Vision rehabilitation work with visually impaired people is a fascinating and rewarding profession. There are around five hundred Rehabilitation Workers (sometimes called Rehabilitation Officers, or ROVIs) working in the United Kingdom.
Rehabilitation Workers for Visually Impaired People work with adults and children and are employed in a number of different settings. These include adult social services, children’s social services, the NHS, national and regional voluntary organisations. A growing minority are now working in a freelance capacity.
Rehabilitation Workers have qualified through a variety of different training bodies over the last thirty years. RWPN recognises the following qualifications as entitlement to practice as a Vision Rehabilitation Worker: Honours Degree in Rehabilitation Studies (visual impairment); Foundation Degree in Rehabilitation Studies; Diploma in Higher Education in Rehabilitation Studies; BTEC Professional Diploma in Rehabilitation Studies (Visual Impairment) Level 5; Graduate Diploma in Habilitation and Disabilities of Sight (children and young people); Graduate Diploma in Low Vision Rehabilitation; Original Certificate in Rehabilitation Work; Combined Mobility Officer and Technical Officer Certificate.
Rehabilitation Workers are trained to broad criteria laid out within the Sensory Services National Occupational Standards. These were published in 2008 by Skills for Care. Please click here to open the Sensory Services Standards page of the Skills for Care and Development website.
Four of the eleven standards (numbers 8, 9, 10 and 11) relate directly to rehabilitation work and working with deafblind people. However, in addition, Standard 1 relates to Continued Professional Development and is the foundation for RWPN's CPD scheme (see below).
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme
From January 2017 members have been required to document and submit CPD under a formal scheme CPD.
The document here provides and outline description and rationale RWPN CPD scheme description
What counts as CPD? click here for a list of possible suggestions
RWPN Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct