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Training and education
Training and education


FODO, as the association for eye care providers, supports training and education for individual, local, regional and national eye care providers. This page tells you:

What's on offer for members

Each year our members can access all the Continued Education and Training (CET) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) they need from a range of open-source, non-charged for sources and the professional Colleges.

Access free CET from:

  • The Directorate of Optometric Continuing Education and Training (DOCET), which is funded by the government to provide free continued education and training to all UK registered optometrists
  • Sector conferences
  • Many other free courses available throughout the UK. 

The NHS provides a CET grant for the loss of chair-time incurred when undertaking CET. 

To be eligible for the grant, the optometrist must have been listed to provide GOS for at least six months in the country in which the grant is being claimed.

If claiming in England or Wales, the optometrist should also have carried out at least one GOS sight test in the relevant claim year.


Primary Care Support England (PCSE). The next claims cycle will be in 2020.

Northern Ireland

HSC Business Services Organisation. The next claims cycle will be in 2020.


NHS National Services Scotland. The next claims cycle will be in 2020.


Wales Eye Care Services. The next claims cycle will be in 2020.

Every year we focus our continuing training, education and development resources on areas that matter to you and which help you succeed. For example, in 2019 we:

  • Were the first organisation to host a break-through three-point CET workshop on de-terrorising the General Optical Council (GOC). Helping registrants understand the role of the GOC and how to reduce unnecessary escalation of complaints. 100% of you rated it as good, 86% as very good
  • Organised a workshop on transitioning as a practice from retail to clinical so you could hear from a clinician and practice owner who had already made the journey. 96% of you rated it as good, 67% as very good
  • Ran a peer review workshop on taking on a new practice to help you avoid common pitfalls and retain and build a patient base. 100% of you rated it as good, 59% very good.

We also provided members with peer review training resources linked to the highest levels of clinical risk:

  • Flashes, floaters and retinal detachment
  • Professional duty of candour for optometrists and dispensing opticians.
  • Consent at a glance for GOC registrants  
During 2020 we started the year by running bespoke seminars for members, but once Covid-19 hit we paused our planned training programme and focussed our efforts on helping members through the pandemic. This included creating a Covid-19 hub resource hub to train staff locally and aid compliance in infection prevention and control.  

2021 training and education opportunities

In response to requests from members, in 2021 we continue our expansion of training courses online with expert input from dispensing opticians, optometrists, ophthalmologists and legal defence specialists. Members will be kept up to date about these opportunities by email. Members can also find out more by contacting us: [email protected].

Student awards

We sponsor annual prizes for students to encourage and support excellence. Current student awards include:

Irvine Aitchison Memorial Fund

Over the years, the Irvine Aitchison Memorial Fund (IAMF) has funded the Goodman Lectures and more recently two bursaries to second year optometrist and dispensing optician students (third year at Glasgow Caledonian University). The bursaries help them gain experience and personal growth as part of Vision Aid Overseas (VAO) groups working in Africa for two weeks during the summer. Since 2018, the trustees of the IAMF, which is managed by FODO, have been funding work through the College of Optometrists to develop online training that develops pedagogical skills among the optometric and dispensing optician professions. The aim is to support professional development as 'educating the next generation' becomes part of the professional role of optometrists and dispensing opticians in the same way as for other clinical professions. It will also raise the standards of education, training and supervision at all levels across the sector. 

Other resources

Members often ask us what they can use to help encourage the next generation to take up a career in eye care. We recommend the following resources:

You can also find out about becoming a nurse, then specialising in ophthalmic nursing and becoming an ophthalmic and vision science technician


What would you like to see? If you have suggestions on how we can make our training and education programme even better, email [email protected]