level 5 certificate in optical care


Designed for Optical Assistants in Scotland, the Level 5 Certificate in Optical Care is supported by NHS Education for Scotland .  Funding support is available for eligible learners but places are limited and are allocated on a first come first served basis.

the programme

This is a blended programme combining a distance learning course and three tutor-led workshops.  The course begins in April along with the first workshop, and assessment is continuous throughout the course, there is no written examination at the end of the course.  You can find more information on the syllabus, workshop and assessment by clicking on the tabs below.

The learning outcome

The qualification is aimed at optical practice staff who support the provision of the General Ophthalmic Service in Scotland.  The qualification is made up of five units and you can find out further on the tab below.

The aim of this unit is to help the learner to understand the roles and responsibilities of staff within the optical profession, including how to communicate and deal with patients and patients’ entitlements and the procedures required within the health service. It also gives clear guidance on the limits of responsibilities of all staff and the requirements for contractors working under the GOS contract. It therefore gives all within the profession an insight into the roles across all disciplines and also who does what and how and why. It outlines the role of the representative bodies and the GOC.

The aim of this unit is for the learner to know how to provide customer service within optics and the skills required for effective communication. It will include communication across all professional disciplines and between supplier, practices and patients. It includes customer service and how good communication can improve all working relationships.

The aim of this unit is for the learner to understand the basic anatomy, function and pathology of the eye and the common eye conditions including myopia, hypermetropia, astigmatism, presbyopia as well as binocular vision and visual fields. The learner will understand optical prescriptions and transposition and gain a basic understanding of cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes and their treatment and the advantages and disadvantages of the treatment. This unit will therefore give the learner all the underpinning knowledge required when working within any environment within the optical profession.

The aim of this unit is for the learner to understand the components of a spectacle frame, the materials used in construction and manufacture, the standard measurements of a frame and how to assist patients in choosing suitable frames to match their facial shape and features. This unit is strongly recommended for anyone working in practice who dispenses, or those working in a laboratory. It would be useful for any member of staff working within customer services within a frame manufacturing situation or as a representative for a frame company.

The aim of this unit is for the learner to be able to understand the purpose and be able to use a wide range of screening equipment that would be used in practice. It also covers the conditions that are screened for in practice and the diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care for these conditions. It covers the restrictions on the screening function as it is a delegated function by the optometrist. This unit is strongly recommended for anyone working in practice or hospital that has any involvement in the screening process. It would be useful for any member of staff working within practice and for representatives of equipment manufacturers or suppliers.

The course is supported by three one day tutor led workshops an opportunity to meet with fellows learners and to confirm understanding of the course material.

The workshops will take place on Monday 27 April 2020, Monday 29 June 2020 and Monday 7 September 2020.  They are held at the Stirling Management Centre and start at 9.30 on each day finishing around 4.30. Refreshments will be available along with lunch in the hotel restaurant  Full details will be sent out prior to each workshop and details will also be available on the online learning portal.  If you travelling from a distance away, in some circumstances we may be able to offer accommodation at the hotel for the workshop, ask us for details when you apply.

The workshops are included in the course fees and are an important part of the learning process, so we encourage you to attend all of them.


The course is part subsidised by NHS Education for Scotland.  There are 26 places available on the course and they are allocated on a first come first served basis.  

For each learner enrolled there is a contribution to be paid of £200.  This is payable upon application and a place on the course is not guaranteed until payment has been received.

In order to achieve the qualification learners must pass an assessment.  This is done on a continuous basis throughout the course and is done online in your workplace.  Each assessment will be a mixture of short multiple choice questions and some short essay style answers.  At the end of each module you will complete the online assessment.  In order to pass you will need to achieve 50% on each unit.  Any re-sits will be done at the end of the course.  The examinations are not included in the course fees and we will update on these once they have been confirmed.

Details of the assessment will be sent out a few weeks after the start of the course. 

The examination can be taken online at the candidate’s place of work, subject to certain conditions.  The benefits of taking the examination online are:

  • it takes place in familiar surroundings, on the same computer the candidate uses every day
  • no time or money is spent on travel
  • examination-day stress is reduced

In order to secure a place on the course, complete the application form by following the link below.  Complete all parts of the form and once submitted an invoice will be raised and once payment is received you will receive a welcome pack which will include the printed course manual and details of the first workshop.

We look forward to welcoming you onto the course.