Training award boost for peer discussion activity

8 August 2012

Optometrists and dispensing opticians who want to become facilitators for peer discussion groups will be able to get free training, thanks to funding awarded to LOCSU by the General Optical Council (GOC).  

As part of support being offered for the new continuing education and training (CET) requirement from January 2013, the GOC has given a grant to LOCSU to organise a series of regional training events for would-be peer discussion facilitators.  Aimed at practitioners who want to hone their skills and help peer discussion groups run effectively, the events will be accredited by the College of Optometrists and the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO).   The College and ABDO have provided the clinical case studies for the events.   

Gill Brabner, director of education and training at LOCSU said: “This training will be immensely valuable to experienced professionals who want the chance to learn how to create a learning environment, manage group dynamics and facilitate useful discussions. We know that there are many able people on optical committees in England and Wales who have the skills and interest in supporting the profession moving forward through peer discussion.  This training will help them and others get the most out of peer discussion."  

Bryony Pawinska, chief executive of the College of Optometrists, said: “We are aware that many optometrists are not confident about meeting the peer discussion element of the new CET programme. This programme will mean that trained facilitators will be able to run supportive groups so everyone can get the most out of their peer discussions, to the benefit of the profession and patients.”    

Samantha Peters, chief executive of the General Optical Council, said: “Peer discussion forms a vital part of the changes we’re making to CET from next year and will be an extremely valuable learning tool.  Undergoing facilitation training will give group leaders the confidence and know-how to support practitioners as much as possible. It’s important that interactive CET is available all across the country, so we’re delighted to be working with LOCSU to provide these regional events.” 

More details of the events which are open to experienced practitioners – both optometrists and dispensing opticians - will be announced over the summer.  In the meantime, to register your interest please email


Notes to editors
In order to get accreditation for attending one of these LOCSU events, delegates will need to attend the event and then facilitate a minimum of 3 peer discussion events.  A reflective journal will also need to be completed after each event and submitted to the College of Optometrists together with delegate signing in sheet and feedback form for each of the three sessions.  The same requirement applies to dispensing opticians who will get their accreditation via ABDO. 

Media enquiries
Jenny Manchester, Communications Manager at LOCSU on or call 07703 677697.



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