The recent CET article on vaccines (Optician 09.04.21) has finally received CET accreditation for optometrists only. It is now available to subscribers until the end of May. So, if you found it useful and wish to gain a CET point, you will find it at opticianonline.net with all of our other currently active CET.

The current CET accreditation scheme has generally proved to be robust, and where there is a disagreement, the right to appeal usually settles the matter. This was the case when, as mentioned previously in this column, a myopia CET was rejected on the grounds that ‘myopia is not an ocular disease.’ That was some years ago, and I doubt whether this would happen now.

The rejection and eventual accreditation of the vaccine module shows how, sometimes, the evolution of eye care professional practice requires a reinterpretation of established rules and guidelines. This evolution has definitely been accelerated by the pandemic. The vaccine CET was, in fact, rejected twice, each time on the basis that it did not involve eye care.

At appeal, I argued that it was very much concerned with an understanding of the extended role of optometrists, that being able to educate patients about general health matters was very much our remit and, finally, that we have always had a need to understand any systemic disease or treatment that might influence eye health.

Thankfully, the wisdom of the chair of the approvers came to the fore, commenting: ‘The profession is experiencing an increased remit in the holistic care of the patient and the CET may fall under this standard of practice.’

I attended a College meeting last week where the various models for future education initiated by the GOC strategic review set to start next year were discussed. The holistic approach to eye care practice will be key in the redesigning of training.