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Association News
12 February 2015
Issue 175
ABDO at Optrafair 2016
As an official event partner the ABDO will have a prominent presence at Optrafair 2016. The Association will be providing a programme of CET lectures and workshops, to be held at the specially designed ‘ABDO CET Theatre’ situated within the exhibition hall.


  • A lounge area where ABDO board members and ABDO staff will be on hand to discuss ABDO’s strategies and for you to let us know your views


  • The CET approved lectures and workshops are free to attend
  • Admission is strictly limited


  • 10.30 – 11.30: Paediatric lecture: Kid stuff (1 CET point)
    Kim Devlin
  • 12.00 – 13.00: Paediatric workshop: Children can be sticky (3 CET points)
    Kim Devlin, Paula Stevens & Geri Dynan
  • 14.00 – 15.00: Low vision lecture: Low vision - bigger, brighter, bolder (1 CET point)
    Dr David Adams
  • 15.30 – 16.30: Low vision workshop: Big, bright and bold (3 CET points)
    Nick Black, Paula Stevens & Gaynor Whitehouse


  • 10.30 – 11.30: Low vision lecture: Low vision - bigger, brighter, bolder (1 CET point)
    Dr David Adams
  • 12.00 – 13.00: Low vision workshop: Big, bright and bold (3 CET points)
    Nick Black, Paula Stevens & Gaynor Whitehouse
  • 14.00 – 15.00: Paediatric lecture: Kid stuff (1 CET point)
    Kim Devlin
  • 15.30 – 16.30: Paediatric workshop: Children can be sticky (3 CET points)
    Kim Devlin, Paula Stevens & Geri Dynan


  • 10.30 – 11.30: Paediatric frame fitting: Fitting first hand – skills workshop (3 CET points)
    ABDO facilitators: Joanne Abbott, Fiona Anderson & Barry Duncan
  • 12.00 – 13.00: Paediatric frame fitting:  Fitting first hand – skills workshop (3 CET points)
    ABDO facilitators: Joanne Abbott, Fiona Anderson & Barry Duncan


  • 16.45: ABDO annual benevolent fund meeting
  • 17.00: ABDO meeting for members
    This will be an informal meeting with a presidential review of the year along with a chance for members to ask questions of the board


  • Find out more about ABDO’s professional journal and advertising & editorial opportunities


  • Visit the ABDO College stand to find out more about the extensive range of ABDO College courses – which include WCSM courses and degree programmes run in conjunction with Canterbury Christ Church University


  • 10.30 – 15.00: An introductory workshop for new tutors


Click here to register for the show
Sector publishes new Optical Workforce Survey

The new Optical Workforce Survey, to measure changes in the optical workforce, has been published. The study, involving optometrists and dispensing opticians (DOs) was led by the College of Optometrists with support from a cross-sector advisory group.

The study included a questionnaire for optometrists and DOs, interviews with stakeholders from the optical sector, and the use of other data from a variety of sources. The survey data has been analysed to examine how the workforce has changed since a similar survey was conducted by the College in 2010 and to identify the factors that may influence the work of the optical professions in the next five years, including workforce capacity and its ability to meet future demand. The data relating to DOs was collected in this survey for the first time.

The report’s key findings include:

  • 80% of optometrists and 79% of DOs rate their overall job satisfaction 5, 6, or 7 using a scale of 1-7 (1+ extremely dissatisfied and 7 extremely satisfied).
  • 64% of optometrists and 70% of DOs currently work full time.
  • Flexible working is the main career preference for both professional groups in the next five years, selected by 45.7% of optometrists and 35.6% of DOs.
  • Survey findings estimate that there are currently 12,099 full time equivalent (FTE) optometrists in the UK, whereas 12,912 might be needed to meet the current needs of the population. As a result there might be a net undersupply.
  • Differences in optometric workforce supply, relative to population, exist across the UK with significant variation from region to region.
  • The percentage of optometrist respondents earning less than £40,000 per year has risen since the survey was last conducted in 2010 (48% in 2010, 57% in 2015), while those earning over £40,000 per year has fallen (52% in 2010, 43% in 2015).
  • The average income of female optometrists and DOs in the majority of age groups is lower than that of their male colleagues, even once part-time working had been taken into account, but whether this was the case for comparable work in comparable settings was not clear.
  • There has been a substantial increase in the prevalence of locum working. 17.5% of optometrists now work as locums as compared to 10.5% in 2010. 9.1% of DOs now work as locums.
  • One third of the optometrist respondents (33.2%) and one quarter of DOs (24.3%) were practice owners or franchisees.
  • 39.3% of respondents reported having had a clinical appraisal in the last 12 months.
  • 58.7% of survey respondents indicated a special clinical area of interest or subspecialty within optometry.

Click here to read more

Health minister backs bigger role for optical practices

Health minister, Alistair Burt, told delegates at 100% Optical that patients shouldn’t see GPs for every medical ailment, and that CCGs need to use the whole range of health professionals – including those in eye care ­– to innovate in health delivery.

Speaking for the first time to an exclusively optical audience on Saturday (6th February), the minister responsible for primary care services said that he was determined to ensure that the development of primary care was not centred solely around general practice and that all primary care professions are recognised and valued.

“I want to acknowledge the importance of eye health,” Mr Burt, Minister of State for Community and Social Care, told the audience at the Optical Confederation session at 100% Optical. “The role of primary care in developing services for the future is crucial and it’s vitally important that this includes eye care professionals, shaping eye care services so they are fit to meet the growing demand for the future.”

Keynote speaker during a session on “Unleashing Local Energies”, the minister said it was important that CCGs worked in partnership with the wider workforce in primary care when deciding what is best for patients.

