It is a new year and a new CET cycle. ABDO totally supports the future progression of CET to CPD: moreover, we are delighted that the GOC has listened to the profession’s concerns and decided to abandon the proposed one-year transitional period and revert to a final three-year CET cycle. This will hopefully allow the education review to be completed and new learning outcomes be determined. This will then establish the division between CET and CPD.

Let us hope the GOC has the wisdom to maintain the high education standards dispensing opticians and optometrists are qualified to, but also the foresight to enable both professions to advance and complement each other. Standing still is not an option, neither is the protection of our current rigid scope of practice and the restriction imposed by a 60-year-old Opticians Act.

What concerns me is the random approach so many have to obtaining CET: ‘any points will do’ and hoping to attain the correct mix of interactive and non-interactive, the nine competencies DO require and eight for optometrists. Optometrists and dispensing opticians are eye health and eye care professionals and if we are to be respected as such, we must work to the highest possible standards in all we were educated in. As a minimum we must work to these standards and keep up to date in advancements. This requires peer and self-evaluation to understand our personal strengths and weaknesses, which feeds into a structured approach to creating a personal development plan. With this in place, continued education will be of personal benefit.

Now is the time to look closely at yourself and decide on your needs for the year ahead.