You have to admire the candour and honesty of Vantage's top man for optical education in his assertion that gerrymandering by the optical bodies has done little to smooth the introduction of compulsory CET (see News page 4).

It is perhaps a luxury only those on the outside of the profession can enjoy to see how such tinkering, however well-intentioned, impacts the introduction of an already difficult measure.

Optician applauds Tim Ray for making the point, knowing as he must, how unpleasant some of those accused would find the accusation. We would also urge all of our readers to make the effort to fully understand where Vantage sits in the compulsory CET process.

Vantage is the delivery mechanism for mandatory learning, it is the messenger and as such should not be shot by those wishing compulsion was not with us.

The interjection of Ray, by his own assertion an outsider with no political angle, is a reminder that in a world dominated by pressure groups and watchdogs, optics rarely comes under the spotlight or is exposed to tough scrutiny.

Although optics does have the College and the GOC and lay members in various bodies, their remit does not include constant denigration of the profession, what it does, what it charges and how it conducts itself.

Imagine a world in which someone like Jamie Murray Wells was head of a Government-appointed publicly funded, optical watchdog quango called OffOp. Not nice is it, but for other markets it is a reality.

Self policing of quality and standards is something the optical profession has achieved over many years but the world has changed.
It's reasonable to assume the profession will come under closer scrutiny in the future. Most likely from the outside.