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Association News
11 August 2017
Issue 209
Will you make vision count this World Sight Day?
World Sight Day will take place on Thursday 12 October 2017.

Vision Aid Overseas (VAO) is calling on eye care practitioners across the UK to make vision count this October by registering to support the Vision Aid Overseas World Sight Day Campaign 2017.

Individuals, groups and companies can support the campaign by donating via the Vision Aid Overseas website, by donating for each pair of glasses sold or eye test carried at practices in October, by selling Vision Aid Overseas World Sight Day raffle tickets, or by joining the Vision Aid Overseas September Trek Fest team in the beautiful Peak District.

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BCLA comes to ‘Your Place’ for evening meetings Read More
Eye health sector joined up to help patients remain independent Read More
‘Extended Services’ for Contact Lens Opticians in England

In recent times ABDO has made significant steps to radically restructure activity to ensure dispensing opticians are integral to eye care services in the UK. Whilst it is conceivable that results may not be immediate there is a clear direction of travel to ensure longevity and stability. In addition, it is evident that the landscape is changing and opportunities to expand scope of practice as well as utilising current skills will present themselves.

Over the past 18-24 months since the ABDO board endorsed the concept of change, the formation of the Regions and the National Clinical Committee (NCC) has taken place with tangible progress occurring. The emphasis for all those now involved is very specifically on the profession moving forward and creating various opportunities dependent on the area of practice the individual wishes to move into.

In December 2016, the Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU) board agreed that contact lens opticians would be suitably placed, pending demonstration of competence and accreditation, to deliver anterior eye elements of Minor Eye Conditions (MECS) along with Goldmann Repeat Readings (GRR) focussing purely on the measurement of intraocular pressures.

After further discussion with colleagues from LOCSU and WOPEC, contact lens opticians can now embark on the pathway which will see them become MECS accredited practitioners alongside their optometrist colleagues.

Arguably this is the most significant advance of professional activity for members since deregulation and provides an excellent opportunity to enhance an individual’s skills set.

Clearly this falls in line with the ABDO board’s aspirations to advance the character and status of dispensing opticians and provides excellent opportunities for ABDO members.

At this stage, ABDO would like to establish how many contact lens opticians would like to embark on this pathway. Please respond with full details including your name and ABDO number to express your interest to marked MECS/CLOs. It is anticipated that the course will be available during the latter part of 2017.Full details of how to access the training pathway will follow.

We are sure you will agree this is a momentous step forward and presents an excellent opportunity to develop professionally.

ABDO membership benefits

In the event of a non-fault accident caused by an identifiable third party, Total Motor Assist give you UK-wide accident recovery, car repair and like-for-like replacement, plus driver and passenger cover. You pay no charges, no excess and you don’t lose your no claims bonus*.

Sign up and claim your FREE 12 months cover (quote abdo29)

*Terms and conditions apply. See website for details. Offers subject to change without notice. Click here for Total Motor Assist terms and conditions. This ABDO membership benefit is managed on behalf of ABDO by Parliament Hill Ltd.

What's new in EyecareFAQ?

New in EyecareFAQ, you’ll find an infographic to share on the subject of 'orthokeratology'.

Get involved with EyecareFAQ, ABDO’s campaign to help consumers learn more about looking after their eyes, and the role of the registered dispensing optician.

You can use any of the EyecareFAQ answers, images and infographics on your own blog or website. Follow, like and share these useful resources on your practice and personal social media channels, to help the public learn about eyecare and promote the role of the registered dispensing optician.

You can find EyecareFAQ at:

or visit the EyecareFAQ section of the ABDO website and promote the role of the registered dispensing optician.

Click here to access the infographic and the embedded code
If you marry and change your name please let us know

If you get married and change your name please forward a copy of your marriage certificate to ABDO Membership Services in one of the following ways:

  • By post - Please send a copy of your marriage certificate to: ABDO Membership Services, Godmersham Park, Godmersham, Canterbury, Kent CT47DT
  • By smartphone / email - Take a picture of your marriage certificate with your smartphone and email it to:
  • By fax - Send a fax copy of your marriage certificate to ABDO Membership Services a using the following number: 01227 733 900

Upon receipt ABDO Membership Services will update your details.

ABDO website: Members' Area login

Please remember when logging into the 'Members' Area' of the ABDO website you will need to enter your ABDO Membership Number (not your GOC number!) and PIN.

If you have never logged in to the ABDO website Members' Area, you will need to register for a PIN number.

Once you have clicked on 'Member Login' on the ABDO website home page you will see the ABDO Member Area login page with the text: ‘If you are not registered for a PIN please click here if a member’. You will need to enter your name, membership number and date of birth; you will then receive an email with your PIN number.

If you think you have registered before and have forgotten your PIN, just click on the 'Forgotten your PIN?' option and the system will send you your PIN number.

Once you access the Members' Area you can pay your subscription, update your address details, do online CET, print-off receipts for any payments made, as well as many other useful things.

ABDO National Consultation Day

The ABDO National Consultation Day will be held on Thursday 26 October 2017 at the Burlington Hotel, Burlington Arcade, 126 New Street, Birmingham, B2 4JQ.

All ABDO members are invited and welcome to attend. The event provides a chance for members to meet regional leads & board members and find out what is happening in ABDO.

To confirm your attendance email Jane Burnand at

VAO seeks dispensing opticians

Vision Aid Overseas (VAO) are looking for dispensing opticians with low vision experience to use their skills in a two-week low vision assignment in 2018 to Zambia or Ethiopia.

VAO also need volunteer dispensing opticians for other assignments in 2018/19.

To become a volunteer for VAO you need to attend a one-day volunteer training course (Sunday 1 October in London or Sunday 26 November in Birmingham).

ABDO College seeks distance learning tutors

ABDO College is looking to recruit a number of distance learning tutors.

Applicants must have passed the ABDO Level 6 ophthalmic dispensing final theory examination (FQE) at the first attempt.

Commencing in January 2018, a nine week training course will be run for successful applicants.

If you would like to apply, please email Claire Raffill at for an application pack.

Become a contact lens optician

If you have qualified as a dispensing optician you might be wondering about your next step, or if you have been working in optics for a number of years you may want a new challenge, so why not become a contact lens optician?

The ABDO College Contact Lens Certificate course provides an ideal opportunity for opticians to further their career by specialising in contact lenses. The course leads to the ABDO Level 6 Certificate in Contact Lens Practice qualification, enabling registration on the General Optical Council specialty register for contact lens dispensing.

For further information and an application form, please contact the ABDO College Courses Team on 01227 738 829 (Option 1) or email

Read More
A choice of two distance learning courses to become a dispensing optician Read More
BSc (Hons) Vision Science • COURSE STARTS IN SEPTEMBER 2017 Read More
Level 4 Diploma for Optical Assistants • COURSE STARTS IN SEPTEMBER 2017 Read More
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