Singapore National Eye Centre gets global accreditation for training programme

Dr Ainur Rahman Anuar, a clinical research fellow at the Singapore Eye Research Institute (Seri), checking the eyes of a patient using a "slit lamp" at the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) on Feb 17, 2012. The Singapore National Eye Centre (
Dr Ainur Rahman Anuar, a clinical research fellow at the Singapore Eye Research Institute (Seri), checking the eyes of a patient using a "slit lamp" at the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) on Feb 17, 2012. The Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) has become the first institution in South-east Asia to receive international accreditation for its eye-care training programme. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) has become the first institution in South-east Asia to receive international accreditation for its eye-care training programme.

This means the eye centre's own training course will now be recognised

internationally. SNEC conducts its own basic ophthalmic nursing course for nurses and allied health staff such as technicians and assistants.

The accreditation is by the International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel for Ophthalmology, a global group that sets the academic standards for ophthalmic training programmes.

The commission is the international arm of a non-profit organisation of the same name set up in 1969, which offers certification to ophthalmic allied health staff.

Senior academics from the organisation flew to Singapore in March to audit the SNEC's teaching programmes.

In a media release, SNEC said the accreditation will "accelerate staff development", as the certification and credentials from the international body will be a graduate's "crowning achievement".

Dr Ian Yeo, SNEC's deputy medical director of education, called the accreditation a timely one.

"Our patients will increasingly demand quality health care not just from our doctors but from all members of the eye care team," he said.

The SNEC added that it hopes the accreditation will encourage more to join the eye care profession as nurses or technicians. It expects between 10 and 20 nurses and technicians to be certified each year.