There is an extreme paucity of eye-care personnel and training facilities in developing countries. This study was designed to develop a comprehensive framework of competency standards for ophthalmic technicians and optometrists, in Mozambique. This could then inform the evolution of socially responsive curricula for both cadres.Methods:
A modified Delphi technique was used with a ten member expert panel consisting of optometrists, ophthalmic technicians and ophthalmologists, all with experience of working in a developing country context. The competencies were derived from literature, primary research data and observations from a competency development workshop. The first round involved scoring the relevance of two frameworks, one for each cadre, using a nine-point Likert scale with a free-text option to modify any competency or suggest additional competencies. The revised frameworks were subjected to a second round of scoring and free-text comment. The final versions of the agreed frameworks were sent out to the relevant stakeholders.Results:
There was a 100 per cent response to round 1 and an 89 per cent response to round 2. The final versions of the competency frameworks contained six competencies, 20 elements and 88 performance criteria for optometry and six competencies, 17 elements and 61 performance criteria for ophthalmic technicians.Conclusions:
Application of a consensus methodology consisting of a modified Delphi technique with primary research data allowed the development of competency frameworks for ophthalmic technicians and optometrists. This will help to shape the development of curricula for both cadres and potentially could be replicated in other regions that wish to develop socially responsive education for eye-care professionals.