Cert IV goes online to continue professional education for dispensers

Specsavers has always been a passionate advocate of the need to have professionally qualified optical dispensers and over nine years, and 18 successive intakes within Australia and New Zealand, Specsavers has developed over 1,000 qualified optical dispensers.

Historically, this program has been delivered in a blended format of face-to-face learning, in-practice application, and home-based assignments.

But recent events mean that this format is no longer viable. In light of recent restrictions pertaining to face to face training and gatherings, Specsavers has been working with our approved Cert IV in Optical Dispensing providers to develop a virtual offering to ensure team members have access to ongoing professional education and development.

The course, which is provided to Specsavers dispensing teams through RMIT in VIC, TAS, SA, QLD, and NT, and through ACOD in NSW/ACT, WA, and NZ, usually has two intakes per year, one in February and one in July.

Specsavers Dispensing Development Manager Anna-Mary Carroll says once it became clear that ongoing restrictions would delay a return to face-to-face training in 2020, the Specsavers Dispensing Team worked in conjunction with RMIT and ACOD to identify a Plan B to ensure student dispensers could actively continue their training.

Utilising this collaborative approach, the team has been able to devise an online training solution, using virtual classroom workshops to deliver the course.

All enrolled students have now restarted their workshops virtually, allowing over 150 Specsavers student dispensers to continue their professional development. Planning is also underway to relaunch the course for NZ student dispensers.

Feedback from the first round of virtual workshops shows students and teachers have adapted well to the change, with the added benefit that sessions are recorded so that students can re-watch them as required.

Still time to apply for September intake

Expressions of interest for the next intake for Cert IV are now open for Specsavers team members.

The Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing is a two-year course, made up of 14 modules (nine core units and five electives). Specsavers team members who have completed Specsavers Learning Journey Level 1, High Index Dispensing, and Multifocal Lens Dispensing are awarded an RPL against a portion of the course, thus reducing course duration to 10 months.

Elements within the course include:

  • Dispensing atypical and complex prescriptions
  • Providing advice on optical appliances
  • Dispensing optical appliances
  • Paediatric dispensing
  • An introduction to contact lenses and Low vision aids

The course includes five workshops, at which both lens theory and practical skills are taught, demonstrated, practiced, and assessed.

To submit your expression of interest or find out more about the Cert IV in Optical Dispensing head to Connect using the following pathway:

Australia: People > Training AU > Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing > Enrolment – Cert IV

New Zealand: People > Training NZ > Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing > Enrolment – Cert IV

EOI for the next intake close on September 3.

If you have any Cert IV-related queries, please email: anz.dispensingdevelopment@specsavers.com

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