Welcome to the Ophthalmic Practitioner Training (OPT) Medical Retina module

Welcome to the Ophthalmic Practitioner Training (OPT) Medical Retina module

With an ageing population and increasing prevalence in diabetes, the demand for retinal services has never been greater! Yet, this demand continues to rise. This has not been matched by a rise in resources however, with fewer ophthalmologists in the UK compared to other European countries. There is, therefore, a huge opportunity to re-design and streamline services to improve efficiency and reconfigure the patient pathway. 

This undertaking will require an investment in staff through opportunities to develop skills and knowledge across the medical retina pathway. Through such staff development, we aim to increase capacity in a patient-centred approach. 

This is where the OPT medical retina training programme fits in – to provide a framework for specialist nurses, optometrists and orthoptists to enhance their existing skills and become confident practitioners and clinicians. Together, sharing the development and leadership in re-shaping and delivering medical retinal services in the decades ahead. 

Module Outline

The medical retina module is spread across three levels. Each level is designed to build on top of the other and encourages a stepwise increase in complexity, practical skills and knowledge related to the care of retinal conditions. 

Each level has established competencies, defined by a comprehensive curriculum, that you will accumulate. Learning is multifaceted and draws on existing opportunities in the workplace, clinical teaching, supervised instruction, and self-directed elements. There are also regional teaching events and resources that take place throughout the year. This will give an opportunity to meet other learners and contribute to the emerging OPT community. 


The OPT cataract programme encompasses all aspects of patient management throughout the medical retinal patient pathway including:


Ophthalmic examination skills and techniques


Dealing with the needs of ophthalmic patients, including communication, consent, patient safety and the administration of drugs. 

Teaching & education

Personal development, including reflective practice and the maintenance of skills

Your learning will be supported by online resources mapped to the curriculum. Each learner will maintain a portfolio with each completed competency. The portfolio is the culmination of your work based assessments (WBAs) and other evidence of learning such as reflections, audits, and quality improvement projects. 

You can find links to helpful additional information here:


The full medical retinal curriculum can be found here.