So you’ve decided to begin your journey as a Locum Optometrist - congratulations! Whether you’re newly qualified, looking for more experience or even additional income, locuming is a fantastic opportunity. Despite whether you decide to locum part-time or full-time there are a few steps you need to complete before you can begin.
All Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians are required to register with the General Optical Council before you can work as a locum. You must also ensure that before working as an optometrist that you are included on the Supplementary List of the PCT (Primary Care Trust) in whose are you do most of your work. It is also important to note that if you are to be working with children and/or vulnerable adults you will need to be registered with the Independent Safeguarding Agency (ISA).
Gather your essential documentation
Before you can begin work you need to ensure you have all of the necessary documentation. It is a legal requirement for all opticians to provide the following documents prior to starting their shifts so be sure you have these to hand:
- GOC/CORU registered contact lens optician
- Professional Indemnity Insurance
- Proof of Identity (eg.passport, drivers licence etc.)
Make sure you also have an up-to-date CV, covering letter and 2 references.
Keep your paperwork in order
Working as a locum offers you a lot of freedom however, it is important to stay organised - particularly with your finances! So as you start working as a locum it is important to maintain records of your income and any expenses you have in connection to your work. Some opticians will have their own invoicing systems however, we recommend having your own invoicing template to ensure things run smoothly. Check out our example invoicing template here.
Find and book shifts
The easiest way to search for and book locum shifts is through registering with Locate a Locum. We have helped over 20,000 UK healthcare professionals find flexible, high-paying locum shifts. Signing up only takes 30 seconds! As soon as you are signed up simply upload your documentation for us to approve and you’re all set! Once you’re all set up simply log into Locate a Locum and you can begin searching, applying and booking shifts quickly. Also make sure you speak to your professional body as both the Association of Optometrists and the Association of British Dispensing Opticians maintain a list of locums.
Become officially self-employed
Congratulations, you’ve started booking and working locum shifts. You’re now officially a self-employed Locum Optometrist. After your first shift remember you have 3 months from that date to register with HMRC as self-employed. Don’t forget to register or you may incur financial penalties. Now you are ready to enjoy all of the benefits of becoming a locum optometrist. Happy Locuming!
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