Firm helps optometrists take extra qualifications

Specsavers is helping partners who own and run local practices and home visit domiciliary services to fund optometrists’ professional advancement.

Clinical services director Giles Edmonds says: “We know our clinicians love enhanced optical services and the range of development opportunities on offer – so we’re making a big investment here.

“We’re going to go shoulder to shoulder on professional certificates for medical retina and glaucoma in the UK and Ireland as well as for independent prescribing courses in Scotland and Wales.”

Doubling opportunities

The firm is doubling the number of places it offers to 1,000 this year. “As well as supporting optometrists’ clinical development, it helps develop their careers. It also supports our mission to change lives through better sight by helping patients,” he adds.

A target to increase the number of clinical technicians, who support optometrists, to two in each community practice has also been set. Specsavers will fund the full training fees.

“It’s our biggest ever investment in clinical expertise,” says Mr Edmonds.

Specsavers is also revamping the structure of its Cert 3 and Cert 4 (BTEC) courses.

‘‘Both will now be modular and based on roles in practices including dispensing, clinical and lab technicians, making these courses truly bespoke. In April, these courses become even more prestigious, all leading to an externally accredited BTEC. Now this is unique within the sector,’ adds Mr Edmonds.