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Ophthalmic Common Clinical Competency Framework

The Ophthalmic Common Clinical Competency Framework (OCCCF), developed in 2016, provides standards and guidance for the knowledge and skills required for non-medical eye healthcare professionals to deliver patient care in a multidisciplinary team setting.

The Framework has been developed into a curriculum in 2019, with corresponding work-place based assessments and resources, covering four clinical areas; acute and emergency eye care, cataract assessment, glaucoma and medical retina.

The curriculum, including assessments and resources, can be viewed online and downloaded here.

The curriculum benefits the non-medical HCP workforce within a hospital setting so they can continue to take on expanded roles to help manage demand and to continue to provide safe and efficient care for patients with competencies that are transparent, transferable and based on recognised training. The curriculum will also improve opportunities to recruit more non-medical healthcare professionals to take on expanded roles.

Eye health professionals, supervisors and trainers are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the areas of the curriculum most relevant to them.

An explanatory document is also available on HEE’s website, providing an in-depth overview of the project. For the project launch in June 2019 further supporting documents will be available on the HEE website.

The delivery of the curriculum will be carried out locally – similar to that of post-graduate medical training – HEE will work to enable this process.

About the OCCCF

The traditional eye health care team has changed and continues to develop to meet the demands on the hospital eye service due to an increase in successful, but recurrent, treatments and the increase in chronic disease management due to the aging population in the UK.

Aspects of clinical work that were previously the domain of the medically qualified ophthalmologist are now being delivered by a broader multidisciplinary team. This new team of qualified optometrists, orthoptists, ophthalmic nurses and ophthalmic clinical scientists have taken on expanded roles, which release ophthalmologists to make more complex clinical decisions and to deal with the more complex cases.  But this has been at the expense of a systematic approach to education and training to ensure standardised and recognised competences across all ophthalmic secondary care locations in the UK.

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth), the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), the College of Optometrists (CoO), British and Irish Orthoptic Society (BIOS), the Association of Health Professions in Ophthalmology (AHPO) worked together with other contributors to develop The Common Clinical Competency Framework (‘Framework’).

Advancing Clinical Practice in Ophthalmology

Watch the video to find out about the background to the Framework and how this initiative is helping to shape future ophthalmology services.

OPT- The Learners’ Perspective

Download the 2016 Framework Guides