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Association News
3 October 2017
Issue 213
Vision Express donates £20,000 at Childhood Eye Cancer Trust event
A group of 27 volunteers who have battled a rare cancer and campaigned to raise awareness of the condition have been recognised at a special charity event.

Vision Express paid tribute to the retinoblastoma (Rb) survivors for the vital role they’ve played as ambassadors for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT), rallying support at approximately 95 store openings and fundraising events across the UK. The prize-giving event was held to celebrate the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust’s 30-year milestone, with Vision Express taking to the stage to honour the survivors who have touched the lives of so many employees and customers over the past seven years.

Each member of the inspirational group was handed a medal and will receive a pair of custom-made protective sports goggles, to give them added confidence to participate in sports and physical pursuits.

Following the awards presentation, Vision Express presented CHECT CEO Patrick Tonks with a cheque for £20,000 representing the donations received in hundreds of Vision Express stores across the UK over recent months.

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Petition launched to stop people needlessly losing their sight Read More
Voting now open for AOP Awards 2018

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) has announced its shortlist for the AOP Awards 2018. Voting is now open in 14 categories including two new accolades, Health and Wellbeing Practice of the Year and, members’ choice award, Frame of the Year.

The annual event, which recognises excellence in optics, has grown from strength to strength since it was introduced in 2011 – seeing a 75 per cent increase in overall unique entries for the 2018 Awards, which are sponsored by CooperVision. In recognition of this growth, the awards ceremony will once again take place at leading trade and education event, 100% Optical, with finalists, sponsors and guests enjoying a night of entertainment as winners are announced.

Finalists in each category have been chosen by an expert panel of judges, with voting in 12 categories open to the public and profession, and two categories, Frame of the Year and Product of the Year, voted on exclusively by the Association’s members. The Lifetime Achievement award is selected by the AOP chair of the board, Michael George, and AOP chief executive, Henrietta Alderman.

To vote in the 12 open categories, and find out more about the Awards, visit A voting link for the members’ choice Awards will be emailed directly to AOP members on Friday 29 September.

Voting will close at 2pm, on Tuesday 12 December with the winners announced at a black tie awards ceremony on Sunday 28 January. Individual seats at the ceremony, and team tables, can be booked by visiting via the Awards website.

Click here for on-line information
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 register your attendance please email Jane Burnand at - please note the closing date for registration is Friday 13 October.

Business tips, CET points and fun!

National Eyecare Group (NEG) Conference and Independents Day (iDay) have announced that there will be at least 12-CET points available for optometrists and dispensing and contact lens opticians, across the 2-days of their respective conferences.

NEG business development director, Phil Mullins, commented “I’m delighted with this years mix of important business subjects and continuing education. Whilst NEG and iDay are serious in their mission to support the business of the independent sector, it’s also great to get some CET to maximise the benefit of any time spent away focussing on the business.

PTR director, Nick Atkins, added “It shouldn’t be all work and no play however and it’s great to have some fun at the same time. Comedian Simon Evans will provide our after dinner entertainment, fresh from his five star reviewed Edinburgh show this August. He will be known by many through his TV appearances, such as Live at the Apollo, and is sure to bring the house down with his wry observational humour.”

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National Optical Conference (NOC) - organised by the AOP for the Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU) and the Optical Confederation

The conference offers an unrivalled way to discover the latest in extended primary eye care services as well as to share experiences and knowledge with fellow practitioners. It is the must attend event for new and experienced LOC officers and committee members.

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Macular Society Professional Conference
The Macular Society is set to hold its second Professional Conference in November following a successful inaugural event in 2016.

Tickets are now available for the conference, ‘Excellence in Patient Support’, which takes place on Tuesday 28 November at Resource for London, 365 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA. The event is open to all staff working in the eye care sector. It will focus on the latest in macular treatments, best practice, patient experience of the eye clinic, and depression and anxiety in sight loss. Attendees will hear from a wide range of leading experts, including top ophthalmologists and researchers. There will also be a small group of exhibitors throughout the day.

The Professional Conference runs from 9.15am-5pm. Tickets are £45 each and are available from the Macular Society website. For more information about the conference, please contact Jessica Murray, Macular Society professional liaison officer, on 01264 322 412 or email

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Academic Link Tutor (Vision Science)

Canterbury Christ Church University is seeking to recruit an Academic Link Tutor (Vision Science). The post is open to dispensing opticians with a degree.

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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

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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

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