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Association News
15 January 2015
Issue 173
Child safeguarding
Level 2 course for dispensing opticians

This course is accredited by the same body as the DOCET course, but written and funded by ABDO exclusively for its DO members. It has been CET-approved for 1 point: C-50012 for dispensing opticians.

Dispensing opticians (DOs) are the only professional group which have a specific competency for paediatric dispensing. For that reason, and to satisfy local and national protocols, the dispensing optician must have, as well as the GOC-regulated elements of this competency, a qualification relating to the safeguarding of children.

There is a wealth of resources dedicated to child safeguarding. In the compiling of this training course, materials and references provided by a number of safeguarding organisations and charities have been combined, as well as referencing UK government guidelines.

The course consists of three modules, each composed of three parts. The total time to complete the course is approximately three hours, but you can return to the course and it will resume where you left it. There is a final assessment, and on satisfactory completion of the assessment you will be able to print a personalised Level 2 child safeguarding certificate as evidence of your completion. The course will be updated regularly, and you should recomplete the course as refresher training every three years as a minimum.

To access the course log into the Members' Area of the ABDO website then go to the Child safeguarding in the CET section
UK Vision Strategy parliamentary reception calls for a greater priority for eye health and sight loss services
Lord Low of Dalston, CBE and leading organisations from the eye health and sight loss sectors hosted a well-attended parliamentary reception on the 12 January in the House of Lords.

Sponsored by the Optical Confederation and Thomas Pocklington Trust, the event encouraged MPs and Peers to give greater priority to eye health and sight loss services, and to promote full social inclusion for people who are blind and partially sighted.

Organisations presented briefings, taken from topics highlighted in the UK Vision Strategy Manifesto, to demonstrate how MPs and Peers from all parties can engage with effective interventions to save sight and deliver a better quality of life for people living with sight loss.

Lord Low of Dalston, CBE said: “I was very pleased to host this important event to encourage MPs and Peers from all parties to make a real commitment to improving eye health and sight loss services within their constituencies.”

Nusrat Ghani, Conservative MP for Wealden and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Eye Health and Visual Impairment, who spoke at the event commented: “I was delighted to speak at this event which helped to raise awareness of sight loss and eye health issues and highlighted that failure to invest in early detection and treatment could lead to increased spending in health, education, social care and training. I look forward to taking these issues forward in my role as Chair of the Eye Health and Visual Impairment APPG and encourage members from both Houses to join.”

Pictured above: Lord Low CBE (who hosted the reception) and ABDO general secretary, Sir Anthony Garrett CBE
Medical examiner report for a lorry or bus driving licence

The DVLA has published an updated medical exemption report for a Group 2 (lorry or bus) driving licence. This now includes a vision assessment that must be filled in by a doctor, optician or optometrist. The new form and explanatory notes can both be found by clicking here.

Handling complaints about domiciliary eye care services

Independent Adjudicator - Terms of Reference

These Terms of Reference set out arrangements for handling complaints about the provision of domiciliary eye care services in the UK which have been referred to the Independent Adjudicator (IA) by the Optical Confederation’s Domiciliary Eyecare Committee (DEC). They have been agreed by the Optical Confederation and the Independent Adjudicator service.

Click here to view the Terms of Reference

What's new in EyecareFAQ?

New in EyecareFAQ, you’ll find a 'live healthy, see healthy' 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
ABDO at 100% Optical

ABDO will be participating at 100% Optical and has a range of activities planned, including CET approved workshops.

