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June 7 2012
Pre-reg representative on the AOP Council, Nicola Roper, advises her fellow peers on registering with their local PCT ahead of qualification
So focused on preparing for next month’s OSCEs, I could have overlooked the need to register with my PCT before I qualify… I have completed stage two, filled in all my paperwork and received my timetable for the July OSCEs. I am also booked onto a couple of OSCE preparation courses. So, I thought I was fully prepared to take the exams and (big fingers crossed) would be able to practise as a fully-qualified optometrist in August. That was until I found an article in OT dated April 2011 which warned of the need to register with your PCT ahead of qualifying (‘It‘s time to register with your PCT ahead of the final OSCEs’, April 22 2011). I have now found out that my decision to wait until I received my qualifications before registering with a PCT was based on some misguided assumptions I had made which could have prevented me from practising as a qualified optometrist straight away.
- You need to ring your current PCT or Health Board and ask for an application form to join its list (Ophthalmic Performers List in England, Supplementary List in Wales and Ophthalmic List in Scotland and Northern Ireland). This will then tell you exactly what you need to do to fill in the form and complete the documentation and checks that are required. CRB checks can often be arranged through the PCT
- You will need to include your current GOC registration (as a student), and also your AOP membership card and letter to show you have professional indemnity cover (and remember to ring the AOP when you qualify to amend your membership and take advantage of the reduced fee for newly qualified optometrists)
- You will often have to present yourself with your application and therefore cannot post it in. You may need to arrange an appointment with the PCT to do this – make sure you plan this in
- Make sure your two clinical referees are happy to be contacted by the PCT or Health Board as this can cause a delay to your application if they are not available
- And don’t forget to inform the PCT of your GOC number as soon as you receive it after successfully completing your Scheme for Registration.
- England: www.nhs.uk/servicedirectories/pages/primarycaretrustlisting.aspx
- Northern Ireland: www.hscboard.hscni.net/
- Scotland: www.psd.scot.nhs.uk/professionals/ophthalmic/nhs-board-contacts.html
- Wales: www.wales.nhs.uk/ourservices/directory/LocalHealthBoards
- Nicola Roper is currently completing her pre-reg period at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital.