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OPT021: Leadership Skills for Optical Professionals

This module will provide you with the opportunity to become an effective leader at both local and regional levels within the optical sector.

This is achieved through the support and development of Local Optical Committees, building effective strategic networks, influencing policy makers and enhancing eye health services for patients. It also aims to provide an understanding of current theoretical approaches and leadership models.

This module will particularly benefit those involved in commissioning services, but is also of benefit to anyone with a leadership or mentoring role in eye care. It is open to all registered ophthalmic professionals including dispensing and contact lens opticians, ophthalmic medical practitioners, ophthalmic nurses, orthoptists and experienced optical managers.

There will be two practical workshop days. These will usually be held in London in April. Precise arrangements for practical sessions will be dependent on COVID-19 guidance at the time.

This module complements OPT013, OPT016 and OPT020

Start dateMarch
Credits20 credits - No CET points available for this module
Module tutorsGill Brabner (Leader)
Jane Gray (Tutor)
Tuition fees (2020/21)£1240 - UK and EU students
£2310 - Students from outside the EU
Module codeOPT021

Learning objectives

On completion of this module you should be able to:

  • critically reflect a knowledge of complex, controversial and/ or contentious issues related to leadership in UK optometry and healthcare
  • evaluate and apply modern key concepts of leadership in optometry and health care and be able to apply them to challenges within their own committees, stakeholder groups, services and/ or business
  • explore, critically analyse, synthesise and evaluate evidence-based literature, and concepts in leadership, team building, negotiation and change management to inform the development of a leadership style
  • present balanced and informed arguments, incorporating critical judgment and decision making in written work
  • effectively reflect on and evaluate learning
  • problem solve and develop recommendations based on evidence and sound judgment.

How the module will be delivered

This module is taught via two mandatory contact days of practical workshops and peer group discussions. The contact days are held on consecutive days in April.

A minimum of three webinars are provided in small groups in addition to asynchronous discussions in Learning Central. Resources for core reading are provided: this includes a text book which is sent to all students and links to journal articles available via Learning Central. We also make use of video, podcasts and web resources. You are expected to undertake their own additional research into topics of interest for their assignments.

Syllabus content

  • Profiling and psychometrics - understanding own working preferences and those of the group.
  • Leadership styles and models
  • PESTLE and SWOT analysis and developing a regional strategy
  • Media Skills
  • Negotiation and influencing skills and behaviours
  • Motivational and coaching skills
  • Mapping exercises for the regions (including data analysis and presentation)
  • GP Commissioning
  • Clinical/peer review sessions and clinical teaching
  • The political context to leading in the optical sector, creating the national and regional vision for optics
  • Action learning theory and practice

Skills you will practise and develop

Academic skills

  • Advance your own knowledge and understanding
  • Collate and synthesise information from several resources to improve learning
  • Write concisely and clearly for the academic and clinical community
  • Interpret data

Generic skills

  • Manage projects and time
  • Work independently
  • Use a range of IT software packages and online resources
  • Problem solving

How the module will be assessed

The course work will assess your ability to write in both an engaging conversational style (Blogs) and in a formal professional academic style (critical review and essay)

  • Blogs (50%): You will be required to write a weekly blog. One blog per fortnight, and a minimum of 10 blogs over the period of the course, 6 of your choice will count as 50% of your final mark. Feedback will be provided to each student on each blog post to support continuous improvement. One blog will be a compulsory critical review blog (formal academic style).
  • Written Coursework (50%): You can choose any topic from the leadership course to explore further in your essay (formal academic style).