Scheme for Registration

The Scheme for Registration is a structured and supported route from student to professional optometrist. It gives you the chance to put into practice the skills you learned at university in a safe environment. Those who successfully complete the Scheme can apply to join the GOC Register.

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The College delivers the Scheme for Registration for pre-registration trainees. This consists of work-based assessments and a final practical examination (called the OSCE) which assess trainees against the GOC elements of competence.

Before you start the Scheme you will need to find a pre-registration training placement and then enrol with the College. To become a qualified optometrist, you will need to complete the three assessment stages of the Scheme: Stage 1, Stage 2 and the OSCE.  

We have developed a range of useful resources and support to guide you through the Scheme. 

Pre-reg jobs board

The College pre-reg jobs board is ideal for candidates and employers - and completely free of charge.


Once you have enrolled on the Scheme, we will send out your enrolment pack, including your Scheme for Registration Handbook. You cannot practise under supervision until you have been enrolled.

My trainee area

A timeline of your journey through the Scheme for Registration.

Scheme for Registration Handbook

The Scheme for Registration Handbook contains everything trainees need to prepare for assessment visits and the final OSCE.

Stage 1

Stage 1 normally consists of three to five scheduled assessment visits, where trainees are observed carrying out day-to-day tasks and assessed on 75 elements of competence.

Hospital Eye Service experience

You will increase your breadth of experience and provide evidence of certain patient episodes and a minimum number of refractions and dispensings.

Stage 2

Trainees undergo a three to four hour assessment in their practice, including a routine eye examination, a soft contact lens fitting with aftercare and a case discussion around your records.

Supervision types

All you need to know about different supervision arrangements.

Work-based assessment FAQs

Do you have questions about assessment, supervision and training placements? We have the answers.

Final assessment - The OSCE

The final assessment takes the form of an OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination), where candidates show that they can apply optometric theory in a clinical setting. The OSCE consists of a series of five minute stations, where candidates carry out tasks based on the 75 GOC elements of competence.

Performers lists

Apply to register before qualifying - and don't forget to complete our free online safeguarding training, developed specifically for pre-registration trainees.

Reasonable adjustments

Trainees with a disability can apply to the College to make reasonable adjustments to their assessments and/or examinations.

Exceptional circumstances

A trainee may be able to apply for an extension to their time on the Scheme for Registration or for the ability to begin their training one further time if they have encountered exceptional circumstances.

Appeals and complaints

Appeals against examination results can only be made against the process of the assessment or examination. If you would like to complain because the service we have provided has been unacceptable, we would welcome the chance to investigate this.

Scheme for Registration Report

We've published a report analysing pre-registration trainees’ performance on its Scheme for Registration.


Do you have any further questions?