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Association News
26 August 2016
Issue 189
New ABDO regional structure

ABDO is delighted to announce that its new regional structure will commence from 1st January 2017. Over the recent summer months interviews have taken place to recruit both the Regional Leads and Sub Regional Leads. The calibre of applicant was outstanding and as a result Max Halford, Brenda Rennie, Geri Dynan, Kevin Milsom, Richard Rawlinson and Abi Page will act as Regional Leads supported by 10 Sub Regional Leads.

Barry Duncan, ABDO head of policy and development, said: “These appointments represent an exciting time for ABDO and its members. The experience, passion and commitment demonstrated by these individuals were overwhelming. Clearly, we have people who want to see dispensing opticians progress in the eye care environment. Moving forward it is important that we support all of the people involved particularly when local meetings to discuss policy and politics arise. During the spring and autumn of 2017 local events will take place where all members keen to be involved with or who are engaged with LOCs/ROCs/AOCs or any other relevant body will be invited to discuss initiatives and objectives of the Association. This represents opportunities for members who feel strongly about their profession and wish to progress to come forward and have a voice.”

He went on to say:” It is important to recognise the point we have reached is by no means complete. Over the next one to three years it is essential we take the members with us on the journey and attract more people who are keen to work with us. It is indeed exciting times and times which we must embrace to create opportunities and recognition. Members should feel rest assured that whilst these steps are politically driven and as a result the current area structure alters as we know it, the continued commitment to deliver CET will not be affected. It is almost certain that existing venues will be used and done so on the current scale.”

Full details of the Regional Leads and Sub Regional Leads will appear in the October issue of Dispensing Optics. For further details on how to be involved locally please contact Barry Duncan at

Update on safeguarding children and adults

Many members have now completed the online child safeguarding course developed specifically for dispensing opticians by the ABDO CET department.

All dispensing opticians and optometrists are recommended to complete child safeguarding for work in practice. NHS practices are bound by statutory guidance, and the NHS Commissioning Board states: “All [NHS] health providers are required to have effective arrangements in place to safeguard vulnerable children and adults and to assure themselves, regulators and their commissioners that these are working. These arrangements include safe recruitment, effective training of all staff, effective supervision arrangements, working in partnership with other agencies and…they should also identify a named lead”.

Safeguarding arrangements within the practice should be in NHS contracts, and form part of audits. Whilst the safeguarding of children and adults has many overlapping areas of responsibility, there are some differences.

ABDO provides child safeguarding for DOs as a membership benefit, but those wishing to complete adult safeguarding can study NHS-approved open access courses at levels one and two via this link: It is a Health Education England Programme in partnership with the NHS and Professional Bodies. Optometrist members can complete both child and adult safeguarding courses via DOCET.

ABDO’s safeguarding children Level 2 for dispensing opticians can be found at: – or go to ‘Child safeguarding’ on the CET dropdown menu at www, Please note member login is required before the course can be accessed.

SILMO prize draw winner - congratulations to Nicola Dell FBDO, who is the lucky winner of the SILMO prize draw
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Sir Roger Gale MP calls on constituents to look after their eyesight Read More
Specsavers seeks to trademark 'should've' catchphrase Read More
Excellence in Patient Support

Eye care professionals are invited to a Macular Society conference to be held on 24 November. The day ‘Excellence in Patient Support’ will focus on the experiences of people with macular conditions and the services they need to help cope with their sight loss.

Leading experts will cover topics such as the latest in macular treatments, emotional support, the impact of visual hallucinations and the role of nurse injectors. Patients themselves will speak about their experiences and needs.

Read More
Results of study comparing spectacles bought online with those bought in practices

College of Optometrists funded study comparing over 300 pairs of spectacles found participants prefer shop bought specs over those bought online

A study commissioned by the College of Optometrists found that, when comparing spectacles bought online and those bought and fitted in optometric practices, customers preferred shop bought spectacles.

The study, published in the leading American journal Optometry and Vision Science, found that customers preferred shop-bought spectacles fitted by practice staff, ranking them higher overall than those bought online. Researchers from the University of Bradford and Cardiff University compared 154 spectacles bought online with 155 spectacles from UK optometric practices. Participants completed a questionnaire on vision, comfort, fit, and how acceptable and safe the spectacles felt and all participants and spectacles were assessed at the University of Bradford eye clinic for clarity of vision, ocular muscle balance and fit and quality of the spectacle frames and lenses.

Click here to read more

What's new in EyecareFAQ?

New in EyecareFAQ, you’ll find an infographic to share on the subject of 'colour vision'.

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
Contact lens practical examiners required

ABDO is planning to expand its contact lens practical examining team. Anyone interested in becoming a contact lens practical examiner should contact Miranda Richardson, assistant director of examinations, ( for an application form. The closing date for applications is 3 October 2016. Interviews are to take place in the autumn.

Applicant requirements

  • An open approach to the diversity of methods involved in contact lens practice, to achieve the same final goal
  • Knowledge of professional standards and a willingness to maintain them
  • Academic success in the subjects involved
  • Experience beyond routine practice or postgraduate studies such as the Diploma in Advanced Contact Lens Practice or a similar level within optometry

Job description

  • To examine candidates presenting for the contact lens practical examinations to the standards laid down by the ABDO in a fair and unbiased manner
  • To assess the level of knowledge of candidates in contact lens practice and associated subjects
  • To assess the manual dexterity and powers of observation of candidates

Venue and commitment information

The practical examinations are held in Birmingham at Aston University, twice a year in January and late June. Once training is completed successfully, examiners are asked to offer a minimum of two days per sitting.

Selection and training course information

The selection process involves an interview: successful applicants would be required to attend the Probationer CL Examiner Training Course, which is held during the examinations and involves four days initially and then a minimum of two (usually three or four) sessions examining under observation.

AGCAS request for dispensing optician case studies

AGCAS - the professional association for higher education careers professionals - is looking for case studies from recent graduates working as registered dispensing opticians to accompany their Dispensing Optician career profile. The aim of the case studies is to provide a personal insight into the profession and to give others interested in becoming a dispensing optician a flavour of what you do, what you enjoy about the role, the challenges and your career ambitions.

If you are interested in providing a case study, please contact Sarah Nichols, AGCAS Publications Officer, ( who will provide further information and a case study template to complete. It should only take a few minutes to complete and will provide a valuable insight into your role.

Re:View - the ABDO College newsletter

In the September 2016 issue of Re:View there's look back over the fifteen years since the College was founded, and achievements along the way.

There's a profile feature on Katie Davies and her research into the development of paediatric myopia.

As well as helpful tips for writing an essay, there are interviews with two of the newer members of the academic team: Katie Nicholls and Simon Butterfield.

You can also read how the College is moving to a new online learning platform.

Click here to view this latest issue
ABDO College 2016/17 prospectus

ABDO College has launched its new 2016/17 prospectus.

To obtain a hard copy of the prospectus, please contact the Courses Team at ABDO College on 01227 738 829 (Option 1), or email

To view the prospectus click here
Optical Workers’ Benevolent Fund
Ill health, issues of ageing and genuine problems faced by optical laboratory staff could be eased by a grant from the fund created and supported by the UK optical industry

Industry workers in distressed circumstances should contact the Optical Workers’ Benevolent Fund, with references: C/O The FMO, 199 Gloucester Terrace, London W2 6LD / Tel: 020 7298 5123

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