Optometry Australia has welcomed the review of continuing professional development registration standard for optometrists, citing it as a way of ensuring that the profession is fully supported in its role within Australia’s vital health care sector.
Optometry Australia will voice the collective opinions of members, the National body and State organisations, when contributing to the review of current CPD standard by the Optometry Board of Australia (OBA).
Optometry Australia CEO Lyn Brodie said, “Optometry Australia has been advocating streamlining the CPD system for some time due to the complexity of the current system.
“Whilst we provide superb CPD programs through our State conferences, we recognise that webinars, online learning platforms and podcasts are just some of the ways that education is now being delivered and we too must evolve our own approach.
“We also know that for some of our members, networking with their peers at face to face CPD events, adds a different dimension to learning. We need to make sure the CPD offered is delivered in a range of modalities to suit our diverse member base.
“Optometrists are more than capable of meeting strict professional education requirements without the current forced checklist approach, and this is what we will be feeding back to the OBA”, Ms. Brodie said.
She said that by using the power of digital channels, Optometry Australia was building its credentials as a provider on quality education.
“Last year we delivered two CPD relevant webinars and this year we have four planned and if participation remains similar to our recent “Glaucoma Care and the Future” webcast, where we attracted over 900 registrations, we know that we are aligning our programs with the learning requirements of our members”, she said.
OPTAUS Online Learning Portal
In 2017 Optometry Australia launched its OPTAUS online learning portal in collaboration with the World Council of Optometry. Members of Optometry Australia can access over 100 free and 150 paid e-learning courses around the world including its own webinars and lectures.
Ms. Brodie said that in the bi-annual member’s survey, members continually cite education and professional indemnity insurance as the top two services that they wish Optometry Australia to provide.
“We are providing both successfully. Our PII, and now our online learning programs, are ensuring that our members are being offered the best protection and the best education programs on offer domestically.
“Managing PII for 82 per cent of optometrists in Australia means that we actively monitor trends in improved practice and tailor CPD to ensure quality provision of eye health care by our members, including educating them on mitigating risk in practice and clinical care,” Ms Brodie said.
In early 2018, Simon Hanna was appointed Optometry Australia’s Professional Development and Clinical Policy Manager. Mr. Hanna has been with Optometry Australia since 2014 and is now charged with building the organisation’s CPD programs and profile.