Click here for more information
ABDO examination dates - summer 2016

Dispensing and Contact Lens Theory Examinations

  • PQE Theory: 9.30am to 12.30pm, 13 June
  • Contact Lens Visual Optics: 2.00pm to 4.00pm, 13 June
  • Contact Lens Anatomy: 9.30am to 11.30am, 14 June
  • Contact Lens Practice: 1.00pm to 3.00pm, 14 June

Year 2 Dispensing

  • Dispensing Professional Conduct: 9.30am to 10.30am, 23 June
  • Dispensing Communications: 11.15am to 12.15pm, 23 June
  • Dispensing Advanced OL: 1.30pm to 4.30pm, 23 June

Year 3 Dispensing

  • Dispensing Refractive Management: 9.30am to 11.30am, 24 June
  • Dispensing Contact Lens: 12.15pm to 1.15pm, 24 June
  • Dispensing Low Vision: 2.15 to 4.15pm, 24 June

Dispensing Practical Examinations

Dispensing Practical Examinations will commence on Wednesday 1 June 2016. Individual dates and times for ABDO members sitting Dispensing Practical Examinations will be sent in confirmation letters to all members who have entered for a practical examination.

ABDO Benevolent Fund

The ABDO Benevolent Fund is a registered charity that assists those members, past and present (or their dependents), who suffer financial hardship. As an ABDO member if you know a dispensing optician colleague who you feel might benefit, or if you find yourself facing a difficult financial situation, please contact Jane Burnand on 020 7298 5102, or email, or write to her at ABDO, 199, Gloucester Terrace, London, W2 6LD. Rest assured all enquiries will be handled in strictest confidence. Any ABDO member can make a charitable donation to the fund.

Free debt advice

ABDO has a partnership with StepChange who can advise members who may be struggling financially.

Monday 18 January is forecast to be StepChange's busiest day of the year. On that day alone over 20,000 people will contact them for help with their debt, and they'll report debts totalling over £50 million.

To highlight this, on that day, StepChange will be running a #DebtDay, a 12-hour social media event featuring stories from the frontline of debt, hourly statistics, videos of advisors at work and much more.

Read More
Dispensing optician needed to join charity team working in London special school

37.5hrs/week Monday-Friday

£25,000 plus travel expenses

SeeAbility is running an innovative research project bringing eye health care to children with disabilities in their special schools. 37 per cent of these children had no history of eye care and SeeAbility has given many children their first ever pair of glasses. Children with learning disabilities are 28 times more likely to have a serious sight problem than other children, but are less likely to be able to communicate their concerns to parents should any problems develop or to access community based eye care. Investigation has found despite much good work by many eye care professionals to support children with disabilities, there is no failsafe system to ensure all children in this high risk group receive regular checks on their eyesight or wear the glasses they need.

SeeAbility is looking for a qualified, enthusiastic, compassionate and experienced dispensing optician to join their small team of optometrists, orthoptists, dispensing opticians and practice manager providing eye care and support in London special schools. The SeeAbility team delivers eye care, glasses and on going support with glasses to children with moderate to severe learning disabilities. The successful applicant will manage their mobile dispensing service and should be willing/able to travel to different special schools within London (Brent/Greenwich/Pinner/Morden/Chesham) for term time clinics during school hours as well as to the SeeAbility Epsom head office for meetings and collecting glasses. The applicant will take responsibility for ordering/record keeping and admin support for the practice manager as well as research data collection and reporting. Clinics run in term time during the school day (10-3pm), additional administrative tasks will be completed at the end of the school day and during school holidays from Epsom office base and/or home. IT equipment will be provided.

For further information please contact Lisa Donaldson, clinical lead, on 07899 975 143 or email

ITV’s London Tonight programme recently featured the SeeAbility Children in Focus campaign. One of the pupils filmed was 15-year-old Nathaniel. Nathaniel has learning disabilities, is non-verbal and profoundly deaf and also has some mobility difficulties. SeeAbility discovered Nathaniel has high myopia, -18.00 DS. Watch the film to see the difference a pair of glasses made to 15 year old Nathaniel. Nathaniel’s head teacher Kay Charles says, “If he can’t see and hear properly, he quickly becomes distracted and isolated – resulting in bad behaviour. Thanks to SeeAbility he has a future where he can make the most of what he can do.” Go to to find out more about the campaign.

Membership subcription renewal

ABDO membership subscription renewal notices were sent to members in December. If you haven't already done so, your membership subsription fee can now be paid online at by logging into the Members' Area.

If you have not received a renewal notice, please look online for the amount outstanding. If there are any problems or changes please email

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