The Dispensing Optician

Okay, so my first blog might be a bit boring, but please bare with me…

When I tell people what I do for living, generally their first response is “Oh, so you test eyes then?” No. I don’t. But I’ve always found it very difficult to explain to people what it is that I actually do do. Then the other day I stumbled across this page on the The Association of British Dispensing Opticians’ (ABDO) website which I think sums it up quite nicely: -


“All registered dispensing opticians have undergone a minimum of three years academic and practical training to qualify. Their specialist skills include professional advice on lenses for night driving, UV protection, prescription sunglasses, spectacles for VDU use, sports and safety eyewear. Dispensing spectacles to children, to the visually impaired, or dispensing of contact lenses can only be undertaken by, or carried out under supervision of, dispensing opticians or optometrists registered with the General Optical Council (GOC).

The role of the dispensing optician:

  • A dispensing optician will provide advice and supply the most comfortable fitting and aesthetically appealing spectacles after taking account of your personal visual, lifestyle and vocational needs
  • A major skill is the interpretation of your prescription and the recommendation of lenses, tints and coatings to provide optimum visual performance, combined with suitable spectacle frames to ensure a comfortable fit
  • They take the necessary measurements and keep records of the specifications
  • Dispensing opticians play an important role in advising parents and dispensing to children
  • Another area of expertise is dispensing low vision aids to the visually impaired
  • Many dispensing opticians also specialise in the fitting and supply of contact lenses
  • Continuing Education and Training (CET) is a statutory requirement for all fully-qualified dispensing opticians to retain GOC registration

You can also click here to view a video where ABDO President, Peter Black, outlines the valuable role and complex requirements of a dispensing optician.”

So there you have it! THAT’S what I do for a living :)