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. Use of non-contact tonometry (NCT)
  83. Procedures to include in an examination in routine practice
  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. Examining patients who present with flashes and floaters
  102. Key points
  103. Principles of examining a patient who presents with flashes and floaters
  104. Referral
  105. Managing the patient
  106. Useful information and links
  107. Examining patients who present as an emergency
  108. Key points
  109. Definition of an emergency
  110. Action to take
  111. Practice staff
  112. Useful information and links
  113. Examining patients who drive
  114. Key points
  115. Examining patients
  116. If you think a patient is unfit to drive
  117. Tints and driving
  118. Patients using mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs
  119. Useful information and links
  120. Examining patients who work with display screen equipment or computers
  121. Key points
  122. Display screen definition
  123. Principles of examining patients who work with display screen equipment
  124. Prescribing
  125. Vision screening
  126. Useful information and links
  127. Prescribing spectacles
  128. Key points
  129. Issuing prescriptions
  130. Small prescriptions and making small changes to existing prescriptions
  131. Pupillary distance (PD)
  132. Sale and supply of spectacles
  133. Key points
  134. Regulation
  135. Principles
  136. Supervising the sale and supply of spectacles
  137. Prescriptions over two years old
  138. Sale and supply when the patient is not present
  139. Taking the prescription elsewhere
  140. Ready-made reading spectacles
  141. Sports eyewear
  142. In-house glazing
  143. Contact lens equipment and facilities
  144. Key points
  145. Essential equipment
  146. Recommended equipment
  147. Additional equipment
  148. Verifying and calibrating equipment
  149. Fitting contact lenses
  150. Key points
  151. Working within the limits of your professional competence
  152. Advising patients before assessing and fitting
  153. Assessing patients
  154. The fitting process
  155. Supervision
  156. Referral
  157. Useful information and links
  158. Contact lens specification
  159. Key points
  160. Specification for powered lenses
  161. Specification for zero powered (plano) lenses
  162. Prescription expiry
  163. Patients buying lenses elsewhere
  164. Useful information and links
  165. Contact lens supply
  166. Key points
  167. Principles of contact lens supply
  168. Powered contact lens supply
  169. Zero powered (plano) contact lens supply
  170. Supervision
  171. General direction
  172. Aftercare
  173. Useful information and links
  174. Contact lens check-ups
  175. Key points
  176. Principles of contact lens check-ups
  177. Examining contact lens wearers
  178. Re-issuing the contact lens specification
  179. Routine eye examination
  180. Aftercare
  181. Useful information and links
  182. Specialist contact lenses
  183. Key points
  184. Principles of examining wearers of specialist contact lenses
  185. Extended wear
  186. Therapeutic contact lenses
  187. Orthokeratology
  188. Useful information and links
  189. Use and supply of drugs or medicines in optometric practice
  190. Key points
  191. Principles of the use and supply of drugs or medicines
  192. Antimicrobial stewardship
  193. Instilling eye drops
  194. Supply of drugs in optometric practice
  195. Prescribing and treating yourself and others close to you
  196. Patient group directions and co-management schemes
  197. Storage and disposal of drugs
  198. Reporting schemes on adverse drug reactions
  199. Useful information and links
  200. Safety and quality
  201. Health and safety on the premises
  202. Key points
  203. Principles of health and safety
  204. Practitioner responsibilities
  205. Useful information and links
  206. Infection control
  207. Key points
  208. Introduction
  209. Transmission from person to person
  210. Methods of preventing infection transmission from person to person
  211. Situations of increased concern - transmission from person to person
  212. Transmission via an inert agent
  213. List of agents that may harbour infection
  214. Methods of preventing infection transmission via an inert agent
  215. Principles of cleaning, sterilisation and disinfection
  216. Levels of decontamination
  217. The re-use of contact lenses and ophthalmic devices
  218. Measures to take in case of accident
  219. Storage and handling
  220. Contamination via contact lens solutions and medicine bottles
  221. Situations of increased concern - transmission via a contaminated object
  222. Safe disposal of waste
  223. Useful information and links
  224. Protecting patients, colleagues and others from harm
  225. Key points
  226. Raising concerns
  227. Adverse incidents and near misses
  228. Useful information and links
  229. Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults
  230. Communication, partnership and teamwork
  231. Partnership with patients
  232. Key points
  233. Communicating effectively with patients
  234. Methods of Communication
  235. Communicating about the costs of your services
  236. Further information
  237. Consent
  238. Key points
  239. Gaining consent to treatment from adults
  240. Capacity to consent – adults
  241. General points on consent – children and young people
  242. Children and young people who lack the capacity to consent
  243. Children and young people with the capacity to consent
  244. Useful information and links
  245. Confidentiality
  246. Key points
  247. Principles of patient confidentiality
  248. Sharing information with others providing care
  249. Disclosing patient information in other situations
  250. Disclosing information about adults without their consent
  251. Disclosing information about adults who lack capacity to consent
  252. Disclosing information about children
  253. Disclosing information about children or young people without their consent
  254. Disclosing information to patients’ relatives or carers
  255. Disclosing information after death
  256. Dealing with complaints
  257. Key points
  258. Definition
  259. Complaints procedure
  260. Resolving complaints
  261. Providing information about complaints
  262. Useful information and links
  263. Social media and online behaviour
  264. Key points
  265. About social media
  266. Benefits and risks of using social media
  267. Privacy and confidentiality
  268. Friend Requests
  269. Anonymity
  270. Conflicts of interest
  271. Useful information and links
  272. Maintaining boundaries
  273. Key points
  274. Principles of maintaining boundaries
  275. Current patients
  276. Former patients
  277. Colleagues
  278. Useful information and links
  279. Working with colleagues
  280. Key points
  281. Your role
  282. Working in teams
  283. Referrals
  284. Urgency of referrals
  285. Delegation
  286. Supervision
  287. Continuity of care
  288. Maintaining trust
  289. Honesty and integrity
  290. Key points
  291. Principle
  292. Treating patients and colleagues fairly
  293. Openness in legal or disciplinary hearings
  294. Integrity and conflicts of interest
  295. Indemnity
  296. Useful information and links
  297. Research and audit
  298. Key points
  299. Definition of research
  300. Ethical research
  301. College research principles
  302. Definition of audit
  303. Audit principles
  304. Useful information and links
  305. Relevant legislation
  306. Annexes
  307. Annex 1 Equipment list for the routine eye examination
  308. Annex 2 Ophthalmic abbreviations
  309. Eye examination terms
  310. Clinical condition terms
  311. Contact lens terms
  312. Pharmacy and drug terms
  313. Annex 3 World Health Organization guidance on handrubbing and handwashing techniques


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