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Dispensing Examinations

Welcome to ABDO Examinations.

This document provides guidance on the Level 6 Diploma in Ophthalmic Dispensing.  Included are helpful links to the relevant pages of information and documents.

2021 Student Guidance

Please note that the links within this document for the following three documents will not work due to them having been updated:

ABDO PQP Initial Declaration V0423

ABDO PQP Change of Details form V0423

ABDO PQP Specialist Clinic Supervisor form V0423

These three new forms can be found in the folder below “Pre-Qualification Period (PQP)”  under forms 1, 2 and 3.

ABDO Level 6 Diploma in Ophthalmic Dispensing – 2023 Syllabus

Use the link below to view/download the following syllabus:

ABDO Ophthalmic Dispensing Syllabus 2023 WEB (DEC2023)

This new syllabus relates to trainees starting Year 1 of a Dispensing Course from September 2023 at one of ABDO’s Affiliated Institutes.

ABDO PQP Documents

All trainees and supervisors for the 2023 Syllabus ABDO PQP need to read the relevant guidance document below:

ABDO PQP Trainees Guide A4 – May 2024

ABDO PQP PELPTS Guide A4 – May 2024

Compulsory Equipment Checklist 2023

The following form should be used to initially register your PEL supervisor with ABDO:

S23 ABDO PQP Initial Registration (PEL and main practice)

The following forms should be used to record your ABDO PQP:

S23 ABDO PQP Tracking sheet of supervised time

S23 ABDO PQP Tracking sheet of dispensing tasks

S23 ABDO PQP Case Record form (01 to 49)

S23 ABDO PQP Case Record form (50)

S23 ABDO PQP Patient Consent form

The following form should be used to register changes to your PEL/main practice:

S23 ABDO PQP Change of Main Details (PEL and or practice)

Further documents relating to this new syllabus will be viewable here once they become available.

Practical Exam Guides

The PQE Practical guide for trainees is now available:

ABDO PQE Practical Guide Students – SEPT 2023

ABDO Level 6 Diploma in Ophthalmic Dispensing – 2015 Syllabus

Use the link below to view/download the following syllabus:

PDF ABDO Diploma in Ophthalmic Dispensing Syllabus: 2015

Pre-Qualification Period Documents

The purpose of the Pre-Qualification Period is for you to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to register as a qualified dispensing optician with the General Optical Council (“GOC”). This is achieved through you learning in the workplace and is assessed by you demonstrating compliance in ABDO’s PQP requirements and passing ABDO’s Final Qualifying Examination, which examines the GOC’s nine core competencies.

Once your training institute have confirmed you are eligible to complete the ABDO PQP, you will be emailed a copy of the ‘Welcome to ABDO Examinations Guide’ which includes instructions and links for the completion of the PQP.

PQP Guides

PQP guides: 2015 Syllabus

Pre-Qualification Period (PQP) Portfolio Forms

The following documents relate to students studying under the 2015 syllabus are available for you to download/print off. Please note that all the forms must be completed in full, otherwise they will not be accepted. Documents do not have to be printed double-sided and the use of white paper is acceptable, regardless of the colour of the paper generally used in the ABDO PQP portfolio.

2008 Syllabus – If you have studied under the 2008 Syllabus (i.e. started your dispensing course prior to September 2015) and are yet to complete your FBDO Qualification, please contact ABDO Examinations and Registration for further information.

PQP Forms: 

Form 1: Initial Declaration Form

Once you receive the PQP folder, providing you are a student ABDO member, a student registrant with the General Optical Council and you are in practice working as a trainee dispensing optician (“TDO”), you may complete and submit the Initial Declaration form.

The Initial Declaration form needs to be sent to ABDO Examinations and Registration at ‘The Old Dairy’ address. We advise that any documents sent to ABDO Examination and Registration are sent using secure, traceable mail, (i.e. registered or recorded delivery) so that you can track whether it has been received.

