The last of the Christmas cake is still waiting to be eaten and the sound of fireworks is hanging in the air but 2018 is firmly with us. The new working year has begun and that can only mean one thing – it’s Optician Awards entry time.

The value of the Optician Awards can’t be underestimated – just read what Keith Tempany has to say in his interview and we want to make sure no one misses the chance to enter. Last year saw a real sea change in the profile of the Awards.

I was particularly proud to see former Optometrist of the Year, Lynne Fernandes, provide a presentation at Independents Day on the power of the Optician Awards and encouraging others to enter. She didn’t blow her own trumpet, she just explained rationally why the entry process, being shortlisted and winning provided benefits for the practices and teams.

Becoming an Optician Award winner gets you noticed, it puts your practice on the map and it concentrates the mind. Most importantly it makes you think about what you do, why you do it and how that is perceived by others. Looking through the dozen or so categories available for practices and optical professionals also enables you to recognise your strengths and weaknesses as a provider.

The Optician Awards are constantly evolving so you will see some new categories and some new sponsors in this year’s line up. Go to www.opticianawards.com to check out the categories and everything else you need to know to enter.

Finally, the Optician Awards are for you. This event isn’t reserved for a favoured few. It is judged by independent panels and they are excited to see new names and new faces on the shortlist.

Make one of those new faces yours.