Skip to main content Skip to footer

Competency Certificate

Advice for pre-registration optometrists applying for listing with Health Boards in Scotland

Step by step guide in chronological order:

1. Apply to Health Board where you intend to provide the majority of your GOS work no later than 2 months before anticipated date of sitting OSCEs. The application pack will contain the relevant application forms and information on the application process.  The application pack shall also contain PVG forms (either to join the PVG scheme for the first time or to undertake an update if you are already a PVG Scheme Member).  If you are already a PVG Scheme member (those who have undertaken their undergraduate training in Scotland will already be Scheme Members) you will be required to submit your current PVG Scheme Record Certificate along with your application and other supporting documentation.   You may apply to join more than one Health Board via this process – you are not required to submit individual applications to each Board where you intend to work.  The main (host) Board shall share the application and supporting documentation with any other Boards you have indicated on the application form.

2. OSCEs have been sat and hopefully passed. When you have received the pass letter from the College of Optometrists, you are ready to apply for the competency certificate that is required to practice in Scotland. Please note that you MUST have completed your pre-registration year in Scotland to automatically qualify for your competency certificate. Follow the application process by clicking the link above, or below. You will be required to scan and email your pass letter to the NES Optometry team – NES will aim to issue your certificate and advise the relevant health board as quickly as possible following receipt of the correct documentation (Application and Pass Letter).

You can apply HERE - Competency Certificate

Please note that the anticipated turnaround for competency certificates is 2-3 working days but that this may take longer if any information is inaccurate or unclear. 

4. Use the documentation enclosed with the College pass letter to apply for your GOC registration which is expected to take around 5 working days. Boards advise pre-registration optometrists to apply for their full GOC registration at the same time as they apply for their Certificate of Training.  This usually allows for the Certificate of Training to arrive with Boards ahead of the registration with the GOC and allows for a smooth transition.

5. You can continue to conduct eye examinations under supervision only until your individual GOC number confirming your full registration appears on it’s website. If your individual GOC number has been produced without the competency certificate then you will not be able to complete your listing and will therefore be unable to conduct NHS eye examinations.

6. If you are now in possession of your GOC number and competency certificate  you are now qualified to conduct NHS eye examinations in your own right as long as this has been confirmed by the Health Board. You cannot undertake GOS until the Board has confirmed your application is complete, you have completed your GOS annual mandatory training requirement and you are included on the Ophthalmic List. For more information on annual mandatory training delivered by NHS Education for Scotland (NES), please see the NES Optometry website:

To Confirm:

Health Board Listing Application which includes PVG application.

Competency Certificate application applied for as soon as OSCEs passed and letter receive/sent.

GOC application applied for as soon as OSCEs passed and letter receive/sent.

GOC number available on GOC web site visible to Health Board immediately.

Cookie Notice

Find out more about how this website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience.