Membership

Expert support and peace of mind

As a FODO member you are part of a community of optical business, retail and clinical excellence.

FODO is unapologetically pro-business: we believe that commercial success is key to delivering high quality care and services and driving up standards across the sector.  We actively welcome ambitious innovators, entrepreneurs and actively support and develop the clinical and business leaders of the future.

Our members include the majority of UK optical businesses, ranging from the national and international multiples, regional and family companies, small independent groups and single-handed practices, as well as a growing numbers of individual clinicians involved in eye care at all levels.

We support FODO members to achieve their individual business and professional ambitions.  We speak up for the interests of our members, as well as offering world-class legal, business, GOS, complaints handling, locum and tax advice from national experts.

Our professional liability and legal defence insurance leads the market – it is the insurance of choice for optical businesses of all sizes. Uniquely in the sector, it covers both businesses and professionals in perpetuity – even after you have left the scheme.  All GOC registrants who are employees of a FODO member are automatically covered in their own right as part of their employer’s membership.

Every member – whether you are a business owner, employee or locum – is valued by us and supported to meet your individual needs.

Our professional liability and legal defence insurance is second to none.  It is an exclusive, optional benefit for FODO members – whatever your size.

We have an outstanding defence record, using field leading barristers and solicitors from top UK law firms, with an unbeatable track record in resolving issues at investigation stage and avoiding unnecessary fitness to practise referrals for individuals and businesses.

When handling a complaint against a professional and a company, we instruct separate external firms of leading defence lawyers for each, as well as providing separate support for each within FODO.

Uniquely in the sector, our cover directly insures both businesses and professionals in perpetuity, even when you have retired and left the scheme. All GOC registrants who are employees of a FODO member are automatically covered in their own right as part of their employer’s membership.

If you carry out any locum work we also provide an attractive membership package for individuals so that you can enjoy the career and employment flexibility you want.

FODO insurance provides:

  • cover for your practice or business as a legal entity, irrespective of the number of practices, stores or outlets or the number of staff you employ
  • cover for all GOC registrants and other staff on an unnamed basis
  • cover for you as a company if you use locums with non-FODO insurance
  • separate support from FODO teams and separate teams of defence lawyers for the practice and practitioner(s) where an investigation or complaint is made against a practice and one or more practitioners
  • retrospective cover
  • cover in perpetuity on a unique ‘claims occurring’ basis. This means you are always covered for any claims resulting from incidents while you were in the scheme with no need for run-off cover in future
  • outstanding success rate in winning and settling legal defence and professional liability cases.

Our policies are managed by Aon and underwritten by the Zurich Insurance Group and Abbey Legal Protection.  We regularly test the market to ensure we offer the highest calibre of defence and unrivalled value.

To find out more, or to discuss your individual needs, please call our support line Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm: on 020 7298 5151 or email [email protected]

All businesses and optical professionals need advice on clinical, professional, HR or business matters from time to time. We understand how important it is for you to get expert advice you can trust when you need it.

Whatever the issue we are here to help. Our expert team will give you the information you need to make the best decisions based on your specific circumstances.  And we can call upon a range of external industry advisors for more complex, clinical, VAT and legal questions.

You can contact the team at [email protected] or call 020 7298 5151. We commit to responding to member queries within 24 hours (Monday to Friday).

We also provide extensive information and resources in the guidance section of this website.

FODO members also enjoy free and unlimited access to the Croner Business Support Helpline  – offering a confidential compliance advice and support service, across human resources, management, employment and commercial law and health and safety matters.

FODO members should contact [email protected] for details about how to access the Business Support Helpline.

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

FODO members provide the majority of pre-registration training of opticians and optometrists in the UK. They also invest heavily in Continuing Education and Training (CET) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD).   In addition FODO provides CET focussed on issues identified with our members as high risk.

We keep workforce issues under review and work jointly with universities and other education providers, when necessary, to expand the workforce to meet sector needs.

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

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Like the other primary care contractor professions – GPs, dentists, pharmacists and community hearing – the optical sector is part of a competitive, business-based National Health Service. This freedom from central NHS planning, and the ability to respond directly to patients’ needs with money genuinely following each patient, has enabled optical businesses to innovate, improve efficiency, expand their workforce and develop services in ways that patients and customers need and want.

At FODO, we are proud to speak for and represent our members’ and patients’ interests at the European, national and local level across government, the NHS and the media.

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For more information about membership or any of our member services please email [email protected] or call 020 7298 5151