Opticians Report Success of Online Continuing Education and Training Scheme
Web-based application ensures full validation of training for 16,000 optometrists and dispensing opticians
[UKPRwire, Thu Aug 30 2007] The General Optical Council (GOC), the regulator for optometrists and dispensing opticians in the UK, has reported on the success of its Continuing Education and Training (CET) scheme. The groundbreaking scheme provides a fully validated record of continuing education activity, to ensure registered opticians keep their skills and knowledge up to date .
The GOC was the first healthcare body to introduce a web-based platform to record and manage continuing post-qualification training activities. The system, developed and managed by Vantage Technologies on behalf of the GOC, is now being used by 16,000 registered optometrists and dispensing opticians.
98% of opticians successfully completed their training requirement earlier this year. Results issued by the GOC show that many exceeded the mandatory requirements, highlighting a commitment to professional standards and to improving levels of patient care.
Registrar and chief executive of the General Optical Council, Peter Coe said: “We are very proud of our CET system. Most other professional regulators operate a self-validated continuing education scheme, which we do not believe could ensure that every registrant has complied with their scheme requirements. Ensuring our registrants keep their professional knowledge and skills up to date is a critical aspect of our role in protecting the public and ensuring they get high quality eye care. The scheme we have means we can be certain registrants have actually completed ongoing education and training activities.”
Migrating paper-based CET processes to an online platform has reduced the overheads of managing the scheme. A key additional benefit is that registrants have a clear overview of training options available, and are able to effectively track their progress during the a CET cycle.
Martyn Goodhand, CEO of Vantage said: “In terms of its approach and commitment to education and training, the General Optical Council is clearly leading the way amongst healthcare regulators, by providing its registrants with a simple yet effective way of evidencing and recording their continuing education. It’s a model that other regulators should be looking at. It meets a number of the principles outlined in the recent white paper; impartiality; focused on the needs of the majority and is not an unnecessary burden”
“The online nature of the training platform makes it easier to demonstrate a validated record of training, and this can only be good news for the healthcare sector and the public at large.”
Dispensing opticians and optometrists register securely on www.cetoptics.com to view the coming year’s calendar of CET events. They can create a personal plan of their training needs, and securely record and track their completed CET. All relevant information is stored in a single location, providing an easy way of monitoring progress.
On successful completion of an approved CET activity, the training provider enters points onto the member’s record via the CET website. Members can then accept or reject the points – keeping control over the final CET record.
Vantage provides a range of software and professional development support services to professional and regulatory bodies. It provides software to help build CPD portfolios online, plan CPD and create personal action plans. Vantage’s software platforms manage all the transactions needed for an efficient CPD process and so reduce paperwork, speed up administration and help control costs for the professional body.