The College of Optometrists

Principles of the routine eye examination

When conducting a sight test, which is defined in law,19  you must perform an internal and external examination and carry out such additional examinations as appear to be necessary to detect signs of injury, disease or abnormality in the eye or elsewhere 20 21 (refer to COVID-19 guidance).
You should use your professional judgement and the minimum legal requirements to decide the format and content of the tests.
You should allow sufficient time to perform the examination.
There is a suggested equipment list at Annex 1.
You must record all clinical findings. You must do this legibly and at the time of the examination, or as soon as possible afterwards.


19 Opticians Act 1989 s36(2) [Accessed 18 Nov 2020]
20 Opticians Act 1989 s26(1)(a)  [Accessed 18 Nov 2020 ]
21 Sight Testing (Examination and Prescription) (No 2) Regulations 1989 SI 1230 s3(1)(a). [Accessed 18 Nov 2020]

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