A speaker at the 2019 RCOphth congress.

Join RCOphth

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists is the only membership body for ophthalmologists, representing the profession in the development of standards and the workforce.

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists is the only membership body for ophthalmologists, representing the profession in the development of standards and the workforce. Belonging to the College strengthens its ability to act on behalf of all ophthalmologists in all four nations.

The RCOphth welcomes all members, and those thinking of a career in the eye health sector, from diverse backgrounds, age, gender orientation and experiences so we represent the UK population and the patients our members serve.  As an inclusive organisation, we encourage diversity and equal access to opportunities to take up roles and lead in the work of the College.

We expect and encourage all our members to demonstrate our values and behaviours in everything you do and to promote these values in the wider ophthalmic workforce.

Find out about our Values and Behaviours

By joining the RCOphth, you are able to actively contribute to the work we do in developing policy and standards to safeguard patient care and a sustainable workforce.  If you have an interest in overseas development, you can offer your skills to support developing countries with education and training opportunities.

Your involvement can benefit you personally too.  Work with colleagues and staff with a wide range of experience and knowledge, learn management and leadership skills and develop a varied and mutually beneficial network in the UK and internationally.

We have over 4,000 members that include ophthalmologists in training, consultants, SAS doctors and other professions such as ophthalmic nurses and optometrists.

 

Apply for Membership

All doctors applying for FRCOphth should be practising at a clinical standard which meets the College’s standards and guidelines and deliver high-quality, safe care to patients. The nature and quality of an applicant’s clinical responsibilities should be clear. When awarding Fellowship by Election, we feel it is important to recognise the service and importance of ophthalmologists who have not passed the RCOphth exams whilst preserving respect for the examination system.  So, from 2023 the post-nominals for Fellowship will be FRCOphth (by-election). These will not be applied retrospectively, so anyone using FRCOphth may continue to do so.
Applicants applying for Fellowship by Election must meet the following requirements
UK NHS Applicants
 Be in a substantive NHS Consultant post in ophthalmology for 5 years or more
 Be a substantive NHS Associate Specialist post (on “old” associate specialist contract, with minimum 6 years in ophthalmology and minimum 10 years clinical practice since primary        medical qualification
Be a Specialist Ophthalmologist on “new” Specialist Grade contract (which has entry criteria as minimum 6 years in ophthalmology, 12 years clinical practice since primary medical    qualification)
 Be a Specialty Grade (with > 10 years’ experience)
UK Non-NHS Applicants

Be a substantive Consultant in ophthalmology in a Non-NHS UK Healthcare provider for 6 years or more

Overseas Applicants

Must be a substantive Consultant in ophthalmology in a Healthcare provider for 6 years or more

All doctors applying for FRCOphth should be practicing at a clinical standard which meets the College standards and Guidelines and delivering high-quality and safe personal care to patients. The nature and quality of a candidate’s clinical responsibilities should be clear. The job plan should provide evidence of having a good balance of clinics and theatres being run at a level of a consultant. In addition, evidence of clinical governance, regular audits, research, leadership, service improvement and teaching will need to be provided.

In addition, overseas applicants must provide evidence of one or more of the following activities

  • Teaching, Training and Education
  • Innovation and Creativity
  • Academic and Research
  • Leadership
 You can find further details about what should be considered  here. Besides the activities listed here, other activities may also be considered.

 

Applicants applying for Membership by Election must:

UK NHS Applicants

Be a newly appointed substantive NHS consultant in ophthalmology or a SAS doctor in ophthalmology in a substantive NHS post for five years.

UK Non-NHS Applicants

Be a substantive consultant in a Non-NHS UK Healthcare provider for three years.

Overseas Applicants

Be a substantive consultant in ophthalmology in a healthcare provider for three years.

Applications are welcomed from Consultants, SAS ophthalmologists, including Associate Specialists, Staff Grades, Specialty Doctors, Clinical Assistants and non-training Trust Grades

Applications are also welcomed from those who hold a higher qualification and are engaged in ophthalmic research but are not medically qualified.

 

Trainee membership is opened only to those who have been through a recruitment process and appointed to an Ophthalmic Specialist Training (OST) post within the UK – whether run-through or Locum Appointment for Training (LAT).

Apply for membership today

The application forms are online.

Click through to my RCOphth

Membership benefits

The wide range of membership benefits supports your professional development, provides opportunities to be involved in the work of the College and gives you access to a number of scientific journals.

Discover membership benefits