD have now been implemented to allow for self-directed specialty points and registrants can claim points for activities completed at any stage of this cycle.

The change came after the GOC reviewed its CPD scheme to see how it has been received and if it is meeting its objectives after 18 months, and whether there is an opportunity to provide further guidance or enact changes where necessary.

Elsewhere, the GOC can clarify following the review that contact lens opticians will be able to participate in peer review with optometrists, in line with the CPD rules (2021).

Steve Brooker, Director of Regulatory Strategy at the GOC, said: “Our CPD review was a valuable exercise in helping us reflect on the progress of the scheme so far, and seeing if we need to make modifications to the scheme this cycle. We hope our announcement today brings clarity and benefits registrants, particularly those with a specialty, as we approach this cycle’s final year.

On the back of our review, specialty registrants will now be able to take advantage of specialty self-directed CPD. Uptake of self-directed CPD has been low so far, and in the coming months we will do further promotion to support registrants to take advantage of this easy and flexible way of gaining CPD points.”

The GOC’s CPD: A guide for registrants has been updated to take the changes into account.

A mixed method approach was taken to conduct this review, which included a qualitative analysis incorporating feedback from stakeholders and registrant survey results and a quantitative analysis of our data on the MyCPD platform.