College accredits first peer review facilitator

30 January 2013

Devon-based optometrist Paul Bradford has become the first optometrist to be accredited by the College of Optometrists as a peer review facilitator.

Paul, who is the peer review lead for his LOC in Devon, said: “I have been running peer review sessions in Devon for almost a year.  In some sessions I use real case studies or adapt cases to develop specific learning outcomes. Coupled with support materials like the College’s Clinical Management Guidelines, I can try to maximise a positive outcome for each participant.  Peer review and peer discussion are an excellent way to keep up-to-date or even just reflect more informally to get perspective on an unusual case. A key benefit is that they help to build relationships with colleagues even across different practices. The training, which I enjoyed immensely, was an excellent opportunity to consolidate and build on what I’d been doing already.”

Presenting Paul with his certificate, the College’s Chief Executive, Bryony Pawinska, said: “We are delighted to have accredited Paul as our first peer discussion facilitator.

“Peer review is an excellent way to learn and share; however, it can be challenging to facilitate the sessions to draw out people’s views and make sure that everyone benefits from taking part. That is why we are accrediting well-trained facilitators as well as providing case studies and other useful peer review materials. The College’s accreditation recognises Paul’s expertise and his successful completion of specialist training in the skills required.

“We encourage all optometrists to take part in peer discussion on a regular basis, for CET points and also to share ideas and benefit from one another’s experiences.”

The College worked closely with LOCSU to provide facilitator training across the UK, funded by the GOC and match-funded by LOCSU; the College provided case study material.


For more information, please contact Philip Chandrapal on 020 7766 4384 or email

Notes for editors

  1. The attached photograph shows Gill Brabner of LOCSU, Paul Bradford and Bryony Pawinska. For other photographs, please contact Philip Chandrapal on 020 7766 4384 or email
  2. Paul is happy to discuss peer review in more depth: call 07987 419890 or email
  3. Peer review is a new requirement under the GOC which intends it to reduce the risks of optometrists working in isolation. A small group of optometrists shares clinical views and supports one another in a meeting organised and led by a facilitator.
  4. The College provides information and case studies for peer review and discussion in the CPD section on its website at
  5. The College of Optometrists is the professional, scientific and examining body for optometry in the UK, working for the public benefit.  Supporting its 13,000 members in all aspects of professional development, the College provides pre-registration training and assessment, continuous professional development opportunities, and advice and guidance on professional conduct and standards, enabling members to serve their patients well and contribute to the wellbeing of local communities.


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