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Association News
28 October 2016
Issue 193
Optical Confederation urges optical practices to promote Road Safety Week
Plans for Road Safety Week get underway today as the Optical Confederation (OC) work with charity Brake to launch a campaign highlighting the importance of sight tests for safe driving.

With an estimated 2,900 road casualties caused by poor vision every year the optical community nationwide is being urged to support the campaign. Practitioners and manufacturers across the sector can support by displaying the poster in their practices ahead of the awareness week – which takes place 21–27 November 2016 – and by sharing digital content throughout the week.

The OC and Brake poster, which couples sight test with the common driving instruction ‘Mirror, signal, manoeuvre’, highlights that good eyesight is a vital part of driving and safety on the road.

Road Safety Week is the UK's biggest road safety event, coordinated annually by Brake and involving thousands of schools, organisations and communities each year. Activities throughout the week include workshops and demonstrations on road safety as well as community events. This year's theme is ‘Make the Brake Pledge’ focusing on six simple elements to make our roads safer – with sharp vision as one of the vital checks for drivers.   

Outgoing chairman of the OC, Chris Hunt, said: “The Optical Confederation has long felt that the relationship between road safety and vision needs to have greater visibility within the public and that is why we are fully committed to driving up awareness for Road Safety Week in 2016. The optical community is one that fully understands the importance of having properly assessed vision as a pre-requisite for driving on our roads. Good sight affects all aspects of driving, including crucially reaction and braking times, which in turn has safety implications not only for the driver themselves but for passengers and others on the road. We are therefore calling on all practitioners and manufacturers to enthusiastically get behind the promotion of this very important issue."

Mike Carr, public afairs advisor at Brake said: “We fully appreciate the crucial role of the optical community in achieving the real improvement in road safety we are fighting for. Commitment to regular eye checks should be one major step towards safer driving that we know will ultimately save lives”.

Road Safety Week was founded by Brake in 1997 as an annual event to raise awareness about road safety and promote steps that everyone can take to stop needless deaths and injuries year-round.

ABDO members will receive a copy of the poster with the November issue of Dispensing Optics.
ABDO CET to go local

Since the beginning of this CET period, ABDO  members can apply to the GOC to hold discussion groups in their practice or a suitable venue, to generate their own CET. The procedure and sample cases for discussion can be accessed in the ABDO website member area. But there is another way…

Until now, the CET department, in association with Area committees, have held quite large events in hotels around the country. These events will continue, but the best experience for learning is with smaller groups, and in 2017 onwards the emphasis will be to hold smaller events more locally. Many members have attended and enjoyed the larger events, but some will have to travel many miles to get to these, accompanied with the consequent difficulties for those with busy lives.

Contact the ABDO CET office, and any member or group of members can host a local CET session. Holding a CET event need not be a massive commitment. The CET department will suggest a programme containing at least 6 CET points, arrange the sponsors, invite local members and take care of the administration. All that’s required is for you to be available for contact with the CET Office over the timespan from idea to event, find a suitable venue, and be there to check people in and ensure the smooth running on the date of the event. You can do it alone or with a couple of colleagues to help you. CET meetings can be day, part-day or evening, for 20 to 40 people. This is a great opportunity for you to help your association to help its members take part in CET which is convenient and enjoyable, without being part of a committee or making a huge ongoing time commitment. However, you can certainly do more if you’d like to. We need your help, particularly around London.

If you would like to know more about what’s involved, please contact the CET department and speak to one of us. We’d love to hear from you!

Paula Stevens, ABDO Head of CET
Joanne Abbott, Regional CET Coordinator
Sue Bennett, CET Administrator • 01206 734 155 • Tuesdays – Fridays

LOCSU News - October 2016 issue Read More
Last chance to apply for Africa optometry project bursary Read More

If you or your family rely on your income then surely it makes good sense to take action to protect it; after all, the bills don’t stop when you’re off sick!

We at PG Mutual can provide you with a tailored Income Protection Plus plan ensuring you receive a monthly income if you find yourself on sick leave, plus building up an investment element for your future.

ABDO members receive a 20% discount on their premiums for each of their first two years’ cover and if you join by 23rd December 2016 you will also receive a £50 high street voucher.*

View more information or call 0800 146 307 and quote ABDO.

*For terms & conditions, visit
Consultation Day with the Areas

The next Consultation Day with the ABDO Areas will be held on Wednesday 16 November 2016 at The Medical Society of London, Lettsom House, 11 Chandos Street, London W1G 9EB. All ABDO members are invited and welcome to attend.

Registration and coffee will be from 10.00am – 10.30am and the Consultation Day will finish at 3.30pm.

To confirm your attendance email Jane Burnand at

Contact Lens Revision Courses

ABDO College will be running contact lens revision courses at Godmersham on Tuesday 8th November and Monday 5th December 2016.

Read More
Access a pathway to become a DO
An opportunity towards a career as a dispensing optician

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.

Read More
ABDO College Low Vision Honours Course Read More
WCSM courses available through ABDO College

The WCSM courses available through ABDO College range from Level 2 Optical Support to Level 4 Optical Technicians. The programme also includes Fast Track Technician Training for FBDOs. WCSM courses currently available from ABDO College include:

  • Level 2 & Level 3 Optical Support
  • Level 2 & Level 3 Diploma in Optical Retail Skills
  • Level 2 & Level 3 Diploma in Manufacturing Spectacles
  • Level 4 Diploma for Optical Technicians
  • Fast Track Technician Training for FBDOs
  • SCQF Level 5 & Level 7 Certificate in Optical Care

All of these courses lead to qualifications awarded by the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers.

Read More
The Principles of Ophthalmic Lenses (5th Edition)

Now available in three different formats:

  • Hard copy
  • ePub (compatible with most ereaders)
  • Mobi (for Kindle users)

The new 5th edition of The Principles of Ophthalmic Lenses, by Professor Mo Jalie, is now available to purchase from the ABDO College Bookshop.

The new 5th edition includes four new chapters, plus five appendices and all other chapters have been updated and modernised with the latest technology being described in detail.

Click here to read more and to order online
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