The CET Cycle: need to make a point or gain a point?

I already have my 36 CET points.  In fact I have significantly more than that and I managed to achieve the minimum within the first 6 months of this cycle. I achieved most of them waiting for the 5:15 from Leicester to Melton, a mere 10 minute journey.  Honestly, there is really little else to do in that time.

I have previously stated that Education is a passion of mine. Over the last few years I have gradually built my own training company, providing, amongst other things, CET courses to organisations, pre-registration training to students and writing several articles for the optical press. Surely what I should have been doing on the train was to put together a Personal Development Plan for this cycle of CET. By considering my strengths and weaknesses, I should have listed my personal and business objectives for the following three years and then go on to source the best methods of achieving them. Instead I read articles on subjects that I not only teach, but I also write about. Whilst a superb articles in themselves, and one which I often take a good deal out of, it was admittedly not the best use of my time and could easily be argued as a points gathering exercise.

So, what is the rationale behind practitioners completing CET? I was talking to a colleague on the phone just recently, another practitioner who organises evening talks and CET for optometrists and GP’s at a local level and has done so for a number of years. After the introduction of compulsory CET for both GP’s and optometrists he stated that he does not have the same attendance any more. The feedback was, ‘well, as have my points for this year, I am staying in to watch the match instead.’ This downturn in attendance, he argued, was the result of CET becoming compulsory.

Whilst he also argued that he agrees with CET becoming compulsory, has it now just become a points gathering exercise?

There are two paths that are developing. There are those who complete CET because of the content, the speakers, what the CET will do for them or their business, and there are those who gain the minimum to keep on the Register.

Whilst I think I need to redefine my own goals at least I wonder which path do the majority follow?

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