Standards & Guidance

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists develops high quality resources including clinical guidelines, commissioning guidance and recommendations to maintain standards of patient care.

Quality Standards for Neuro-ophthlamology Services

Neuro-ophthalmic disease standards in this document apply to care of the common conditions at the severe or acute end of the spectrum, those requiring invasive procedures and more serious or unusual conditions such as posterior uveitis or unusual retinal vasculopathies, which are more appropriately managed in a dedicated neuro MR service. Some conditions are appropriately managed within the neuro-ophthalmic eye clinics such as ocular motility disorders, eyelid disorders, chronic optic neuropathies including selected genetic disorders, posterior uveitis or retinal vasculopathies. Others require targeted co-management with neurology, neurosurgery, diagnostic and interventional radiology, clinical neurophysiology, and neuro-rehabilitation: these services are located within a Clinical Neurosciences Centre where ready access and consultant-led cross –specialty liaison is required.

Quality Standards for Medical Retina Services

Disorders of the retina which are treated non-surgically are very common (age related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vascular occlusions etc.) and, if mild or long standing, may be dealt with in primary care, primary care ophthalmology, screening services and general ophthalmic services. Medical retina (MR) disease standards in this document apply to care of the common conditions at the severe or acute end of the spectrum, those requiring invasive procedures and more serious or unusual conditions such as posterior uveitis or unusual retinal vasculopathies, which are more appropriately managed in a dedicated MR service.

Quality Standards for Diabetic Retionpathy Services

Diabetic eye disease is very common and there is a national screening programme to detect and refer treatable diabetic retinopathy to hospital eye services. The diabetic retinopathy (DR) standards in this document apply to how the hospital service provides care and interacts with the community and screening services to ensure safe care and adherence to national guidelines. The document should be read in conjunction the quality standards for medical retina services.  

Quality Standards for Corneal Services

Disorders of the external eye are very common (blepharitis, conjunctivitis, dry eye, etc.) and if not severe are largely dealt with in primary care, primary care ophthalmology, and general ophthalmic services. Corneal and external disease standards in this document is apply to care of the common conditions at the severe end of the spectrum and of more serious or unusual conditions such as corneal dystrophies, conditions requiring transplantation, vernal keratoconjunctivitis and cicatrising disorders which are more appropriately managed in a dedicated corneal and external eye disease service.

Advisory Appointments Committees and Job Plans

Advisory Appointment Committees, or AACs, are recruitment panels used when hiring consultants and specialty doctors in Trusts across the UK. The College works with Trusts and other NHS bodies to approve job descriptions and send a volunteer College adviser to provide College guidance on the suitability of the applicants for appointment. Here you can find information about becoming an AAC representative and what Trusts need to provide to the College for recruitment.