Following a Viewpoint article (Getting the level right, 22.02.19), Anglia Ruskin University (ARU)has asked Optician to point out that its FdSc registrable qualification in ophthalmic dispensing (FdScOD) is approved at level 5 according to QAA standards and GOC requirements.

ARU also offers a BSc (Hons) full-time degree course in ophthalmic dispensing which has ABDO theory exam exemption, and these students are able to take further examinations with ABDO to gain FBDO registration.

The two courses in ophthalmic dispensing are offered because one (BSc) offers a full-time qualification and route into the profession, while the other (FdScOD) offers a block-release qualification for those already in the workplace.

At no time has any staff member refused to teach on the FdScOD course which is taught by GOC registered optometry and ophthalmic dispensing staff.

Some have PhDs, and all have a PGCert in higher education teaching or are in the process of obtaining it. The course leader is qualified FBDO BSc (Hons) BOptom (Hons) PGCert FHEA and is GOC registered as required by the GOC.

There is no evidence that any of the teaching on the FdScOD is ‘less than satisfactory’.

Module evaluation results say the opposite, as does the National Student Survey (NSS) score which has satisfaction with the course in 2018 at 96.5%.

Boots Opticians did not remove their students from the FdScOD course because the course was substandard: another reason was given.

ABDO do require the FdScOD registrants to take the ABDO FQE in order to become members of ABDO and to undertake further contact lens training. This is a decision made by ABDO themselves, and not by the GOC.

At no time were any of the GOC processes circumvented in obtaining approval for the FdScOD course.