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The Ophthalmic Common Clinical Competency Framework - Curriculum

The Ophthalmic Common Clinical Competency Framework (OCCCF) provides standards and guidance for the knowledge and skills required for non-medical eye healthcare professionals to deliver patient care. It is well known that there is a need for a systematic patient-centred approach to multi-disciplinary education and training in order to ensure standardised and recognised competences across all ophthalmic secondary care locations in the UK.

Level 3 is aligned to part of Advanced Clinical Practice within England. If you are considering Level 3, please discuss with your organisation's advanced practice lead or service manager, to support workforce development conversations with the HEE Regional Centre for Advancing Practice. This is currently being reflected in the paperwork.

Participation in the OCCCF training is voluntary. Possession of an OCCCF qualification, or undertaking OCCCF training, is not a requirement for the holders of current NHS posts. The OCCCF is a training resource for the benefit of both patients and staff development. Other ophthalmic qualifications will not be affected by the OCCCF.

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth), the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), the College of Optometrists (CoO), the British and Irish Orthoptic Society (BIOS), and the Association of Health Professions in Ophthalmology (AHPO) worked together to develop The Ophthalmology Common Clinical Competency Framework.  Its implementation is backed and supported by Health Education England (HEE).

The Framework covers four clinical areas:  

  1. Cataract
  2. Glaucoma
  3. Medical retina
  4. Acute and emergency eye care.  

This Framework has been developed further into a curriculum for each of these areas, and eye health professionals, supervisors and trainers are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the areas of the curriculum most relevant to them.

The delivery of the curriculum will be carried out locally – similar to that of post-graduate medical training.

Contact our team on occcf@rcophth.ac.uk to find out more about this work. 

The curriculum, including assessments and resources, can be viewed online and downloaded here:

The curriculum recognises that practitioners come to the programme with proven competencies, and gives accreditation for these for particular areas and levels. This means that the Work place Based Assessment (WBA) for that competence does not have to be performed by candidates with the necessary evidence.

Access the OCCCF Prior Competency Mapping Document to understand more on this. 

An explanatory document is available, providing an in-depth overview of the project.

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