The European Qualifications in Optics supports ECOO’s mission to harmonise and develop educational standards and the scope of practice for the professions.  It is envisaged that the European Qualification in Optics will have particular relevance to and be adopted by training institutions in countries where there is either a lower, or no, established standard for optics. The aim is to establish a basic entry standard for optics at a European level and encourage professional bodies and training institutions to develop beyond this entry standard.

The competency framework has been developed with reference to Part A of the European Diploma in Optometry and should serve as part of the ‘ladder’ of qualification in optics and optometry.  It is envisaged that this qualification would allow exemption from Part A of the European Diploma in Optometry. The framework has been designed to be similar to the WCO competency framework at level 1 and has been informed by existing European ophthalmic dispensing competencies. 

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Accreditation requirements for academic institutions

Only institutions teaching optometry or optics are eligible for accreditation. There must be at least one cohort of students who have completed the whole of the course. The visitors may be able to offer advice only on how the structure of new courses meet the requirements of the Qualification in Optics,  this would assist with a future application for accreditation.

The accreditation is a competency and outcomes-based process, which is described in detail in the suite of Accreditation documents below.

    Accreditation documents

    The first step is to read all the Guidelines for Accreditation in detail:

    if you consider that you would like your institution to be accredited or benchmarked then you should contact the accreditation team ( who will discuss the process and answer any questions about it.

    The accreditation is a competency and outcomes-based process, which is based on the following Syllabus:

    Accreditation process and timeline

    Before the application process begins. An accreditation agreement will be signed between ECOO and the applicant to ensure all terms and conditions are clarified in advance between both parties. This will be sent to you upon request after your first conversation with the accreditation team.

    Applicants for accreditation must complete the self-assessment document (Guidelines EQO Part II) which will then be considered by the Accreditation Panel. Once they are satisfied with the information, arrangements are made for a preliminary meeting with the institution (this may be in person on virtually online). This will lead to a preliminary opinion that provides a detailed overview of the areas to be revisited if needed.

    Once the institution is ready to proceed, a full visit will be organised that will look at all aspects of the course in detail and entail interviews with students and staff. A final report is issued that outlines the accreditation status achieved. This may vary from full accreditation to partial accreditation, however always including detailed indications as to what the remaining gaps are to eventually move to full accreditation.

    The timeline depends on the speed at which the institution is completing the various steps and the times at which the visits can be scheduled. ECOO also plans carefully its accreditation commitment and a plan will be discussed during your first interactions. The process can be as fast as 12-15 months but may also take several years if for instance a programme has not yet completed a full cycle.