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Association News
17 June 2016
Issue 184
Your chance to win a trip for two to SILMO in Paris
Here’s a chance for an ABDO member to win a trip for two to Paris by entering the SILMO prize draw.

SILMO is described as the essential trade show for professionals in the optics/eyewear sector. Organised by optics manufacturers belonging to the SILMO Association, the SILMO trade show features exceptional
know-how made available to optics professionals.

To enter the prize draw all you have to do is email your name, ABDO membership and mobile number to by 23:59 on Friday 19 August 2016.

The prize includes two economy flights from a UK airport to Paris and nights two accommodation, including breakfast, at the Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile on 23 & 24 September 2016.

The winner will be notified by Friday 26 August 2016

Entrants into the Prize Draw shall be deemed to have accepted the Terms and Conditions

Click here to enter the SILMO prize draw
Sector Skills Development Officer (SSDO)

An important and exciting new position has been created within ABDO for a suitably qualified dispensing optician with an outgoing personality and a background/interest in training or education.

The new Sector Skills Development Officer will assume responsibility for promoting all qualifications offered by both ABDO and the WCSM. In addition the SSDO will have a thorough understanding of the courses run by ABDO College including those leading to qualifications offered by the WCSM. The successful applicant will also be part of the professional delivery team within the Association working at conferences, Association events and representing the two bodies to other organisations.

In the promotional role for ABDO and WCSM qualifications and courses run by ABDO College the SSDO will be expected to engage directly with employers, promoting the very high standards offered by the College and encouraging more people to train and gain nationally recognised qualifications. This aspect of the work will be the top priority in the first year and an attractive incentive package will be in place to ensure the maximum take up of students.

The successful applicant will be expected to have a wide range of skills acquired within the sector. He or she will be familiar with the education standards of both ABDO and ABDO College, understand the ABDO College and WCSM courses and examinations offered and be passionate about promoting training and qualifications. In addition, the SSDO will need to have had sufficient knowledge of the sector and a proven track record to enable them to use and develop contact networks with employers at an appropriate level as well as being able to command the respect of their colleagues within both organisations.

The ability to undertake a range of responsibilities, work flexibly and be able to travel is essential.

The SSDO will be part of the senior executive team at ABDO and terms of employment will reflect that.

Applications along with names and contact details of two referees should be addressed to Sir Anthony Garrett at ABDO, 199 Gloucester Terrace, London W2 6LD by Friday 1st July 2016.

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What's new in EyecareFAQ?

New in EyecareFAQ, you’ll find an infographic to share on the subject of 'a summer of sport'.

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 and the embedded code
Foundation Degree /BSc (Hons) in Ophthalmic Dispensing and Fellowship Dispensing Diploma

ABDO College offers a choice of two distance learning courses on the route to becoming a qualified dispensing optician:

Option 1
A two-year Foundation Degree course followed by a third year BSc Degree course in Ophthalmic Dispensing – leading to BSc (Hons) and the ABDO Level 6 FBDO qualifications.

Option 2
A three-year diploma course in Ophthalmic Dispensing – leading to the ABDO Level 6 FBDO qualification.

Course features

  • Combines academic and work-based learning
  • 32 weekly distance learning units in each academic year
  • Four weeks block release at Godmersham in each academic year
  • Block release accommodation can be provided
  • Year 1 courses will commence in September 2016

Entry requirements

  • Grade C or above GCSE in English, mathematics, science and two other subjects, including evidence of recent learning
  • Applicants must be working in practice as a trainee dispensing optician for a minimum of 30 hours per week and have the support of their employer

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

Click here to email ABDO College
WCSM Courses - available through ABDO College

A comprehensive education programme focused on driving up skill levels among the non-regulated workforce within the optical sector

WCSM courses range from Level 2 Optical Support to Level 4 Optical Technicians (and soon to be available a Level 4 Diploma for Optical Assistants). The programme also includes Fast Track Technician Training for FBDOs.

WCSM courses now available from ABDO College:

  • 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 Assistants*
  • Level 4 Diploma for Optical Technicians
  • Fast Track Technician Training for FBDOs

Qualifications Accredited in Scotland

  • Level 5 & Level 7 Certificate in Optical Care

For further information and application forms, or to request a copy of the WCSM Courses Prospectus, please call the courses team at ABDO College 01227 738 829 (Option 1) or email

*New course soon to be available

Click here to email ABDO College
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