General Optical Council CET Platform

03 March 2013

After a competitive pitch, we partnered with Replay Learning to develop and implement an interactive, user-friendly IT infrastructure that will support registrants and training providers to meet the requirements of the CET scheme for the General Optical Council.

The General Optical Council (GOC) are the regulator for the optical profession in the UK. One of their core functions is to set the standards for the education and training of these professionals through the use of the Continuing Education and Training (CET) scheme. The GOC has until now, maintained an online system which allowed them to:

  • Approve qualifications leading to a users registration.
  • Maintain a register of individuals who are qualified and fit to practise, train or carry on business as optometrists and dispensing opticians.
  • Investigate and act where registrants’ fitness to practise, train or carry on business is impaired.

CET is a legal requirement for all fully-qualified optometrists and dispensing opticians and is a points-based scheme that runs over a three-year cycle. All full registrants must earn a minimum number of CET points by the end of each cycle to stay on the registers.

Peter Charlesworth, managing director of Replay Learning Ltd, said: “We have used our experience of delivering CET to approach the system design from a user friendly perspective. Our IT partner, Sliced Bread Ltd, will build the infrastructure with our input and staff involved in CET Provision within Replay Learning Ltd will be limited to the same access rights as any other provider.” Reference link

What we did was build a fully integrated system whereby Registrants will be able to look at their targets for the cycle they are on and track their progress, search and attend events suitable for their CET portfolio as well as being given access to a helpline and email support service for any enquiries they may have. The system also allows providers to submit CET, along with an integrated approval process.

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This updated system will allow ‘an independent panel established by the GOC’ to undertake the approval and quality assurance of CET. This will maintain the approval process as an arms-length, independent operation.

“The strong and effective partnership of Replay Learning Ltd and Sliced Bread Ltd brings a wealth of experience in CET and we’re delighted to be working with them on this project.” Reference link

Much of the development was spent planning a better user experience which would enable those using it to manage their CETs more effectively. This meant taking a considerable amount of time wireframing the journey throughout the site. During this process we used Axure RP Pro to assist us, it is a HTML prototyping software which allows you to build basic functioning website prototypes, which you can then fully test on a browser – it is a quick pre-design process. This really helped our workflow and enabled us to share more accurate visions with the client.

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As this site was meant for ease of use, we also made sure that it was responsive in its display. That way users of the site weren’t restricted to doing functions to just their computers, but also on tablets and smartphone devices.

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The GOC currently register around 26,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses. In May this year, it was announced on the GOC website that the first 2,000 registrants that need to attend peer reviews as part of their CET, have already met their targets for this 2013-2015 cycle (3 months in).