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By Helen Carter
Journalist

Optometry Australia’s Institute of Excellence is already proving a big hit with members, with nearly one-third of the profession accessing CPD via the institute in the two months since it launched.

The new online destination where members can access their continuing professional development was created to meet members’ learning needs and is the place where they can access a comprehensive suite of quality and online resources anytime, anywhere.

The institute replaces the CPD, events and CPD publications section of our former website and now incorporates a new, fully integrated online learning platform where courses can be launched and assessment undertaken anywhere, anytime.

Optometry Australia’s Professional Development and Clinical Policy Manager Simon Hanna said that since launching in August 5, 2019, more than 1600 Optometry Australia members nationwide had logged on to access the Institute and its CPD.

‘Feedback is good, they’re saying it’s easy to access and everything is there, they can easily search for courses, and topics are interesting and relevant,’ Mr Hanna said.

‘The institute is the digital destination where members can find all their CPD requirements now and into the future. We are showing online education not seen before, reading material and podcasts.

‘New courses are constantly being uploaded, there is an array of diverse topics and all of our webinars are uploaded and remain there so members can go back and watch them if they missed out and answer questions online to gain CPD day or night whenever suits them.

‘Our webinars are some of the most popular ways to earn CPD, with hundreds regularly watching and our most recent myopia webinar attracting 720 participants on the night. Pharma is also another very popular way to gain CPD points at a time that suits you.

Quality CPD

‘We’ve partnered with MiVision and the Centre for Eye Health, providers of high quality CPD to ensure material is relevant and interesting, and we are constantly bringing on more quality CPD provider and partners.

‘The Institute offers face to face workshops and conferences, and the calendar for each month has several CPD offerings available every day.’

There is also an online catalogue where courses are added.

Optometry Australia’s Simon Hanna

Through Optometry Australia’s Institute of Excellence members can immediately:

  • Search for hundreds of courses from many different providers using our online CPD calendar and sort courses by location, date, topic, provider, points and cost, honing in on programs that best suit their needs.
  • Register for Optometry Australia, state organisation, partner or supplier CPD conferences and programs.
  • Access a comprehensive array of Optometry Australia’s member-only, online CPD offerings – including webcasts, online courses, Pharma and Clinical & Experimental Optometry.
  • These resources are freely available to members all within the one digital platform – optometry.org.au/ and if a member completes one of our member-only online courses, their CPD hours will be automatically recorded for them.
  • Print out their CPD certificate and check their CPD points record on the My CPD Record portal.

Future plans

Future plans include in 2020 highlighting a course of the month and continuing to highlight CPD in the organisation’s fortnightly FOCUS newsletter emailed to members.

Mr Hanna said that in line with the organisation’s Optometry 2040 project, Optometry Australia was keen to help educate members in their areas of clinical interest and broaden their scope of practice.

The Institute launch was in response to the Optometry Board of Australia announcing that CPD requirements for registered optometrists will change from 1 December 2020, moving from a biannual points-based system to an annual self-learning, time-based system.

‘Courses on offer now are points-based, designed to meet current CPD standards and from December 2020, as per OBA changes, they will convert to time-based programs,’ he said.

‘The platform will continue to incorporate optometry’s most comprehensive calendar of CPD programs, promoting all accredited optometry courses, from any CPD provider in Australia.

‘We will continue to position ourselves as the best ally for all CPD providers and we welcome the opportunity to promote quality providers’ courses, and aligned assessment programs, within our online catalogue.’

 

 

 

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