The Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) opened its National Resource Centre in Birmingham this month.

ABDO’s board has paid the new training centre a visit and the first cohort of students will soon be sitting their practical exams in ophthalmic dispensing.

The clinical facilities at the centre offered recent technology and a wide range of equipment for services, such as dispensing, refraction, contact lenses, screening, minor eye conditions and glazing. There were also 10 clinical bays equipped for refraction and contact lenses, including one which is set up with CCTV recording facilities in order to enable the production of training material as well as live streaming any procedures in the consulting room to an audience of up to 235 delegates in other parts of the centre watching on TV screens.

Alicia Thompson, director of professional examinations said: ‘The ABDO National Resource Centre is without doubt among the very best of the optical training centres available in the UK today. Sourcing the most advanced technology, we have brought together the best in ophthalmic instrumentation coupled with cutting edge conferencing facilities including the use of 'Clevertouch' presenting.’

ABDO has stated that when the centre was not being used by its members, it would offer the UK optical market the chance to hire out the centre so others can use the facilities too.