The ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have necessitated the postponement of the annual Specsavers Clinical Conference, which was due to take place in September.

In lieu of this year’s conference, The Specsavers Optometry Team will launch the SCC Online Series – which will provide a regular monthly program of CPD sessions for Australian and New Zealand optometrists. Points that would have been earned at SCC will instead be accessible via SCC Online.

The SCC Online Series, which will commence on July 29, will include a range of virtual presentations, panel discussions and interactive webinars on topics ranging from including glaucoma diagnosis and co-management, diabetic retinopathy screening, KeepSight updates and more, delivering educational content tailored for clinical optometry practice – with a strong supply of therapeutics points.

The series will also include the new collaborative and interactive ‘Specsavers Pro/AM Classic’ which engages local optometrists and ophthalmologists to review individual treatment cases to see how each field would respond and diagnose.

Each SCC Online Series event will be eligible for both Australian CPD Points and New Zealand CD and General Points. From 1 December this year – in Australia – we will switch from points-based CPD to time-based CPD in line with OBA rules, and the SCC Online Series will adapt for this new format at that time while maintaining accredited points in New Zealand.

Specsavers Director of Optometry, Dr Ben Ashby said the SCC Online Series is an innovative way of delivering on Specsavers’ commitment to transforming eye health and proving best-practice resources to the wider industry.

“It’s essential that we continue to make high-quality, relevant CPD-accredited resources available to as many Australian and New Zealander practitioners as possible. Current circumstances mean that it is not feasible to host a physical event at this time, so we are using the technology we have available to ensure that we continue to deliver professional development opportunities to all optometrists.”

Specsavers optometrists will be able to access the SCC Online series directly through the Specsavers MyCPD portal, which launched early this year. The portal is Specsavers’ virtual hub for optometrists that hosts live tracking of CPD and is home to a wide range of professional development resources and training.

The portal makes tracking CPD points and activity easy, with 24/7 access from a computer, mobile or tablet, and the ability to receive news alerts and information on upcoming events. The portal also allows optometrists to print certificates of completion and learning summaries.

Non-Specsavers optometrists will also be able to register to participate in the SCC Online series through the Specsavers Spectrum-ANZ website.

Recent CPD webinars on Zoom from respected ophthalmologists A/Prof Colin Chan and Graham Lee have attracted more than 1000 attendees across five events across May and June, proving the high level of interest in online professional development opportunities among optometry professionals.

A full program and speaker list for the SCC Online Series will be announced in late June.