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Association News
11 September 2015
Issue 165
The Accessible Information Standard

What you need to know and what you need to do now

NHS England has introduced a new Accessible Information Standard as a legal requirement for all providers of NHS and adult social care services in England. This includes GOS contractors.

The purpose of the Standard is to ensure that people who have communication needs because of a learning disability or sensory impairment receive information in a suitable format of their choice.

Along with the other primary care professions, the Optical Confederation responded to the consultation on this Standard in 2014, pointing out both the difficulties and costs of implementation in primary care and calling for further discussions. However the Standard was approved, unchanged, on 24 June 2015.

The primary care professions, including the Optical Confederation, are working together to make further representations to NHS England about the impracticability and costs of immediate implementation as proposed and to consider how costs can be minimised.

In the meantime the Standard requires providers (including GOS contractors) to have started preparing for implementation by September 2015. Full implementation of the Standard is expected of providers by July 2016.

To read and think about the information contained in the Optical Confederation guidance note constitutes preparing to implement the Standard and means contractors will not be in breach of contract. Further advice from the Optical Confederation will be issued to support contractors, in the light of representations being made to NHS England.

To view the guidance issued by the Optical Confederation click here.

Cooling-Off Period Guidance

This guidance issued by the Optical Confederation summarises the key points of the extended cooling-off period legislation. It also outlines the processes and information requirements for both optical businesses and customers from the time of the sale to the customer exercising their right to cancel and what the provider must then to do comply with the law.

To view the guidance click here.

What's new in EyecareFAQ?
New in EyecareFAQ, you’ll find FAQs and an infographic to share on Careers in optics.

You can use any of the EyecareFAQ answers and images 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.

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.

Click here for EyecareFAQ - Careers in optics
Only eight days to go to ABDO Conference and Exhibition!
A PDF version of the 2105 ABDO Conference and Exhibition handbook can be viewed by clicking here.

The handbook contains the agenda, CET competencies at a glance, as well as lecture, workshop and speaker details.

It’s an event not to be missed so click here to register online now!
ABDO winter 2015 examinations

Application forms for the ABDO winter 2015 examinations are available to download from the ABDO website. Please go to 'Member Login' first, then onto the 'Examinations' section and click on the ‘How to apply’ option, this will enable you to access and download the appropriate examination application form.

The closing date for applications for the winter session is 1 October 2015. ABDO recommend applicants submit their completed application with full payment, before the closing date, to allow sufficient time for all applications to be processed.

Consultation Day with the Areas

The next Consultation Day with the ABDO Areas will be held on Wednesday 18 Novemver 2015 at the AOP Offices, 2 Woodbridge Street, London EC1R 0DG. All ABDO members are invited and welcome to attend.

Registration and coffee will be from 10.00am – 10.30am and the meeting will  finish around 3.30pm.

To confirm your attendance email Jane Burnand at

WCSM Courses prospectus now available

ABDO College now provides training courses leading to the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (WCSM) qualifications. WCSM qualifications lay a solid foundation for the development of essential optical skills and open up a clearly defined career pathway.

The WCSM courses available from ABDO College range from Level 2 Optical Support to Level 4 for Optical Technicians.

To obtain a copy of the 2015/16 WCSM Courses Prospectus, please contact the Courses Team at ABDO College on 01227 738 829 (Option 1), or email

Click here to view the prospectus
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 2016
  • 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 2016

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

De Rigo Vision, Hoya, Charmant and Specsavers join 100% Optical line-up Read More
Additional sponsors announced for AIO conference Read More
Dispensing optician required - Cardiff

As part of a recent exciting expansion scheme, where Medi-Optics Opticians has acquired a second independent practice in Cardiff, they are looking to recruit an experienced dispensing optician to join their professional staff. For further details please contact Dr David Woolf at

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