High quality education and training are essential to support and expand the optical sector, and to enable individuals to develop their careers in clinical practice, academia, research or retail.

We keep workforce issues under constant review. Representing FODO members, we work with the Optometry Schools Council, the ABDO College and other education providers to expand the workforce to meet sector needs.

Through our Educational Trust, we sponsor new types of training (e.g. professional conversion courses) and new departments of optometry and vision sciences where we advance the future of the professions through the latest models of education and training.

FODO members provide the majority of pre-registration training of opticians and optometrists in the UK and have supported the development of apprenticeships for optical assistants.  They also invest heavily in Continuing Education and Training (CET) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Given the volume of easily accessible CET, we only directly provide CET on issues identified as high risk to our members.

We also sponsor prizes for students to encourage excellence and run the Irvine Aitchison Memorial Fund overseas bursary scheme.

We use the FODO Educational Charity to help develop optometric and optical education and training to meet the future needs of the profession and professionals.  We work with universities to develop new and innovative education models which will be increasingly based on experience in practice and experiential learning. We have invested in new courses at:

A wide range of high quality CET is freely available from many sources, including employers and Optician magazine. DOCET is also a major provider of government funded CET and their materials can be accessed here.

FODO seeks to fill CET gaps by developing peer discussion training resources for FODO members, particularly by identifying patterns in near misses and clinical negligence claims, to minimise risk to patients and practitioners on the optical front-line.

CET packs currently available to FODO members:

  • Flashes, Floaters and Retinal Detachment, using source material by kind permission of DOCET.
  • Professional Duty of Candour, which has been approved for 3 GOC CET credits for both optometrists and dispensing opticians.

Members who want to use our peer discussion training resources, should contact [email protected] or call 020 7298 5151.

Information on CET grants and how to claim them is here.

We sponsor annual prizes for students to encourage and support excellence.

  • Best overall performance in Final Practical Dispensing in the Ophthalmic Dispensing degree for students at Anglia Ruskin
  • FODO Prize for Improvement on First Year Work, for students at City University
  • FODO award for best overall performance in OPT208 Law, Ethics and Business Management, for students at Plymouth University.
  • FODO Career Progression Prize & FODO Clinical Prize, for Bradford University students
  • Best performance in Optometric Practice Management in the final year of BSc (Hons) in Optometry at Dublin Institute of Technology
  • Best performance in Optometric Practice Management in the second year of BSc in Ophthalmic Dispensing at Dublin Institute of Technology
  • FODO prize for students at ABDO College.

Each year the Irvine Aitchison Memorial Fund offer two bursaries to second year optometrist and dispensing optician students (third year in Glasgow) to join a Vision Aid Overseas (VAO) group travelling to Africa for two weeks during the summer. The students experience how to identify, diagnose and treat eye conditions in very different working environments from those found in the UK.

Bursaries for 2018 were awarded to Huma Batha, (City University) and Asad Javed (University of Bradford), who travelled to Africa in the summer of 2018.

Bursaries for 2019 will be awarded in December 2018.