Global Competency-Based Model of Scope of Practice in Optometry

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In 2005, the General Delegates Meeting of the World Council of Optometry (WCO) formally adopted the Global Competency-Based Model of Scope of Practice in Optometry.1 This model had been designed to provide a rational framework for addressing the challenges of increased practitioner mobility across international borders and the need to promote greater harmonisation of optometric education around the world.

The model used as its basis the then current version of entry-level competency standards developed by Optometrists Association Australia (now Optometry Australia).2

In 2014, Dr Kiely was commissioned by WCO to review the document using the competency standards from the Optometry Australia Entry-level Competency Standards for Optometry 20143 again addressing the four scopes of practice previously described. This review reflects the changes in education and scope of practice since 2005 and the decision of WCO to define the minimum competencies required for a person to call themselves an optometrist. The resulting document was circulated to the Education and the Legislation, Registration and Standards Committees of the WCO for review and comments, which were incorporated into the attached document.

The document assigns the slightly modified Australian competencies to the four scopes of practice described by the WCO in its document A Global Competency-Based Model of Scope of Practice in Optometry. (The major alteration to the Australian competencies was the removal of country specific references.)

It should be noted that the document does not address the scope of practice of optometrists in some states of the USA and elsewhere where minor surgical techniques, administration of injections and so on may be undertaken; this level of practice would be considered as Level 5 and determination of competencies associated with Level 5 will be considered in the future.