Ocularists must undergo two tiers of training. However, the occupation is not subject to any state supervision and therefore is not recognised by government authorities. Currently, training is regulated by the relevant professional associations, in our case, IGOR, or Ocular Reconstruction Interest Group e.V., (Interessengemeinschaft für Oculare Rekonstruktion) in Cologne www.igor-verband.de.
Teaching content is conveyed theoretically and practically in the relevant training institutions and through training and seminars. In order to consolidate learning in a targeted manner, certificates of apprenticeship are issued by the professional association. All of the content conveyed during training is in accordance with medical and ocular prosthetic principles. The six year education pathway to becoming an ocularist ends with receiving a professional certification issued internally by the examination commission. Our institute has been training ocularists since 1979. Presently, we now have a fourth generation practicing ocular prosthetics in our institution. Institute director Wolfgang Trester works side by side with his son, Marc Trester, who is an engaged ocularist himself, thereby passing on his experience to the next generation.
RA Bernd Schäfer, legal advisor for DOG † 28.01.2010 with Friedrich Geusen, managing director of DOG / Wolfgang Trester, vice-president of the FEO (Federation of European Ocularists)
In the 70s, Wolfgang Trester was considerably involved in the predecessor organisation (VDKI) and was the first educational officer for training as an ocularist in Germany. After the VDKI dissolved, he founded DOG (German Ophthalmological Society), and was chairman until his retirement in 2006. Furthermore, he was vice-president of the FEO (Federation of European Ocularists) as well as a member of the American professional association ASO (American Society of Ocularists) and a member of their teaching faculty. Additionally, he is a member of the Maxillo-Facial-Technology Society (IMFT London) and ISOT (International Society of Ocular Trauma), an association which treats eye injuries worldwide.
Both Wolfgang Trester and his son Marc Trester are members of OASA, Ocularists Association of Southern Africa.
Activities as a speaker at ophthalmological congresses domestically and internationally ensure that the Trester Institute is an integral part of the network of ophthalmologists and ophthalmological clinics.
The Trester Institute itself is quality certified (PQS quality certification).