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World’s first professional qualification course for eye bankers

The Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) and The University of Melbourne are introducing the world’s first professional qualifications course for eye bankers – the custodians of human tissue for eye transplant surgery.

“The international course has been developed in conjunction with sector partners the Eye Bank Association of Australia and New Zealand (EBAANZ) and Donatelife Australia,” said Dr Graeme Pollock from CERA’s Lions Eye Donation Service (LEDS), who leads the course academic and teaching team.

“The course, placed within the University of Melbourne’s Medical School (ranked by the Times Higher Education Supplement 2016 as the top university in Australia – with their Medical School in the top 10 in the world), will leverage from the accumulated knowledge and expertise of our system and from leading world experts in the field,” he said.

The genesis of the course is the growing sophistication and technical advancement of the sector combined with an international call for education at a higher level and for professional minimum qualifications.

The course is ideal for those new to eye banking and those working in relevant sectors wishing to improve their knowledge and skills.

“Graduates will transition beyond the fundamentals of eye banking and emerge as knowledgeable professionals and eye tissue custodians. They will develop skills that can be applied to all stages of eye tissue management including donor selection and recovery, recipient donor management, tissue examination and legal and regulatory requirements,” said Dr Pollock.

The online course, international in content, is designed in two parts: firstly, a one subject Specialist Certificate minimal qualification (one 12-week semester), with the option to continue towards the Graduate Certificate level (two additional subjects).

Both courses are now accepting applications and the Specialist Certificate course work will start in September 2017.

Listen to a podcast interview with Dr Graeme Pollock and Heather Machin.