We represent and support our members through five work programmes:
Demonstrating an inclusive and united approach across the optical sector, as members of the Optical Confederation.
Networking across Whitehall and Westminster, with the Scottish Executive, Welsh Assembly Government and Northern Ireland Health Department, with the NHS Confederation and senior NHS managers, and with key non-governmental organisations and third sector partners.
Employing a Public Affairs team jointly with the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) and the Association of Optometrists (AOP) to promote eye care in Parliament and with other stakeholders.
Seeking out, with our optical partners, opportunities to put the case for eye care at national level, e.g. in parliamentary debates, to select committees, at conferences and events, and by responding to all relevant consultations.
Publishing key data on optical services, e.g. Optics at a Glance and Vouchers at a Glance.
Promoting, supporting and producing authoritative statements, reports and discussion documents on eye care and the optical sector.
Inviting presentations from across and beyond eye care to promote debate and understanding, and promulgating the results to a wider audience.
Playing a full part, with our optical partners, in government reviews and initiatives affecting eye care.
Promoting corporate membership of Local Optical Committees (LOCs) and supporting LOCs with our optical partners.
Championing issues which are better addressed collectively than individually.
Making sure those views are known where it matters.
Supporting the rights of highly trained professionals to practise independently and supervise others, subject to their personal competence, professional codes and ethics.
Promoting professional excellence through involvement in and support for education programmes.
Working with our optical partners, universities and training institutions to build rewarding career paths in eye care.
Working to balance workforce supply and demand.
Supporting the principles of continuing education and training, on-going professional development and life-long learning.
Continuing to welcome new FODO members to maximise representation.
Providing best value professional indemnity insurance at the lowest cost and on a claims occuring basis.
Providing general and bespoke advice on VAT, tax, business issues, employment, personnel, regulations and legislation.
Drawing on high quality professional advice from field-leading legal, fiscal, HR, professional and public sector experts.
Influencing, signposting and issuing operational advice and guidance jointly with our optical partners, e.g. on such matters as CET claims, PCT listing arrangements and legislation, ensuring that we do not duplicate advice and guidance issued by others.
Negotiating for fairer fees and remuneration for ophthalmic services through the Optical Fees Review Committee.
Resisting all attempts to limit the freedom of patients to attend the optical practice of their choice.
Resisting all attempts to impose inappropriate or disproportionate regulation on practices, as this cost is ultimately borne by patients or the taxpayer.
Working to ensure a fair and level playing field for the commissioning of enhanced NHS services from optical practices.
Working through the Domiciliary Eyecare Committee to guarantee vulnerable citizens, particularly older people, the same access to services as everyone else.
Supporting the General Optical Council (GOC) in developing appropriate and proportionate professional regulation and expanding the scope of professional practice.
Ensuring appropriate business input to General Optical Council understanding, policy and practice through the GOC Companies and other committees.
Supporting the Optical Consumer Complaints Service to ensure that the few customers who have complaints are offered fair and speedy redress.
Working with our optical partners (as members of the Optical Confederation) to take joint action wherever possible and to present a united voice for the profession.
Working with third sector and other strategic partners to promote eye health, eye care and regular sight testing.
Participating in the Eye Health Alliance, Eye Care UK, the Joint Optical Committee for the EU (JOCEU), the Optical Confederation, the European Council of Optometry (ECOO) and the World Council of Optometry (WCO).
Working with our optical partners through Optometry Scotland, Optometry Wales and Optometry Northern Ireland in those countries.
Working through our membership wherever possible and maintaining a minimal head office function in London and Glasgow.