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Professional development with Optical Express 

Written by: Optical Express
Published on: 2 Sep 2019

Independent Prescribing (IP)

The role that optometrists play in primary eye care is changing. With this in mind Optical Express has exclusively partnered with Glasgow Caledonian University to offer its optometrists the opportunity to gain the Independent Prescribing (IP) qualification. Upon completion of the course, a placement and the College of Optometrists Common Final Examination the optometrist will be qualified to provide an enhanced level of patient care, supported by the prescribing of medications utilised in the management of a range of different eye conditions.

Clinical Services Director Stephen Hannan, who is IP qualified himself, said he has seen first-hand the benefits that the qualification brings to patient care. Mr Hannan said: “At Optical Express we’re committed to giving patients first rate levels of service and care.  Supporting the skills development of all our expert clinicians is a step that supports enhanced patient care. We are proud to sponsor this course at Glasgow Caledonian University, as well as the provision of a clinical placement to help our optometrists become IP qualified.”

To date Optical Express have supported a significant number of optometrists in completing the course and becoming IP qualified. We celebrated our recent cohort of optometrists who have passed their IP qualification, our Clinical Services Manager Judy, being one of them details her experience below;


How do you feel passing your IP qualification?

I am delighted to have passed the IP qualification. It was a lot of hard work over the last year and it now feels really rewarding to have something to show for it. I can’t wait to actually put it to good use in practice for the benefit of our patients and I definitely feel more confident in managing a wide variety of conditions.

What did you enjoy most about your course?

The course was well structured and split into sections which were manageable for each examination. I really enjoyed learning again and refreshing my skills in the practical clinics for techniques such as gonioscopy and lacrimal syringing. There was a lot of distance learning which was supported by an online platform of lectures and sample exam questions which helped to prepare for the exams. Overall I found the course really interesting and relevant to my everyday practice.

Were there any challenges? How did you overcome them?

The main challenge was fitting in studying whilst working full time but as each section of the course is split into manageable portions; I found that I actually had plenty of time for each module to complete the coursework and study for the examination. You have to be quite disciplined but it’s definitely worth it in the end.

What would you say to someone considering gaining their IP qualification?

I would absolutely encourage all optometrists to gain the IP qualification as it will allow them to manage conditions confidently and provide an enhanced level of care for their patients. It is important to keep your skills and knowledge as up to date as possible and this qualification definitely provides the opportunity to do this.

To find out more about Independent Prescribing (IP) click here;

If you would like to work for an employer that’s makes a genuine investment in your professional development, including providing the opportunity to gain the Independent Prescribing qualification, fully funded by us, give our friendly recruitment team a call on 01236 795146 or visit