Higher professional qualifications

The College of Optometrists' higher qualifications enable optometrists to offer enhanced services, take on more responsibility, and progress in their careers.

Candidates complete a blended learning course comprising of coursework and assessments and, at higher levels, a portfolio of clinical experience. This means that the qualifications are highly accessible and fit in with busy lifestyles. Successful candidates can also use the appropriate affixes.

We are accredited to provide more College accredited qualifications than any other institution. Currently this includes:

Professional Certificate in Glaucoma (Prof Cert Glauc)

This course is made up of two, ten credit modules OPT009 and OPT010 that take four months to complete.

This course aims to prepare optometrists to participate in formal referral refinement and OHT/suspect COAG monitoring schemes. It is intended to ensure the currency of core competencies (including those required for pathways involving repeat measures) and provide additional specialist knowledge and skills for monitoring patients with diagnosed OHT and suspect COAG with an established management plan. This includes facilitating knowledge, understanding and training in corneal pachymetry, visual fields, assessment of the anterior chamber, contact tonometry and disc evaluation.

Practitioners that have completed LOCSU Glaucoma or EHEW accreditations may be eligible for accreditation of prior learning.

Professional Higher Certificate in Glaucoma (Higher Cert Glauc)

This course is comprised of one twenty credit module OPT031 and takes nine months to complete.

This course aims to prepare optometrists to participate in community or hospital-based schemes involving the diagnosis of OHT and preliminary diagnosis of COAG (when not working under the supervision of a consultant ophthalmologist). It further develops skills in detecting change in clinical status and decision-making in patients at risk of developing glaucoma. Optometrists working at this level should possess all of the competencies required at Certificate Level.

Professional Certificate in Glaucoma (Dip Glauc)

This course is comprised of one twenty credit module OPT032 and takes nine months to complete.

This course aims to prepare optometrists to participate in community or hospital-based schemes involving the diagnosis of OHT and preliminary diagnosis of COAG (when not working under the supervision of a consultant ophthalmologist). It further develops skills in detecting change in clinical status and decision-making in patients at risk of developing glaucoma. Optometrists working at this level should possess all of the competencies required at Certificate Level.

Professional Certificate in Medical Retina (Prof Cert Med Ret)

This course is comprised of one twenty credit module OPT025 and takes nine months to complete. The course:

  • provides community and hospital based optometrists with knowledge of common medical retina conditions and includes topics covering screening, referral and treatment pathways, with an emphasis on optical coherence tomography (OCT) interpretation and diabetic retinopathy grading
  • enables community and hospital based optometrists to make accurate and appropriate referral decisions for patients with medical retina conditions
  • prepares optometrists to commence working in photography based diabetic retinopathy screening services
  • prepares optometrists to commence working under supervision in medical retina new patient triage clinics and AMD treatment-retreatment clinics.

Professional Certificate in Low Vision (Prof Cert LV)

This course is made up of two, ten credit modules OPT001 and OPT002 that take four or 9 months to complete, depending on your needs.

This course aims to prepare optometrists to be able to provide a high standard of low vision care (in a hospital or community setting) for non-complex cases, including:

  • goal setting
  • assessment of vision
  • provision of low vision aids
  • advice about lighting and other methods of enhancing vision
  • provision of information and advice
  • referral to other services including social services
  • re-appraisal of goals
  • arrangement for follow up.

Practitioners that have completed LOCSU low vision accreditations may be eligible for accreditation of prior learning.

Professional Higher Certificate in Low Vision (Higher Cert LV)

This course is comprised of one twenty credit module OPT030 and takes nine months to complete.

This course is aimed at providing eye care practitioners with the knowledge and skills to provide a high standard of advanced low vision care. It builds on the core knowledge acquired in the Low Vision Certificate to develop an ability to deliver low vision care to more complex low vision cases and specialist populations.

Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care (Prof Cert Paed Eye Care)

This course is made up of two, ten credit modules OPT006 and OPT033 that take 9 months to complete.

This course aims to prepare optometrists to be able to provide a high standard of eye care for child patients, including:

  • visual development and common ocular/visual problems of childhood
  • vision screening
  • adapting the eye examination for a child patient
  • dispensing for a child patient
  • communicating with children and their parents/carers
  • developing a management plan for a chid patient
  • safeguarding.