The College of Optometrists


Guidance content

  1. Knowledge, skills and performance
  2. Develop and maintain knowledge and skills
  3. Key points
  4. Develop and maintain competence
  5. Work within your competence
  6. Continuing education and training (CET)
  7. Professional development
  8. Useful information and links
  9. Patient records
  10. Key points
  11. Purpose of keeping records
  12. What to record
  13. Electronic record keeping
  14. Ownership of patient records
  15. Confidentiality and privacy
  16. Data Protection Act and EU General Data Protection Regulation
  17. Selling patient records
  18. Useful information and links
  19. The routine eye examination
  20. Key points
  21. Principles of the routine eye examination
  22. Conducting the routine eye examination
  23. After completing the routine eye examination
  24. Frequency of eye examinations
  25. Clinical reasons for earlier recall
  26. Patients requesting re-examination
  27. Examining patients with a disability
  28. Key points
  29. Principles of examining patients with a disability
  30. Examining patients who are in a wheelchair
  31. Examining younger children
  32. Key points
  33. Definition of younger children
  34. Key information to gather and tests to carry out
  35. Other important tests
  36. Communicating with younger children
  37. Protecting yourself
  38. Safeguarding children
  39. Vision screening in schools
  40. Examining patients with learning disabilities
  41. Key points
  42. Definition of learning disability
  43. Some causes of learning disability
  44. Ocular and health conditions of patients with learning disabilities
  45. Principles of examining patients with learning disabilities
  46. Providing patients with a report of their eye examination
  47. Supply of spectacles and aftercare
  48. Useful information and links
  49. Examining patients with specific learning difficulties
  50. Key points
  51. What specific learning difficulties are and how they affect patients
  52. Principles of examining patients with specific learning difficulties
  53. Tinted lenses
  54. Useful information and links
  55. Examining patients with dementia or other acquired cognitive impairment
  56. Key points
  57. What cognitive impairment means and how patients can be affected
  58. Key factors to help you act in the patient's best interests
  59. Principles of examining patients with cognitive impairment
  60. Prescribing
  61. Supply and aftercare
  62. Referral and support
  63. Useful information and links
  64. The domiciliary eye examination
  65. Key points
  66. Patients eligible for a domiciliary eye examination
  67. Conducting a domiciliary eye examination
  68. Conducting eye examinations in a residential home
  69. Useful information and links
  70. Examining patients with diabetes mellitus
  71. Key points
  72. Principles of examining patients with diabetes mellitus (diabetes)
  73. Procedures to include in an examination in routine practice
  74. Recall and reporting for routine practice
  75. NHS diabetic eye screening programme
  76. Useful information and links
  77. Examining patients at risk from glaucoma
  78. Key points
  79. Principles of examining patients at risk from glaucoma
  80. Identifying patients at risk from glaucoma
  81. Diagnostic information
  82. Procedures to include in an examination in routine practice
  83. Use of non-contact tonometry (NCT)
  84. Referral and organisation of care
  85. Community services
  86. Useful information and links
  87. Assessing and managing patients with low vision
  88. Key points
  89. Principles of assessing and managing patients with low vision
  90. Assessing patients with low vision
  91. Managing patients with low vision
  92. Referral
  93. Dispensing low vision devices
  94. Useful information and links
  95. Examining and managing patients with an anomaly of binocular vision
  96. Key points
  97. Principles of examining and managing patients with an anomaly of binocular vision
  98. Amblyopia and patching
  99. When to refer
  100. Community services
  101. Useful information and links
  102. Examining patients who present with flashes and floaters
  103. Key points
  104. Principles of examining a patient who presents with flashes and floaters
  105. Referral
  106. Managing the patient
  107. Useful information and links
  108. Examining patients who present as an emergency
  109. Key points
  110. Definition of an emergency
  111. Action to take
  112. Practice staff
  113. Useful information and links
  114. Examining patients who drive
  115. Key points
  116. Examining patients
  117. If you think a patient is unfit to drive
  118. Tints and driving
  119. Patients using mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs
  120. Useful information and links
  121. Examining patients who work with display screen equipment or computers
  122. Key points
  123. Display screen definition
  124. Principles of examining patients who work with display screen equipment
  125. Prescribing
  126. Vision screening
  127. Useful information and links
  128. Prescribing spectacles
  129. Key points
  130. Issuing prescriptions
  131. Small prescriptions and making small changes to existing prescriptions
  132. Pupillary distance (PD)
  133. Sale and supply of spectacles
  134. Key points
  135. Regulation
  136. Principles
  137. Supervising the sale and supply of spectacles
  138. Prescriptions over two years old
  139. Sale and supply when the patient is not present
  140. Taking the prescription elsewhere
  141. Ready-made reading spectacles
  142. Sports eyewear
  143. In-house glazing
  144. Contact lens equipment and facilities
  145. Key points
  146. Essential equipment
  147. Recommended equipment
  148. Additional equipment
  149. Verifying and calibrating equipment
  150. Fitting contact lenses
  151. Key points
  152. Working within the limits of your professional competence
