The  Ophthalmic Common Clinical Competency Framework (OCCCF) curriculum has now been launched, providing standardised and recognised competencies for non-medical professionals working in ophthalmic secondary care across the UK.

This is the culmination of work by BIOS, alongside the The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth), the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), and the College of Optometrists (CoO), with funding from Helath Education England (HEE).

Originally, the OCCCF was produced to recognise the increased levels of demand on eye services, which has led to orthoptists, along with optometrists and ophthalmic nurses, increasingly taking on expanded roles within multi-disciplinary teams.

The Framework has now been developed into a series of four curricula, covering the four areas most under pressure: cataract, glaucoma, medical retina and emergency eye care. This will ensure a nationally recognised skill set for all healthcare professionals working in these areas.

These curricula are now available on the HEE website.

This reflects the impetus within the NHS to provide support for the workforce to become more adaptive and work more collaboratively, reflected most recently in the Interim People Plan.

However, importantly, as well as providing opportunities and support for further training and advancement, the standardised curriculum will ensure greater recognition for Orthoptists already carrying out expanded roles as part of multi-disciplinary teams.

Speaking at the launch, Veronica Greenwood, Chair of BIOS, stated that “we completely embrace the multi-professional approach … recognising that those advanced roles are already in existence and giving us the chance to develop these further”.

BIOS would like to thank all those Orthoptists who contributed to development of the Curriculum, particularly former BIOS Chair Rowena McNamara and Helen Davis, Chair or our Education and Professional Development Committee (EPDC).

If you are interested in finding out more:

  • The OCCCF Curriculum can be downloaded here.

  • Read BIOS’s position on Advanced and Extended roles here.

  • You can read the full Interim NHS People Plan here.

  • More information about the advanced and extended roles taken on by orthoptists is available on our CAG pages.