The demand for suitably trained support staff is growing. The public must receive appropriate advice and service from our front-line staff, and our registrants require the assurance that the actions of the team are in accordance with GOC regulations and in compliance with GOS and NHS contracts.

The WCSM has been the provider of support staff training and accreditation for many years, most recently in conjunction with ABDO College. The WCSM announced this month that it plans to withdraw its accredited qualifications for optical assistants. At the same time ABDO College announced the introduction of a new optical assistant course. ABDO is grateful to the WCSM for working cooperatively to arrive at this position.

ABDO College’s new optical assistant course is suitable for those just starting in optics as well as those who have been in optics for some time and want to formalise their knowledge. It combines practical tasks to develop practice-based skills with online modules and workshops focussing on repairs and pre-screening. No previous qualifications are required. Leaning is based online and the course lasts 25 weeks commencing September and January. The optional workshops will take place at ABDOs National Resource Centre in Birmingham. The course is continuously assessed.

This course, along with ABDO College’s level 4 senior optical assistant course, provides a robust level of training for our support teams as well as providing a structured career pathway to becoming a dispensing optician.

For further information and to apply for this and other courses visit