What is a Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI) and how do I get one?

A Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI) formally certifies that someone has sight loss. It also acts as a referral for a social care assessment if you are not yet known to social services.

Getting certified

Once you've been referred to a hospital eye clinic, an ophthalmologist will carry out an assessment to measure how good you are at seeing detail at a distance (your visual acuity) and how much you can see from the side of your eye when you're looking straight ahead (your field of vision).

They will then decide if you are eligible for your sight loss to be certified. Depending on the results of these tests, the consultant will complete a Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI) to certify you as either severely sight impaired (blind) or sight impaired (partially sighted).

When the Ophthalmologist (eye doctor) signs the form, they are certifying that you are eligible to be registered with your council. You will also be asked to sign the form. They may tell you that they are registering you; however they are only completing the CVI, which is only the first stage of the registration process.

For information on the eye clinic assessment and criteria for certification see What happens during the eye clinic assessment for a certification of vision impairment (CVI)? and What is the eye sight criteria for a certificate of vision impairment (CVI)?

For information on how to get registered once you have a CVI see How do I register as sight impaired (partially sighted) or severely sight impaired (blind)?

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