Training, development and registration (optometrist)

You will need to complete a degree in optometry, approved by the General Optical Council.

Training and development 

All optometrists practising in the UK must be registered with the General Optical Council (GOC). The GOC is the profession’s regulatory body.

To be able to register with the GOC as an optometrist, you’ll need to study a GOC-approved degree in optometry at university (most courses are three years) and complete the College of Optometrists’ Scheme for Registration, a structured and supported route that assesses your ability against the GOC elements of competence, and gives you the opportunity to put the skills you are developing at university into practice.

The Scheme for Registration period is salaried and typically lasts for 12-18 months. Fees for the Scheme will usually be paid by your employer.

Use our course finder to search for universities approved by the GOC to run degree courses in optometry.

Find out more about the entry requirements, skills and qualities required to enter a career as an optometrist

Continuing professional development

No matter what level you are working at, as part of your development you will be expected to do continuing professional development (CPD – it may also be called CET, continuous education and training) to show that you are keeping yourself up to date with the policies and procedures in your area of work.

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