View this mailer in your browser
Association News
20 October 2017
Issue 214
ABDO response to Mirror article

Following the recent article in the Mirror, the Association of British Dispensing Opticians has written to express disappointment at the article. Our advice to patients is that, while you can shop around, if you do order glasses online you risk ending up with a pair of spectacles that doesn’t give you great vision. The numbers on your spectacle prescription form are only part of the story. If you visit an optical practice and speak to the registered dispensing optician, they will assess the fit of the frame. They will discuss the wide range of different lenses available to you, and explore what meets your needs. Importantly, the dispensing optician will ensure that the lenses are centred correctly. If you are not looking through the correct part of the lens, you may simply have sub-optimal vision, but you can also end up with eye strain, headaches and fatigue. The correct fitting of both frames and lenses is vital, and more so if you have a high prescription or need varifocal lenses. In both these cases the dispensing optician will take further measurements to ensure you have the best pair of specs that suit your individual needs. A visit to your optician is not just about getting the cheapest pair of specs: the eye examination is a vital health check for a range of conditions that can affect not just the eyes but the whole body. It is a false economy to try to cut costs with your health.

ABDO response to Which? report

Commenting on the Which? report on optometric services on the high street, Clive Marchant of ABDO said: "I am very surprised and disappointed by the Which? report published today  (17 October) on optometric services as I do not believe it truly represents the service available to patients in most practices.

"At ABDO we understand the importance of a first class eye examination conducted by our optometrist colleagues and our general experience is that those examinations are ones that the public can have confidence in.

"We are however very keen to point out that only registered dispensing opticians or optometrists are able to ensure that all spectacles are correctly dispensed to provide optimum vision and we urge the public to ensure that they are only dispensed by a properly qualified professional optician.

"Our very strong advice to anyone seeking to purchase spectacles is to always ask to be seen and dispensed by a registered professional."

LOCSU Latest - October edition Read More
College of Optometrists publishes three year strategic plan Read More
SightCare and Storm announce strategic alliance Read More
RSBC launches nationwide appeal to raise awareness of childhood sight loss Read More
WCSM installs new Master & Wardens and awards medals for research
The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (WCSM) held its Annual Service on 5 October, during which the new Master and Wardens for the year take up office.

Felicity Harding (pictured centre) was installed as the new Master, John McGregor (pictured left) as Upper Warden, Huntly Taylor (pictured right) as Renter Warden.

At lunch following the installation service, Past Master Professor John Marshall introduced the winners of the Company’s 2017 bronze medal competition awards for research. Geraint Williams PhD FRCOphth, a consultant ophthalmologist working with a team at the University of Birmingham, was awarded the Ruskell medal for his paper on developing a predictor for scarring in ocular mucous membrane pemphigoid, a blinding form of conjunctivitis, whilst Deanna Taylor, of City, University of London, won the Master’s Medal for her paper on the real life impact of dry age-related macular degeneration.

Read More
New venue for PQE and FQE examinations

The ABDO Dispensing Practical Preliminary and Final Qualifying Examinations will be moving to a new venue from January 2018.

The new venue is called The Studio, which is situated in the heart of Birmingham City Centre.

The venue address is: The Studio, 7 Cannon Street, Birmingham B2 5EP
  • The Studio is a two minute walk from New Street Station
  • Six minute walk from High Street NCP Car Park
  • Eight minute walk from Londonderry House NCP Car Park
  • Telephone number: 0121 634 2800

Members sitting Dispensing Practical Examinations in January will receive a letter in due course; confirming the date and time of individual examinations, and will also receive a map of the venue.

If you have any queries on this matter, please contact Mark Chandler at, or call 01227 732 920.

Vacancy for the role of ABDO Examinations Support Officer Read More
ABDO Examiners required - WCSM programmes Read More
What's new in EyecareFAQ?

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

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
ABDO membership benefits - Energy price comparison
A brighter way to save on your energy bills

Don’t feel the pinch this winter – save money on your utility bills with Energylinx.

ABDO members can now save money on their energy bills through Ofgem accredited website, Energylinx. It’s free, impartial and could save you a fortune!

Compare tariffs online or call 0800 849 7077 and quote ABDO

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

Spectacles for people with learning disabilities

SeeAbility has produced a statement about special frames for people with learning disabilities.

