Training of opticians: what changes for tomorrow?
The desire to reform the training of opticians is not new. We have been hearing about it for several years. A term has also emerged recently: that of health optician. It seems accepted that the optician, long criticized for being only a seller of optical devices, must improve his medical background. Training therefore has an essential role.
Training of opticians: wide possibilities
During the 40th and last edition of the Congress of Optometry and Contactology (COC), several representatives of the profession discussed the outlines of a new training program for opticians. The need for reform is no longer really in question and has now been replaced by how it should take shape. After the publication of a first white paper on visual health by the IOC, a few ideas emerged.
In its document, the IOC highlights the creation of a "master of advanced practice common to orthoptists and opticians". Other proposals are part of it, such as the establishment of specialization courses, reinforcement in low vision or contactology.
The Cnof has also produced a "repository of activities and skills" based on the universitarization of the profession with a so-called LMD course (bachelor, master, doctorate) in Medical School. This traversal would work as follows:
- A 3-year training (licence level) giving the right to practice;
- A 5-year course (master's level) with the possibility of specialization: master's degree in applied optics and master's degree in visual health.
- A doctorate (post-master) for research and teaching.
What about the BTS Optics-Glasses?
These new routes, still under study, raise questions. Especially compared to the existing program. Will the BTS Optique-Lunetterie disappear to be replaced by a three-year license course? Or will the third year of license complete the two years of BTS? This has not yet been clarified. But we can already bet that, according to the outlines proposed, obtaining the BTS alone could not solve the problems encountered by the profession in recent years.
Furthermore, this would tend to cause a split within the very profession of optician, then split into two categories: the "classic" optician on the one hand, the optician health of the other.
For the moment in any case, if there is nothing official, we are therefore heading towards a complete overhaul of the training of opticians. It remains to be seen how this will be conducted and whether it will be enough to alleviate the concerns of the sector .
Time will certainly give us the answers.