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Wednesday / June 19.
HomeminewsNational Registration Is Upon Us

National Registration Is Upon Us

“National registration makes a lot of sense. All optometrists will be notified and they’ll be transferred from state registration boards to the National Registration Board,” says OAA President Andrew Harris. “In essence, it will seem very similar to the state registration of optometrists and really, the main differences they will notice are if they’re working interstate then they won’t have to re-register. The registration is portable.

“It also means that if people do the wrong thing, then that information is portable too. It’s good for the public and that’s what it should be”.

Mr. Harris says professional development will be compulsory under the new scheme which it hasn’t been until now. “So optometrists will have to do the equivalent of 20 hours CPD a year to maintain their registration. They can do this online, by reading journals, attending courses and lectures, but a certain amount will have to be done in face-to-face sessions”.

You can do random audits to ensure it is being done and at present the Association has a database that records who has done CPD. According to Mr. Harris, this ensures optometrists interact with their colleagues and keep up-to-date with the latest developments.

“It allows customers to have confidence in the optometrist practicing in the 21st century”.

The requirements for registration are as follows:

Criminal history:

All applicants for initial registration will have a Criminal History Screening and renewal of registration will require declaration of criminal history.

English language requirements:

All applicants for initial registration must, unless granted an exemption, satisfy the English language requirements.

Professional indemnity insurance:

All registered optometrists must not practise the profession of optometry unless insured or indemnified. Annual renewal forms will require a declaration that the registrant has professional indemnity insurance that complies with the Board’s guidelines.

Continuing professional development:

All registered optometrists must undertake continuing professional development as set out in the standard and guidelines.

Briefly – 40 points must be completed annually of which 20 points must be face-to-face clinical learning. Therapeutically endorsed optometrists must complete 20 of the 40 points in related education. All registered and practising optometrists must have completed training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation within the previous three years on reregistration.All registered optometrists will be required to make a declaration on annual renewal that they have met this standard during the previous period of registration.

Recency of practice:

All applicants applying for initial registration and renewal must have sufficient practice experience in the three year period prior to their application in order to ensure their continuing competence to practice and will be required to make a declaration to that effect. The Board will produce guidelines as to the level of practice required to meet this standard.

Scheduled medicines endorsement:

Those optometrists whose registration is therapeutically endorsed by their State or Territory government will automatically have their registration endorsed under the national scheme. The conditions of therapeutic practice will for the time being, remain under State or Territory legislation; however the Board has adopted a recommended common therapeutic standard.