Click here to view the statement
College of Optometrists announces co-branding opportunity for patient materials

The College of Optometrists has announced the opportunity for optical groups and practices to co-brand its successful range of patient information materials to make them available across practices.

From this month, the extensive range of patient leaflets, eye drop instillation sheets and children’s activity packs and stickers developed by the College, will be available to co-brand for all groups and practices demonstrating College membership requirements, with Specsavers already signed up to the arrangement.

The College’s patient information series is written and reviewed by sector experts and carries the Plain English Campaign’s Crystal Mark, demonstrating the clarity of the information provided.

Specsavers stores will also display a poster that encourages patients to ask to see a College member.

Read More
BCLA social media campaign to warn of dangers of Halloween lenses
The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) is targeting a network of ‘superstar’ beauty bloggers to help warn of the dangers of novelty Halloween lenses.

Experts have warned that adding ‘spooky’ contact lenses to your fancy dress outfit could prompt a real-life horror show and put your sight at risk. The BCLA is now turning to a network of high profile social media influencers to reach the thousands of revellers who will include novelty lenses as part of their Halloween costume and warn they could pose a ghoulish threat to eye health.

The social media campaign will target 20 of the top beauty bloggers in the UK, including Zoella who has more than 3m Twitter followers, make-up artists Pixiwoo and London Fashion Week regular Tanya Burr.

The campaign will warn against buying lenses from fashion outlets, market stalls and unregistered online sellers and will stress the importance of visiting an eye care professional to ensure lenses fit properly and receive expert advice on how to wear and store them safely.

Read More
BCLA Contact Lens Fitting Skills Day

9.00am - 5.00pm, Sunday 3 December 2017, Aston University, Birmingham

This a one day course that will provide a unique opportunity to increase confidence in RGP, multifocal and toric lens fitting skills, plus offering an introduction to managing dry eye.

This event has been specifically designed for trainee contact lens opticians, pre-registration optometrists, newly qualified practitioners and for those individuals who are returning to contact lenses and require a refresher in lens fitting skills.

To view the programme click here.

Read More
Lansdowne Club to host Vision Care for Homeless People fundraising dinner
Prestigious Mayfair venue, The Lansdowne Club, once the home of Mr Selfridge, is to host a dinner for Vision Care for Homeless People on Thursday 23 November.

The fundraising dinner will enable guests to enjoy entertainment in some of the most beautiful rooms of the London club. In a rare opportunity, guests will be free to enjoy the Robert Adam ballroom and beautiful long gallery.

With tickets priced at £50, the dinner is set to raise funds for the 14 year old charity’s important work in providing eye examinations and glasses for the dispossessed. With centres in London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Brighton and Exeter, there are plans in 2018 to extend the clinics to other cities where there is a significant need.

Anyone interested in attending should email Harry Todd at

Read More
Low Vision Honours Course

Due to changing demographics the demand for specialist low vision services is steadily increasing. By enhancing your low vision skills you can greatly help others, which is both valuable and extremely rewarding. ABDO College's Low Vision Honours Course includes the theory and practical aspects of low vision consultation and fully prepares candidates for the ABDO Level 6 FBDO (Hons) LVA examinations. Distance learning assignments are complemented by a short block release at ABDO College to reinforce practical skills and routine.

  • Course commences: January 2018
  • Method: Blended learning
  • Entry requirements: ABDO Level 6 Fellowship Diploma in Ophthalmic Dispensing (FBDO) and GOC registration
  • Duration: 25 weeks
  • Block release accommodation can be provided

Application deadline: December 2017

Read More
Access Courses

ABDO College’s Access Courses are designed to help prospective dispensing optician students to meet the necessary entry requirements. They are also a useful refresher for those who have been out of education for a while. The entry requirements for the ABDO College Level 6 Fellowship Dispensing Diploma (FBDO) and Foundation Degree/BSc (Hons) courses are five GCSEs at grade c or above, which must include English, mathematics and a science subject. Each Access course is considered the equivalent of one GCSE. The Access Courses are available in the five key subjects of English, Mathematics, Optics and Dispensing, Human Biology and General Science.

  • Courses commence: February 2018
  • Method: Distance learning
  • Candidates should ideally be educated to GCSE standard and possibly have already attained some of the GCSEs required for enrolment to dispensing courses
  • Duration: Approximately 20 weeks

Application deadline: January 2018

Read More
Unsubscribe       Disclaimer               ©2017 ABDO. All rights reserved