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Association News
16 December 2016
Issue 196
Frances Mecoy awarded Medal of Excellence
ABDO President Fiona Anderson congratulates Frances Mecoy on receiving the Medal of Excellence

Frances Rose Faith Mecoy qualified as a City & Guilds science technician from Paddington College in 1975. She joined the Applied Optics Department at City and East London College in 1976 as anatomy technician and rose to become chief technician during the 80s. In the late 80s Frances commenced the day release dispensing course at City College and qualified as a dispensing optician in 1990.

In 1999 Frances became a lecturer at City and Islington College teaching most subjects, but especially her beloved anatomy and also all practical aspects of dispensing. She became an ABDO practical examiner in June 1993 and is also a practice visitor.

The Medal of Excellence is a very well deserved honour for all the work Frances has done for ABDO, also for City and Islington College and the students of ophthalmic dispensing for many years.

Introduced in 2000, the Medal of Excellence is awarded to members who have been of great service to the Association.
Keith Dickinson receives the ABDO Area Prize

The President also presented the ABDO Area Prize to Keith Dickinson from Area 2.

Keith is the Area Chairman, a CLO, a CET approver for the GOC, and is currently completing the ABDO College tutor trainer programme and his contributions have been a huge asset to the Association.

The role you can play: Working with AOCs, LOCs and ROCs

A guide for ABDO members

ABDO has produced guideline information that outlines the aspirations of the Association to ensure equality for its members when working with AOCs (Area Optical Committees, Scotland), LOCs (Local Optical Committees, England) and ROCs (Regional Optical Committees, Wales).

Click here to view the guide
2017 CET event programme

Opportunities to enhance your skills

ABDO CET has produced a new event programme for 2017, dates of the events arranged so far together with information from sponsors is included in a brochure which will be distrubuted with the January issue of Dispensing Optics.

Click here to view the 2007 CET event programme
ABDO at 100% Optical


ABDO is looking forward to an exciting time at 100% Optical in 2017. Once again the Association will be hosting the ABDO Arms, which is proving to be one of the most popular and busy annual features at the show. ABDO will also be conducting CET discussion workshops and coordinating events at a newly designed ‘Dispensing Workshop’ area.

ABDO’s presence at 100% Optical had evolved considerably over the past two years and for 2017 we are looking to further enhance what’s on offer to show visitors.

The ABDO Arms is a great place to find out more about ABDO, ABDO College and Dispensing Optics whilst enjoying a coffee, a decent pint of beer or bite to eat. It’s proved to be an ideal vehicle for ABDO board members and staff to meet with ABDO members and other optical professionals from across the sector. It’s also a great place to meet friends, exchange ideas and engage in lively conversation.

In 2017 ABDO CET at the ‘Dispensing Workshop’ area will focus on discussion workshops and the Association, based on demand, will be providing more CET and will be able to accommodate more delegates than before. As usual, all ABDO CET will be approved for both dispensing opticians and optometrists.

Click here to regsiter for the show
GOC announces new appointments Read More
GOC registrants back enhanced services Read More
Ophthalmic Performers List gets priority Read More
Research shows community eye care schemes are successful Read More
RNIB's new top tip guides for sight loss Read More
Vision Express donates £45,000 to the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust Read More
Up to 10% off Apple products
Secure up to 10% off all things Apple - from iPhone cases to MacBooks.

Visit the online ABDO EPP Apple store or to order via telephone, call Apple on 0800 072 4872 and quote EPP Parliament Hill

*Terms and conditions apply. See website for details. Offers subject to change without notice. Annual purchase limits apply. Discounts are subject to availability. For the latest offers visit the Apple EPP store. This ABDO membership benefit is managed on behalf of ABDO by Parliament Hill Ltd.
Optics at a Glance surveys

Optics at a Glance has been the key source of information about optometry, opticians, the UK optical market and services for over 30 years. The publication is regularly used in negotiations with the Department of Health and other key decision makers. At a pivotal time for the sector it is more important than ever that reliable and up-to-date statistics are available. It is vital, therefore, that the survey covers as large a proportion of optical activity as possible.

Your help in providing this data would be very much appreciated. This year there are two Optics at a Glance surveys - both are identical but cover different time frames. To include your contribution please use the links below:

Link to the Optics at a Glance Survey: 1 April 2014 – 31 March 2015

Link to the Optics at a Glance Survey: 1 April 2015 – 31 March 2016

Examiners for WCSM programmes required

ABDO is looking for theory examiners to set questions and mark papers for the following WCSM examinations:

Level 2

  • Unit 3 – The Eye and Ametropia
  • Unit 4 – The Provision of Spectacle Lenses in Optics
  • Unit 5 – The Provision of Spectacle Frames in Optics

Level 3

  • Unit 13 - Supporting the Provision of Refractive Surgery

Suitable applicants will:

  • Be a qualified dispensing optician or equivalent
  • Have excellent IT skills
  • Have skills and known ability in the required subject area at the appropriate level for optical assistants
  • Be self-motivated
  • Be available to attend the Godmersham office if required

ABDO is also looking for practical examiners to assess candidates in the WCSM Optical Technician Level 4 practical examinations. Applicants must hold the Level 4 Diploma for Optical Technicians, have a good knowledge of the current practical examination requirements and have excellent communication skills.

Applicants for either of these roles should send a CV and covering letter detailing their suitability for the role and include details of two supporting referees. In addition, potential theory examiners should give details of the papers they wish to set. This information should be sent to:

Mark Chandler, Head of Examinations and Registration
The Old Dairy
Godmersham Park
Kent CT4 7DT

For any additional information or to discuss the post, telephone Mark Chandler on 01227 732 920 or email

Closing date: 5th January 2017.

Interviews will take place in February 2017.

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
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