Optometrists today work in a rapidly changing professional environment. Keeping knowledge and skills up-to-date through continuing education and training (CET) is essential to ensure that the services optometrists provide are fit for purpose and to assure the public of the continuing competence of practitioners. Completion of CET is a mandatory requirement of the General Optical Council (GOC) and more information about the GOC’s CET requirements can be found on the GOC website.
The Directorate of Optometric Continuing Education and Training (DOCET) is a special Committee that was set up by the Department of Health in 1989 to oversee the management of government funds set aside for the provision of optometric continuing education and training for all UK registered optometrists
DOCET produces and distributes award-winning distance learning materials, including video and audio media and e-learning. Visit the DOCET Courses page to access the wide variety of available DOCET training resources.
DOCET also provides financial assistance to help local optometric groups and communities who want to run their own CET courses, meetings or events. Visit the Funding pages to find out more about the financial help available and how to apply.
We would be delighted to receive feedback on the website or on any DOCET resources - you can email us at email@example.com.
DOCET Council meets twice a year to set and monitor the strategic direction of DOCET and to ensure that its objectives are being met. The Council consists of representatives from the main UK optical institutions and departments and the Department of Health. The Director of Education of the College of Optometrists acts as Secretary to the DOCET Council on governance matters.
DOCET Council delegates responsibility for day-to-day management and monitoring of operational and financial aspects of DOCET activity to the DOCET Executive Committee. The current Chairman of DOCET Council and the DOCET Executive Committee is Rob Hogan.
DOCET Executive Committee
The DOCET Executive Committee manages and monitors DOCET’s day-to-day, operational activity on behalf of DOCET Council. It meets regularly throughout the year, monitoring the DOCET budget, receiving regular reports from the DOCET Project Manager on projects progress, and providing advice and support to the DOCET Training Advisers as required, particularly in relation to the content and direction of DOCET material.
DOCET is a restricted fund of the College of Optometrists, which administers its activities.
The Health Departments allocate funds to DOCET annually, following a submission of a budget. The funds are made available under section 63 of the Health Services and Public Health Act (1968). Money made available under section 63 may be used by DOCET to finance all forms of CET provided that the subjects addressed are relevant to family health services within the NHS.
DOCET Terms of Reference
DOCET's Terms of Reference are to ensure that its funds are used towards:
- Maintaining and improving the quality of services optometrists provide to the public in delivering general optometric services.
- Ensuring that optometrists keep up to date with technological and scientific advances relevant to their services and to the public's needs.
- Assisting optometrists in acquiring the additional skills necessary to the development of eye care services.
Approximately every two years, DOCET Council reviews and agrees a list of topics that it considers priority areas for development into DOCET continuing education and training materials for optometrists. This list is regularly reviewed by the Executive Committee to ensure it is relevant and up-to-date.
In general, priorities for optometric continuing education and training (CET) should be aligned with the requirements of the GOC's current Stage 2 competencies for optometrists and with the UK Vision Strategy.
DOCET considers record keeping and communication skills to be key areas that should be considered as a fundamental part of any CET material.
DOCET will normally only consider providing financial support for locally delivered CET where topics cover those areas of the competencies relating directly to the provision of primary NHS eye care services.
Current Priorities 2016-18
The following is the list of key topics which DOCET has identified as of particular importance for optometrists. DOCET will focus on these topics in developing its CET materials for optometrists during this period:
- Advances in contact lenses
- Cardiovascular disease and the eye
- Eye imaging
- Learning disabilities
- Legal and health & safety issues in community practice
- The ageing eye
- The young eye/children's vision
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