The Australian College of Optometry (ACO) Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics (COT) course has been reaccredited by the Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand (OCANZ).
The 2022 certificate course, which is open to all registered optometrists within Australia and New Zealand, commences on 11 April.
The… program is designed to graduate optometrists who can expand their contributions to the eye health of their local community by managing a broader scope of eye conditions
Bridging the Gap
The ACO has been training Australian and New Zealand optometrists to prescribe topical ocular therapeutic medications since 2014. The ability to prescribe topical ocular therapeutics became a requirement of initial registration as an optometrist in Australia from December 2014. However, many optometrists trained overseas (exclusive of New Zealand), along with Australian optometrists who trained in earlier years, did not have this capability embedded in their undergraduate degree.
The ACO bridges this gap by providing a remote learning pathway for therapeutics registration for optometrists in both Australia and New Zealand.
The Certificate of Ocular Therapeutics is supported by a clinical and administration team including a Board of Examiners, led by Associate Professor Ian Gutteridge, and ensures high standards in curriculum delivery and examination. The course is delivered by a team of experts in ophthalmology, optometry, and biomedical sciences.
Mary Travis who joined the ACO as a Clinical Education Coordinator and staff optometrists in 2021 can provide further support in matters relating directly to optometry.
With the experience of graduating over 400 optometrists since it began, the ACO Certificate of Ocular Therapeutics program is designed to graduate optometrists who can expand their contributions to the eye health of their local community by managing a broader scope of eye conditions and provide more refined triage advice to patients presenting with more complex ophthalmic conditions.
Recent 2020 intake graduate Ian Rosser cites the flexibility to travel as a locum optometrist as a key motivator in his decision to become therapeutically qualified.
“I was expecting the online course to be more difficult as I was raised on going to lectures. However, online was so much easier as I could study anywhere and was able to review lectures, webinars, lecture notes, and reference sources at any time,” he commented.
As an optometrist with over 40 years’ experience, he said the course reinvigorated his desire to be an optometrist by improving his style of practice “with an even greater understanding of ocular disease processes and co-management of cases”.
This certificate course is open to all registered optometrists within Australia and New Zealand and commences on 11 April 2022.
For more information, please visit: the ACO website.