  153. Advising patients before assessing and fitting
  154. Assessing patients
  155. The fitting process
  156. Supervision
  157. Referral
  158. Useful information and links
  159. Contact lens specification
  160. Key points
  161. Specification for powered lenses
  162. Specification for zero powered (plano) lenses
  163. Prescription expiry
  164. Patients buying lenses elsewhere
  165. Useful information and links
  166. Contact lens supply
  167. Key points
  168. Principles of contact lens supply
  169. Powered contact lens supply
  170. Zero powered (plano) contact lens supply
  171. Supervision
  172. General direction
  173. Aftercare
  174. Useful information and links
  175. Contact lens check-ups
  176. Key points
  177. Principles of contact lens check-ups
  178. Examining contact lens wearers
  179. Re-issuing the contact lens specification
  180. Routine eye examination
  181. Aftercare
  182. Useful information and links
  183. Specialist contact lenses
  184. Key points
  185. Principles of examining wearers of specialist contact lenses
  186. Extended wear
  187. Therapeutic contact lenses
  188. Orthokeratology
  189. Useful information and links
  190. Use and supply of drugs or medicines in optometric practice
  191. Key points
  192. Principles of the use and supply of drugs or medicines
  193. Antimicrobial stewardship
  194. Instilling eye drops
  195. Supply of drugs in optometric practice
  196. Prescribing and treating yourself and others close to you
  197. Patient group directions and co-management schemes
  198. Storage and disposal of drugs
  199. Reporting schemes on adverse drug reactions
  200. Useful information and links
  201. Safety and quality
  202. Health and safety on the premises
  203. Key points
  204. Principles of health and safety
  205. Practitioner responsibilities
  206. Useful information and links
  207. Infection control
  208. Key points
  209. Introduction
  210. Transmission from person to person
  211. Methods of preventing infection transmission from person to person
  212. Situations of increased concern - transmission from person to person
  213. Transmission via an inert agent
  214. List of agents that may harbour infection
  215. Methods of preventing infection transmission via an inert agent
  216. Principles of cleaning, sterilisation and disinfection
  217. Levels of decontamination
  218. The re-use of contact lenses and ophthalmic devices
  219. Measures to take in case of accident
  220. Storage and handling
  221. Contamination via contact lens solutions and medicine bottles
  222. Situations of increased concern - transmission via a contaminated object
  223. Safe disposal of waste
  224. Useful information and links
  225. Protecting patients, colleagues and others from harm
  226. Key points
  227. Raising concerns
  228. Adverse incidents and near misses
  229. Useful information and links
  230. Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults
  231. Communication, partnership and teamwork
  232. Partnership with patients
  233. Key points
  234. Communicating effectively with patients
  235. Methods of Communication
  236. Communicating about the costs of your services
  237. Further information
  238. Consent
  239. Key points
  240. Gaining consent to treatment from adults
  241. Capacity to consent – adults
  242. General points on consent – children and young people
  243. Children and young people who lack the capacity to consent
  244. Children and young people with the capacity to consent
  245. Useful information and links
  246. Confidentiality
  247. Key points
  248. Principles of patient confidentiality
  249. Sharing information with others providing care
  250. Disclosing patient information in other situations
  251. Disclosing information about adults without their consent
  252. Disclosing information about adults who lack capacity to consent
  253. Disclosing information about children
  254. Disclosing information about children or young people without their consent
  255. Disclosing information to patients’ relatives or carers
  256. Disclosing information after death
  257. Dealing with complaints
  258. Key points
  259. Definition
  260. Complaints procedure
  261. Resolving complaints
  262. Providing information about complaints
  263. Useful information and links
  264. Social media and online behaviour
  265. Key points
  266. About social media
  267. Benefits and risks of using social media
  268. Privacy and confidentiality
  269. Friend Requests
  270. Anonymity
  271. Conflicts of interest
  272. Useful information and links
  273. Maintaining boundaries
  274. Key points
  275. Principles of maintaining boundaries
  276. Current patients
  277. Former patients
  278. Colleagues
  279. Useful information and links
  280. Working with colleagues
  281. Key points
  282. Your role
  283. Working in teams
  284. Referrals
  285. Urgency of referrals
  286. Delegation
  287. Supervision
  288. Continuity of care
  289. Maintaining trust
  290. Honesty and integrity
  291. Key points
  292. Principle
  293. Treating patients and colleagues fairly
  294. Openness in legal or disciplinary hearings
  295. Integrity and conflicts of interest
  296. Indemnity
  297. Useful information and links
  298. Research and audit
  299. Key points
  300. Definition of research
  301. Ethical research
  302. College research principles
  303. Definition of audit
  304. Audit principles
  305. Useful information and links
  306. Relevant legislation
  307. Annexes
  308. Annex 1 Equipment list for the routine eye examination
  309. Annex 2 Ophthalmic abbreviations
  310. Eye examination terms
  311. Clinical condition terms
  312. Contact lens terms
  313. Pharmacy and drug terms
  314. Annex 3 World Health Organization guidance on handrubbing and handwashing techniques


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