Amanda Boucher FBDO – Level 5 Diploma

I have been working in optics for over 20 years, mostly in independent practice, and went into a management role quite quickly after qualifying.  When my employer suggested this course, I was a little apprehensive about what to expect. I had not done any formal study since my FBDO qualification, but I was in a senior management role without any formal management training and wanted to improve my skills so I could excel in my role.

The course content was very relevant, firstly introducing me to theoretical models of managing, developing, and leading teams, giving me tools to not only develop myself but the staff I was managing too.  It showed me how to develop and motivate people, identify any gaps in skills and knowledge as well as how to deal with conflict. I especially enjoyed the “Managing the customer experience” unit, showing how every area of the business needs to be focused on the customer, to deliver an exceptional experience. The course has also given me a greater understanding of people; what motivates them and how to get the best out of them.

I have recently started a new role as an Optical Skills Tutor. The skills and tools I learnt in mentoring and coaching will be invaluable in helping me develop in this role and provide the best support for my learners.

The course has a very easy to follow platform. The workbooks and monthly deadlines meant that I could plan the time needed to commit to the course each month and fit it around my family commitments.  The support from my tutor was always positive. He replied to any questions I had quickly, and his support really helped, especially at the beginning when I was apprehensive about studying again after such a long time. Each unit requires you to submit an essay but the workbook guides you through each section and it really helped me structure my essays.

I would recommend the course to anyone who is in a management role or wants to move into one, especially those in independent practice where you do not always have others to show you best practice.