On the frontline: I’m an OA, what can I legally do/not do in practice?

Tony Douglass looks at the tasks optical assistants can undertake in daily practice

There is some confusion over what optical assistants (OAs) are allowed to do in the world of optics. I feel the confusion comes from practice staff potentially getting mixed up with company/practice procedures and laws we must follow. Below is a list of some of the most common dispenses that cause confusion:

As an OA, you can legally dispense all the above on your own except the first two, spectacles for patients under the age of 16 years, and patients registered Sight Impaired and Severely Sight Impaired. As an OA you can dispense these patients, but they must be supervised by a registered and qualified dispensing optician, optometrist or ophthalmic medical practitioner.

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