The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (WCSM) sounds ancient but has a modern purpose. Its mission is to support better vision for all, and it has a membership scheme that welcomes young people working in eyecare as well as those committed to improving vision.
The Company was founded in 1629 and is living proof that eye health is so much more than a presence on the High Street.
The name could be misleading as WCSM members don’t all make spectacles. When the Company was founded in the 17th Century, making spectacles was the only thing that could be done to help people with imperfect or declining vision. Spectacles were the technology of their time. Today, there are many different ways to improve vision.
The WCSM wants to inspire future generations committed to visionary eye care, building upon a rich heritage of almost 400 years.
75% of WCSM members have a direct link to vision-related activity but it is open to welcome women and men of all professions – and has been since the mid-18th Century.
Within the optical and sensory world, the WCSM are independent and multi-disciplinary. All members have an equal voice, whether they are ophthalmologists, audiologists, optometrists, technicians, manufacturers, dispensing opticians, orthoptists, clinical advisers, optical nurses, distributors of contact lenses and intra-ocular lenses, optical assistants working in practice, in hospitals and in the community.
The WCSM reaches way beyond the City of London, with members across the UK, in Europe, the US, Australia and New Zealand. They live and work in communities where, every day, the Spectacle Makers’ craft is in evidence, helping people to understand eye health, to see better and to make the most of life.
In 2021 the WCSM launched its Journeyman scheme. The Journeyman scheme is aimed at people of any age who are within their first few years of working in any optical profession, or in the sight loss sector. It aims to give more people the chance to get to know the organisation at an earlier stage, get involved and eventually move up to full membership later.
If you are working in the early years of your eyecare career, why not get in touch with the WCSM and find out about joining?