“Radical change is required to realise our objectives for health and wellbeing, quality and efficiency and to simply be able to meet the challenges we are going to face with a growing population, and to meet the increasing needs of those with visual impairments.

“However, doing this is not just something for the CCG in isolation, but something in which the local health community has a shared interest and should involve a full range of health care professionals.”

Click here to read more

People with Learning Disabilities (PWLD) – Quality Standards for Dispensing Opticians (Guidelines) Read More
ABDO Level 2 child safeguarding course for DOs Read More
LOCSU Board publishes new sector strategy Read More
GOC Council news Read More
What's new in EyecareFAQ?
New in EyecareFAQ you’ll find a 'Winter sports' infographic to share
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 embedded code
Love your eyes

Here's an image with a message for ABDO members to share with their patients on Valentine's Day.

Click here to access the embedded code
Don’t ditch your glasses for Valentine’s Day date - The College of Optometrists’ survey says 64% of people won’t be put off by a glasses wearer Read More
New ABDO membership benefit recently added - 10% saving on National Trust Gift cards

Treat your loved ones to days out, country cottage breaks, a spot of lunch, cream teas, shopping trips, and entry to special places with a National Trust gift card*.

*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.

Click here to view more information
Are you securing interviews for the jobs that you deserve?

How to write an interview-winning, high-impact CV & online profile and get more interviews!

Join a free, one hour, CV Webinar on Wednesday 24 February from 7.15pm; act on the advice you’ll get there, and you’ll secure more interviews for the roles you’re seeking. Our friends from the CV & Interview Advisors will also discuss the search for work from the point of view of LinkedIn.

Having a great CV and LinkedIn (or other social media) profile is absolutely critical if you’re going to stand out from other candidates (and for the right reasons!).  Join us on the webinar and whether your permanent or freelance, new or established in the job market, you’ll learn how to write an interview winning CV and online profile.

The webinar will be delivered by one of the UK's leading authorities on personal branding and career enhancement for employees, contractors and freelancers.

In this lively and interactive one hour session, you’ll learn:

  • How to assess the effectiveness of your current CV
  • The things that you should NEVER do on your CV
  • How to transform your CV and online profile into a powerful business case
  • How to use case studies to turbo charge your CV and online profile
  • How to align your CV and online profile to the REAL ‘hot skills’ in your market

This webinar doesn’t adopt the familiar ‘Top 10 tips’ approach: it’s a leading-edge session and is packed with practical advice that really works, as this candidate recently confirmed: “Interviews are now coming in thick and fast. I had one yesterday and have a further two scheduled for next week. FYI, I had feedback from an agent this morning that my CV was the only 1 of 6 put forward for the role. So, thank you for getting my CV so right!”

If you’d like a chance to replicate this kind of performance, then investing one hour of your life to take part in this webinar is just plain good sense.

To register click here

Students ensure late classmate will be remembered
A water-well is being built in Nepal in memory of a Bradford College student.

Suresh Ram, who was studying for a degree in ophthalmic dispensing, died unexpectedly last summer. He was aged just 21. His college friends were determined to do something positive in his name and after raising £300 have been able to pay for a well that will bring life-saving clean water to a Nepal village through the charity Penny Appeal.

Classmate Aneeka Naz said: “Suresh was one of a kind. He touched everyone's hearts. We all miss him very much. As a class we wanted to do something to remember him by and pay our respects.”

Fellow student Junaid Patel, added: “Suresh was a big character in class and we wanted to do something to represent him and the friendship everyone had with him.”

Suresh, from Wolverhampton, passed away in his sleep, through natural causes, during the summer holidays.

Another friend, Aroosa Tanwir, said: “I feel proud to do something so honourable in memory of Suresh. I hope the well benefits many people in the near future and I am sure this is what Suresh will have wanted.”

Zain Ali, who was also in Suresh’s class on the BSc (Hons) course at Bradford College, said: “Hopefully by doing this in his memory we not only help the people in Nepal but also show his family he was an important person to his follow students and the college. As a friend he meant a lot to us all.”

The well is currently under construction and should be completed by the end of April.

Pictured above: Classmates of Suresh Ram (inset) at Bradford College with the certification for the well in Nepal
ABDO gala dinner


ABDO will hold it's 2016 Gala Dinner, during Optrafair, on Sunday 10 April at the Kings Suite, Hilton Birmingham Metropole.

The event will commence at 7.15pm with a drinks reception, followed by the gala dinner at 8.00pm, which will feature the presidential handover and awards.

Tickets are £80.00 per person and include pre-dinner drinks, a three course meal, wine with the meal and dancing to a live band.

Click here to book your tickets online
ABDO low vision training day


This comprehensive training day will be held 8.30am - 5.15pm on Sunday 24 April 2016 at ABDO College in Godmersham, it will help ABDO members understand the principles of low vision assessment and dispensing and encourage them to undertake low vision work in practice.

The event has been is approved for 18 interactive CET points.

The delegate fees are £50 for ABDO members and £75 for non-members.

Click here for more information and to register online
2016 ABDO Graduation and Prize Giving Ceremony


The 2016 ABDO Graduation and Prize Giving Ceremony will be held on Wednesday 23 November at Canterbury Cathedral.

The ceremony registration desk will be open from 4.00pm to 5.30pm. Doors to the Cathedral will open for guests to enter at 6.30pm.

Graduands eligible to attend will receive notification and online booking will go live mid-September 2016.

For more information click here
Help save Vithiya's life

Vithiya is a 24 year old optometry student suffering from blood cancer.

Please help her live by donating your stem cells. It only takes two minutes to register, followed by a painless spit test. Sign up and you could be a lifesaving match for Vithiya or someone with blood cancer.

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