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Specsavers expands international diploma in Australia

03/04/2019By Myles Hume
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Specsavers has introduced the first locally facilitated Fellowship of British Dispensing Opticians (FBDO) course in Australia, with the internationally recognised program available to all practicing dispensers and students.

In a move designed to strengthen the professional development opportunities available to the wider sector, including non-Specsavers staff, the optical chain has increased local accessibility to the acclaimed three-year course run by the Association of British Dispensing Opticians.

Traditionally, the FBDO course was only available to Australians and New Zealanders in a distance-learning program that required students to travel to the UK or Malaysia for examinations.

However, Specsavers will now provide enrolled students two one-week blocks of face-to-face training in Australia with an ABDO educator for each year of study, and will also host local examinations.

Specsavers head of ophthalmic lenses and dispensing advancement Mr Richard Couch said the FBDO Level 6 dispensing diploma – which grants the graduate the FBDO post-nominal – built on the Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing qualification offered in Australia and New Zealand.



“Being a degree-level course, the FBDO qualification is much broader in scope than Certificate IV; and offers more depth relating to education on items such as low vision, contact lenses and paediatrics, ocular conditions, anatomy and standards of practice”
Richard Couch, Specsavers

“Being a degree-level course, the FBDO qualification is much broader in scope than Certificate IV; and offers more depth relating to education on items such as low vision, contact lenses and paediatrics, ocular conditions, anatomy and standards of practice,” he said.

“It is fundamentally important to be growing and expanding the scope of optical dispensing practice within Specsavers stores and this will greatly enhance our ability to provide better eye care and eyewear to our millions of customers,” he said.

“As a business we have recognised the need to provide more substantial support to Australian and New Zealand FBDO students to help them refine essential skills vital to their course progression. Importantly, this will improve the quality of their in-store dispensing and, therefore, our patients’ experience.”

Specsavers commenced a locally facilitated pilot program in September last year with three of its own dispensing staff and two students from Deakin University.

Couch said the diploma was available to optical dispensers and others who chose to apply to the course, both inside and outside of Specsavers. Applicants do not need to be Cert IV-qualified but it is considered advantageous. ABDO stipulates minimum requirements for entry.

In mid-February this year the 2018 pilot students attended in their first local FBDO workshop in Melbourne, under the tutelage of ABDO College Principal Ms Jo Underwood. The second workshop will occur in May 2019. The first full 2019 intake will commence in September, with expressions of interest opening this month. 

 

More reading:

Glaucoma detection increases as 250th Specsavers store receives OCT
Specsavers and Optometry Australia at odds over supply of optometry graduates

 






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