ABDO will acknowledge receipt of your Initial Declaration form and confirm your PQP commencement date. Once this has been done, you may start recording your supervised hours: 1,600 hours in no less than 200 days, plus completing all required PQP tasks and producing 50 case records within this time under registered supervision. Only record the actual times you are supervised in practice by either your principal and/or secondary supervisor. Do not record time at college, annual leave, bank holidays or even lunch times!

Evidence of this experience as documented by the trainee in a PQP Portfolio folder will record a minimum number of patient experiences and dispensing tasks. The PQP is currently assessed as part of the ABDO Final Qualifying Examination and therefore the PQP must be entirely completed prior to any candidate sitting that examination.

The initial declaration form is only suitable for students who have not yet been given a date of commencement for their PQP Portfolio. You and your supervisor(s) must have read through your PQP portfolio folder and the PQP guides prior to signing this document. If you do not have a PQP portfolio folder, please speak to your training institute if you have never been issued with one or contact ABDO for replacement folders (charge applies).

Form 2: Change of Practice and/or Supervisor Form

Students should use the Change of Practice and/or Supervisor form to inform ABDO Examinations and Registration of any changes to their previous practice or supervisor details. Any changes agreed by ABDO for a student’s PQP are always confirmed in writing, therefore if you do not receive a confirmation letter within 20 days of submitting a form, please contact ABDO Exams and Registration to enquire about the progress of your form. We advise that you keep any confirmation letters in your PQP portfolio folder for your records.

Form 3: Specialist Clinic Supervisor Form

The Specialist Clinic Supervisor form is for students who temporarily need to work outside their registered practice(s) to gain experience in a specialist field (e.g. low vision, paediatrics, etc.). Please note that, if agreed, this would be a fixed period of supervision for a maximum of three months.

Form 4: General Case Record Form/Data Protection Form

The Case Record form is available as a Word document for students to use if they wish to complete these on a PC, or as a PDF file to print off and complete. If you decide to use the Word document, please ensure that it is printed off promptly after completion for your supervisor to sign. Never leave documents unsigned for long lengths of time, as supervisor’s circumstances can change unexpectedly. Please number your case records as indicated on page 9 of the PQP guide.

There is also an example of a Data Protection form which you may wish to use in practice, as ABDO may request to view any original patient record that relates to case records included in your PQP portfolio folder.

Form 5: Tracking Sheet of Supervised Time Form/Tracking Sheet Dispensing Tasks Form

The tracking sheet of supervised time form and tracking sheet dispensing tasks form are available as an Excel document, for students to use if they wish to complete on a computer, or as a PDF file to print off and complete. Again, if you decide to use the Excel document, please ensure that you print it off as soon as each sheet is completed for your supervisor(s) to sign.

Form 6: Practice Visit Request Form

Only use this form when you are ready for your Practice Visit/Practice Based Assessment. Make sure that it is fully completed and signed.

We aim to conduct practice visits early in your PQP period so that this advice might be put to good use throughout your case records, giving you a greater chance of passing your PQP Portfolio examination (Section E).

Please read the attached Compulsory Equipment Checklist and Important Notes for Dispensing Practice Visit and Practice Based Assessment for details of your visit.

Form 7: FQE Manufacture Visits – Case Record 51

Case record 51 is based on your manufacturing visit. For details of the available visits, please see the ABDO Events area and follow the instructions given for booking arrangements. The front page of the case record 51 form needs to be completed on the day of your visit. For further guidance on writing up your subsequent report, please see page 14 of the PQP guide.

Form 8: Final Declaration

All students following the ABDO Diploma in Ophthalmic Dispensing syllabus, or elements thereof, leading to the FBDO qualification, have a Certificate of Competence provided to ABDO by their training institute.

The Certificate of Competence must be endorsed and signed by the training institute on completion of compulsory GOC core competencies and successful completion of a GOC recognised dispensing training course. This document should then be sent to ABDO Examinations and Registration for endorsement upon successful completion of ABDO’s PQE practical and FQE practical examinations.

Use the link below to view/download the GOC Dispensing Optician Core Competencies 2011:

2015 Syllabus – PQP guidance for supervisors

2023 Syllabus – PQP guidance for supervisors