Inauguration of Master Optometrist Consortium
A collaboration between SOPTI and the Benigno Zaccagnini Institute
The Italian Optometric Society (SOPTI), a technical and scientific Association, the Benigno Zaccagnini Institute, and other companies operating in the communication, retail marketing and certification fields have set up the Master Optometrist Consortium.
The Consortium will create a Master Optometrist Register which will be certified by Italian certification body AICQ-SICEV and which is open to all qualified eye care specialists who wish to receive recognition of their distinctive professional qualities.
Registration follows an exam by which proficiency in the optical/ophthalmology field, practical experience and competence acquired in the optical field will be assessed. Assessments of levels of professional updating and capabilities will be carried out every three years.
For eye care professionals wishing third-party certification (by a body outside the profession with the facility to certify professional skills at national level), the Consortium will provide educational courses aimed at filling specific gaps in the various subjects governed by the Register and on the basis of which the relevant assessments will be made.
Facilitated registration is envisaged for anyone who took post-diploma courses in optometry or who has a degree in ophthalmology and optometry.
The creation of a Register that is certified by a recognized external body and whose regulations include updating in all the subjects that are part of the optometry profession, not only fills a gap left by the old rules of qualification and by the lack of recognition for optometrists, but also improves knowledge of management and retail marketing.
Moreover, it is well-known that under pressure from the European Union the world of the professions is destined to change completely.
At the basis of what will be a genuine revolution – the as yet unconfirmed date of which is August 13, 2012, by which time any categories that have not been reformed will be penalized – is the principle of the free circulation of people within the Union, which is achieved by removing the barriers of professional protectionism (and, as a consequence, all the professional categories that have not been recognized) and by substituting selection based on qualifications with recognized and certified expertise.