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 - ABDO College

Supervisor Responsibilities and Guidance

Supervision and the GOC

The GOC standard that applies to supervision is as follows (written from the student’s perspective):

“Ensure that supervision is undertaken appropriately and complies with the law.

The responsibility to ensure that supervision does not compromise patient care and safety is shared between the supervisor and the trainee. When being supervised:

8.1 You must only be supervised by someone who is approved by your employer or training provider.

8.2 Ensure that your supervisor is on the premises, in a position to oversee the work you undertake and is ready to intervene if necessary in order to protect patients.

8.3 Your supervisor retains clinical responsibility for the patient.

8.4 Comply with all legal requirements governing the activity.”

What does the College expect from a Supervisor?

At ABDO College we see the role of the Practice Supervisor as crucial to the successful development and education of our students. A positive working relationship between student and supervisor leads to an increased level of learning and enhances the experience for all parties. We are therefore available to support our supervisors in any way we can (see the Support section of this website).

Clearly the role of ‘supervisor’ will vary depending on the practice situation, experience of the student, the course they are completing and the previous experience of the supervisor themselves. We have listed below some examples of the sort of features we would normally expect to see within the role:

  • Acting as a mentor for your student throughout their training period in both behaviour and clinical dedication
  • Regular ‘check-in’ meetings with the student to go through their coursework and program progress. In an ideal world these would be every week and include a summary of the previous week’s feedback from the Distance Learning Tutor.
  • Assisting with the completion of the student’s Practical Training Timetable (PTT) by ensuring the student can demonstrate the required tasks in their practice environment.
  • Have an understanding of the case studies required as part of the student’s Pre-Qualification Portfolio (PQP) and support the student in their completion. Further guidance on the PQP can be gained from ABDO Examinations.

Ok, so what does this look like in practice?

There are certain behaviours and attitudes which promote a positive experience for both the student and supervisor. These include:

  • Regular, good quality communication to build trust and understanding. This includes the whole practice team as they should also be aware of the limits assigned to the SDO role.
  • Empathy with the student’s situation is always important. During your studies there will have been times where you felt under pressure, unsure or possibly confused. Helping your student through these times is vital to their confidence and learning.
  • A good awareness of the support structures in place for supervisors will ensure that if you have a query at any point through the journey, you know who you can go to for a resolution and move forward

The Rules

ABDO College requires the following conditions to be fulfilled to accept an individual as a student’s supervisor:

  • The individual must be GOC registered as a dispensing optician, contact lens optician or optometrist
  • The individual must have at least 2 continuous years of full GOC registration before beginning to supervise a student (this must be post-qualification in their discipline)
  • The individual must be registered with the GOC at the same practice address as the student
  • The individual must not be supervising more than 2 students at the same time at any point, on any program