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RCOphth Education

RCOphth provides a programme of Medical Education to help ophthalmologists and eyecare professionals to develop the knowledge, practical skills and professional competencies they need for successful practice, and for career-long personal and professional development.

Ophthalmology is a rapidly developing field serving a diverse population within an evolving healthcare environment. The College’s ophthalmic education programme is committed to enabling eyecare professionals to keep pace with these changes and to maintain enthusiasm for career-long learning.

This commitment is rooted in our Strategic Plan 2020 – 2022.

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

W.B. Yeats

Will I benefit from the RCOphth’s Education Programmes?

Our programmes are designed for personal and professional development across the full scope of medical education: development of knowledge, practical skills and professional competencies, both clinical and non-clinical.
We offer ophthalmic education suitable for a full range of professionals who may be involved in eye healthcare full-time or who may encounter patients with eye conditions during their wider roles, including:

  • Ophthalmologists at all career stages from ST1 to senior consultants, in the UK and worldwide
  • Ophthalmologists in specific roles – trainers & educators, service managers, researchers, SAS doctors
  • Aspiring ophthalmologists – medical students and foundation doctors
  • Doctors in other specialities -GPs, A&E, medicine/neurology
  • Allied health professionals – eg optometrists, orthoptists, nurses, & trainers responsible for the delivery of multi-professional eye health education.

The College delivers cascades and coordinates education throughout the four nations, and also internationally. Members receive some of this free of charge as a member benefit.

How is the RCOphth educational programme delivered?

We provide some suggested educational pathways according to career stage or role, but learners can also create their own Educational Pathways from our range of opportunities to suit their own development needs or interests.

RCOphth Events

The RCOphth Annual Educational Programme is provided centrally by national leads and experts and comprises:

  • In-person events (courses, seminars, Annual Congress) are delivered in the College building or locations around the country.
  • Virtual events (courses, seminars, webinars) are delivered online.

These events are delivered using modern educational methodologies that promote deeper and higher-level learning in an enjoyable and productive environment.  They include an element of faculty development for some participants, so they can take on roles in facilitating and delivering future sessions.

All educational events

Eye-Site: Health Education England eLearning platform

Eye-Site is an e-learning resource for ophthalmologists and is delivered by The Royal College of Ophthalmologists  in partnership with Health Education England e-learning for healthcare (HEE elfh).

The RCOphth has developed courses to cover a range of needs for College members. A primary goal of has been to provide e-learning that maps to the Ophthalmic Specialist Training curriculum.

We also have courses aimed specifically at those new to the speciality, and courses that provide the background knowledge for participants preparing to attend some taught courses at the College. Some courses on EyeSite or the wider e-LfH cover non-clinical skills such as teaching, communication and management. Many courses are also suitable for consultant CPD.

Access is free to all NHS staff, and to some eyecare professionals outside the NHS via arrangements with their colleges or professional organisations.

Find out more about Eye-Site

INSPIRE is now live.

The College’s new online learning platform for members, INSPIRE, is now live.  It currently hosts examples of learning materials and is set to expand as users are invited to submit their materials.

Further information regarding INSPIRE including how to access it and how to contribute content can be found here https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/events-courses/rcophth-education/inspire-the-rcophth-online-learning-platform/

Access the INSPIRE online learning Platform here.


Education for all regions: College Representatives, Training Leads and Regional Educational Teams

The RCOphth is committed to supporting high-quality ophthalmic education throughout the UK. We have created RCOphth Regional Educational Teams to support the cascade of our education program throughout the regions. Each of the 24 teams is led and coordinated by the Regional Education Advisor (REA) and comprises 17 members specialising in different areas of Education.

Find out more about Regional Education Advisors

  • College Representatives – these are college-appointed roles, comprising the regional representative on College Council, a Staff and Associate Specialists (SAS) rep and a Trainees rep (OTG).
  • Training Leads – Head of School (HoS) and Training Programme Director (TPD) are Deanery appointed roles in charge of ophthalmic specialist training in their region.
  • Education Leads – The individuals are involved in cascading specialist aspects of the education program, comprising the following leads or advisors in each region: Undergraduate Education lead, Postgraduate Education lead, Exams Advisor, CESR/OLT lead, Simulation lead, Training the Trainers (TTT) lead, Management & Leadership lead, Research advisor, Mentoring & Buddying lead, GPs & Specialists lead, Ophthalmic Practitioners lead.

The Regional Team members work together and in their specialist areas to develop and promote education for all trainees, students and staff in the region by:

  • Working with College Leads to deliver their College courses in the region or via a ‘hub-and-spoke’ model
  • Contributing to regional teaching sessions
  • Coordinating other educational opportunities, including exam-specific teaching, projects, attachments, shadowing and support.

We are often looking for enthusiastic educators to join their regional educational team, so if you are interested, please contact your REA.

International education

The RCOphth is playing a growing role in international ophthalmology education and welcomes international members. Currently, we are involved in:

  • Supporting ophthalmic programmes education worldwide
  • Educational provision for international candidates sitting College examinations
  • Overseas Training the Trainers (TTT) Programme in Africa and Indonesia
  • Encouraging international contributors to widen the scope and perspectives of our educational events and materials
  • International collaboration at conferences and other educational events
  • Development of our online learning platform that can be accessed worldwide.

Many of our events are taking place online and so are easily accessible for our international members.

All Events & Courses

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

All healthcare professionals are expected to keep themselves up-to-date through a self-driven series of educational activities relevant to their practice.  For doctors, this is reviewed as part of their annual appraisal process, and records of the learning achieved contribute to the evidence an individual provides for their revalidation and assessment of fitness to practice.

The College provides support for the appraisal of ophthalmologists by:

  • providing Guidance on CPD
  • providing wide-ranging educational opportunities.

More information about CPD