Coalitions and Partnerships

Our members operate in highly commercial and competitive environments, competing vigorously for each and every patient and customer, driving up quality and efficiency. But we also work together on strategic issues which affect the whole sector and all businesses.

This gives us a stronger voice for optical business and professionals and makes us better able to promote eye health and the vital role our members play in society as significant health givers, employers, educators, wealth creators and tax payers.

We are founding members of the Optical Confederation, LOCSU and other national and international partnerships. We are active on members’ behalf in all relevant eye health coalitions as well as working in partnership with other optical associations, professional colleagues across primary and secondary care, regulators, government, business and the voluntary sector to pursue our aims.

You can find out more about our policy and influencing work here

The Optical Confederation brings together the five representative bodies within the optical sector in the UK – the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO), Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers (ACLM), Association of Optometrists (AOP), Federation of Manufacturing Opticians (FMO) and FODO – to speak with a united voice for patients, professionals and the sector.

FODO was a driving force behind the establishment of the Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU).

LOCSU provides high-quality and practical support to Local Optical Committees (LOCs) and their Primary Eyecare Companies (PECs) in England to support the local development, negotiation and implementation  of contracts for extended primary eye care services including the Minor Eye Condition Service (MECS) as standard and ophthalmology service outside hospital.

The Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee (OFNC) is the recognised negotiating body for General Ophthalmic Service (GOS) fees, optical voucher values and education and training grants for those contracted to deliver primary eye care services under a GOS contract.

Find out more about the OFNC

The Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning (CCEHC) is the national clinical voice for eye health in England. It brings together the leading professional, patient and representative bodies involved in eye health, providing collective expertise to commissioners, providers, clinicians and policy-makers on the commissioning of eye health services, including social care and ophthalmic public health in England.

Optometry Northern Ireland is the representative and negotiating body for optometrists, dispensing opticians, optical businesses and Regional Optical Committees in Northern Ireland. It presents a united voice to the Northern Ireland Department of Health, Health Service Northern Ireland, politicians, media and others.

Optometry Scotland is a non-profit making organisation established to develop and represent the views of the entire sector of optometrists, dispensing opticians, optical bodies corporate and Area Optical Committees in Scotland to the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Government Health Directorates and other relevant stakeholders.

Optometry Wales is the professional umbrella organisation for the primary care eye health profession in Wales representing all community optometrists, dispensing opticians and community optical practices.

The National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) is a leading membership organisation representing the interests of primary care professionals (including general practitioners, nurses, practice staff, pharmacists, optometrists, opticians and dentists) and is at the centre of shaping the future of healthcare, spreading innovation, influencing policy, supporting and connecting professionals across primary care – enabling them to provide world-class sustainable patient-centred healthcare.

The UK operates in ECOO through the Joint Optical Committee for Europe (JOCEU) – a UK committee which brings together the ABDO, AOP, College of Optometrists, General Optical Council and FODO to give the UK optical sector a single voice in debate and in influencing legislation at the European level.

Find out more about our work in Europe

The European Council of Optometry and Optics (ECOO) is the overarching European body representing the interests of optometrists and opticians across 25 countries. It aims to promote eye health to the public across borders and to harmonise the clinical and educational standards of optometric and optical practice throughout Europe.

Find out more about our work in Europe

The European Coalition for Vision (ECV) is an alliance of professional bodies, patient groups, European NGOs, disabled people’s organisations, trade associations representing suppliers and research groups.  It works to raise the profile of eye health and vision, help prevent avoidable visual impairment and secure an equal and inclusive society for those with irreversible blindness or low vision in Europe.

Find out more about our work in Europe…

Our Optical Confederation partners:

Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO)
Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers (ACLM)
Association of Optometrists (AOP)
Federation of Manufacturing Opticians (FMO)

In addition, we work with other professional associations and representative bodies including:

British Contact Lens Association (BCLA)
British Dental Association (BDA)
British and Irish Orthoptic Society (BIOS)
British Medical Association (BMA)
College of Optometrists (COptom)
National Community Hearing Association (NCHA)
Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC)
Royal College of Ophthalmology (RCOphth)
Royal College of GPs (RCGP)

We seek to influence and to work in partnership with regulators and government. Key partners include:

Department for Health
General Optical Council
NHS England
NHS Improvement
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

Find out more about our policy and Influencing  work

We work with a variety of different voluntary sector partners to promote the importance of eye health, the prevention of sight loss and support for those who are visually impaired, including:

Eye Care Trust
Fight for Sight
Guide Dogs for the Blind
International Glaucoma Association
International Association for the Prevention of Blindness
Royal National Institute of Blind People
Vision Aid Overseas
Vision Care for Homeless People