ABDO was formed in 1986 when its two predecessors, the Association of Dispensing Opticians and the Faculty of Dispensing Opticians, were merged following the Health and Social Security Act of 1984. The profession of dispensing opticians has been regulated voluntarily since 1926 and, as a statutory profession, by the Opticians Act since 1958. Since such time the conduct of dispensing opticians has thus been regulated partly by legal provisions, by advice given by the General Optical Council, and by ABDO’s own Advice to Fellows.
ABDO represents over 6,000 qualified dispensing opticians in the UK. The Association also has 211 members overseas, 412 associate members and 1,955 student members worldwide.*
* Figures supplied by the ABDO Membership Services Department in October 2018.