The College of Optometrists

General direction

You must have:
  • the original specification
  • a copy of the specification, or
  • a written or electronic order from the patient, which contains the details that are in the specification.
If you do not have the original specification you must verify the details of the specification with the person who issued it.
If you have someone acting under your general direction to supply contact lenses you are not required to be on the premises while the sale takes place, but you should ensure that: 
  1. written protocols and robust procedures are in place for verification and supply and to protect patient health and safety
  2. the patient is not supplied with lenses which will take them past the expiry date of their specification
  3. you are a manager or are in a position of authority to monitor the effectiveness of these protocols and can make amendments to them if required
  4. there is an audit trail that can be followed
  5. the person conducting the supply is appropriately trained and they:
    • have working knowledge of the types of contact lenses available and the different care regimes
    • can ensure that the lenses meet the specification
    • can advise the patient what to do if the patient suffers an adverse incident from the use of lenses or care solutions, and
    • tell the patient about the arrangements that are made for them to receive aftercare, and
  6. the person conducting the supply does not interpret or make judgements in relation to any clinical information in the specification and that they refer such matters to, and seek direction from, a registered optometrist, dispensing optician or doctor.
Anyone supplying lenses under your general direction should:
  1. comply with paras A336-A337
  2. ensure as far as is reasonable that the patient is not sight impaired, severely sight impaired or under 16, and
  3. ensure that any errors that occur are drawn to your attention as the generally directing optometrist.

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