One of the key objectives for Association for Independent Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians (AIO) is to help bring new blood into independent practice and we are greatly encouraged that so many other organisations, including representative bodies and suppliers to the sector, share this objective.

The introduction of the new AOP guide for setting up an independent practice is welcome as indeed is the ABDO toolkit, but there is nothing that replaces face to face engagement. It was for this purpose that AIO set up the AIO Practice Support Network (PSN) together with Myers La
Roche, Eyeplan, NEG and Specs Network.

The AIO PSN is delighted to be participating, alongside Sightcare and Storm, in an event for aspiring independents that is being hosted by ABDO at their Birmingham Resource Centre on May 21.

The prospect of buying an existing independent practice or setting up a new one from scratch can seem like a daunting prospect and as a
result many never realise their dream. Few optometrists and dispensing opticians have any formal grounding in running a business and the PSN is designed to help guide and educate aspiring independents in all aspects of running a successful practice.

The event on the May 21 is not a one-off call to action but the start of a process for those that wish to embark on the exciting journey of owning their own independent practice.

To book a free place go to, e-mail mike@ or call 0800 1300 486.