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Standards for orthoptists exemptions

Our expectations of education providers delivering training in orthoptists exemptions and of orthoptists who complete this training

Standards for education providers

  • A.1 The admissions procedures must give both the applicant and the education provider the information they require to make an informed choice about whether to take up or make an offer of a place on a programme.

    A.2 The admissions procedures must apply selection and entry criteria, including appropriate academic and professional entry standards.

    A.3 The admissions procedures must apply selection and entry criteria, including accreditation of prior (experiential) learning and other inclusion mechanisms.

    A.4 The admissions procedures must ensure that the education provider has equality and diversity policies in relation to applicants and students*, together with an indication of how these will be implemented and monitored.

    * Throughout this document, ‘students’ means registered orthoptists completing a training
    programme in the use of exemptions. 

  • B.1 The programme must have a secure place in the education provider’s business plan.

    B.2 The programme must be effectively managed.

    B.3 The programme must have regular monitoring and evaluation systems in place.

    B.4 There must be a named person who has overall professional responsibility for the programme who must be appropriately qualified and experienced and, unless other arrangements are agreed, be on the relevant part of the Register.

    B.5 There must be an adequate number of appropriately qualified, experienced and, where required, registered staff in place to deliver an effective programme.

    B.6 Subject areas must be taught by staff with relevant specialist expertise and knowledge.

    B.7 A programme for staff development must be in place to ensure continuing professional and research development.

    B.8 The resources to support student learning in all settings must be effectively used.

    B.9 The resources to support student learning in all settings must effectively support the required learning and teaching activities of the programme.

    B.10 The learning resources, including IT facilities, must be appropriate to the curriculum and must be readily available to students and staff.

    B.11 There must be adequate and accessible facilities to support the welfare and wellbeing of students in all settings.

    B.12 There must be a system of academic and pastoral student support in place.

    B.13 There must be a student complaints process in place.

    B.14 Throughout the course of the programme, the education provider must have identified where attendance is mandatory and must have associated monitoring mechanisms in place.

    B.15 Service users and carers must be involved in the programme.

  • C.1 The learning outcomes must ensure that those who successfully complete the programme meet the standards for orthoptists using exemptions in legislation for the sale and supply of medicines.

    C.2 The programme must reflect the philosophy, core values, skills and knowledge base as articulated in any relevant curriculum guidance.

    C.3 Integration of theory and practice must be central to the curriculum.

    C.4 The curriculum must remain relevant to current practice.

    C.5 The curriculum must make sure that students understand the implications of the HCPC’s standards of conduct, performance and ethics on their use of exemptions in legislation for the sale and supply of medicines.

    C.6 The delivery of the programme must support and develop autonomous and reflective thinking.

    C.7 The delivery of the programme must encourage evidence-based practice.

    C.8 The range of learning and teaching approaches used must be appropriate to the effective delivery of the curriculum.

    C.9 When there is inter-professional learning the profession-specific skills and knowledge of each professional group must be adequately addressed.

  • D.1 Practice placements must be integral to the programme.

    D.2 The length of time spent in practice placements must be appropriate to support the delivery of the programme and the achievement of the learning outcomes.

    D.3 The practice placements must provide a safe and supportive environment.

    D.4 The education provider must maintain a thorough and effective system for approving and monitoring all practice placements.

    D.5 There must be an adequate number of appropriately qualified, experienced and, where required, registered staff in the practice placements.

    D.6 Practice placement educators must have relevant knowledge, skills and experience.

    D.7 Practice placement educators must be appropriately registered, unless other arrangements are agreed.

    D.8 There must be regular and effective collaboration between the education provider and the practice placement provider.

    D.9 Students and practice placement educators must be fully prepared for the practice placement environment, which will include information about an understanding of:

    − the learning outcomes to be achieved;
    − the timings and the duration of any practice experience and associated records to be maintained;
    − expectations of professional conduct;
    − the professional standards which students must meet;
    − the assessment procedures including the implications of, and any action to be taken in the case of, failure to progress; and
    − communication and lines of responsibility.

    D.10 Learning, teaching and supervision must encourage safe and effective practice, independent learning and professional conduct.

    D.11 A range of learning and teaching methods that respect the rights and needs of service users and colleagues must be in place throughout practice placements.

  • E.1 The assessment strategy and design must ensure that the student who successfully completes the programme has met the standards for orthoptists using exemptions in legislation for the sale and supply of medicines.

    E.2 All assessments must provide a rigorous and effective process by which compliance with external-reference frameworks can be measured.

    E.3 Professional standards must be integral to the assessment procedures in both the education setting and practice placement setting.

    E.4 Assessment methods must be employed that measure the learning outcomes.

    E.5 The measurement of student performance must be objective and ensure safe and effective use of exemptions in legislation for the sale and supply of medicines.

    E.6 There must be effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms in place to ensure appropriate standards in the assessment.

    E.7 Assessment regulations must clearly specify requirements for student progression and achievement within the programme.

    E.8 Assessment regulations, or other relevant policies, must clearly specify requirements for approved programmes being the only programmes which contain any reference to an HCPC protected title or part of the Register in their named award.

    E.9 Assessment regulations must clearly specify requirements for a procedure for the right of appeal for students.

    E.10 Assessment regulations must clearly specify requirements for the appointment of at least one external examiner who must be appropriately experienced and qualified and, unless other arrangements are agreed, be from the relevant part of the HCPC Register.

Standards for orthoptists

  • Orthoptists must:

    1 Understand pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, pharmacology and therapeutics relevant to medicines use within their professional scope of practice and how these may be altered
    by certain characteristics

    2 Understand the legal context relevant to the use of exemptions in legislation for the sale, supply and administration of medicines, as well as current local and national policy and guidance concerning medicines use

    3 Understand the differences between the sale, supply and administration of medicines using exemptions, other supply / administration mechanisms and prescribing mechanisms

    4 Understand the various pharmacological and nonpharmacological approaches to disease management relevant to their practice and the risks and benefits of each option

    5 Understand the importance of shared decision-making with service users to encourage self-care and adherence with medicines advice

    6 Be able to make a decision about whether to sell or supply medicines using exemptions, based on a relevant examination, assessment and history taking

    7 Be able to undertake a thorough, sensitive and detailed patient medical history, including an appropriate medication history

    8 Be able to communicate information about medicines clearly with service users and others involved in their care

    9 Be able to evaluate each potential treatment option with respect to an individual service user, taking into account relevant factors, the service user’s circumstances, co-morbidities and other medicines taken

    10 Be able to demonstrate safe use of medicines

    11 Be able to undertake drug calculations accurately

    12 Be able to monitor response to medicines and modify or cease treatment as appropriate within their professional scope of practice, including referral to another professional

    13 Be able to identify adverse medicine reactions, interactions with other medicines and diseases and to take appropriate action

    14 Be able to recognise different types of medication error and respond appropriately

    15 Understand antimicrobial resistance and the roles of infection prevention and control

Questions about the standards

If you are unsure how to interpret these standards, then you should write to, or email the Education department at the following address:

Education Department
Health and Care Professions Council
184 - 186 Kennington Park Road
London SE11 4BU

Page updated on: 14/06/2018