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Examinations news and updates

Summer 2023 exam results will be sent out – TBC

𝗧𝗼 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗲 𝗗𝗶𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗻𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝘁𝘂𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀, 𝗳𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹 𝟲 𝗗𝗶𝗽𝗹𝗼𝗺𝗮 𝗶𝗻 𝗢𝗽𝗵𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗺𝗶𝗰 𝗗𝗶𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗻𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻.

In line with public health guidance and increased IPC continuing within all optical practices, ABDO will require patient signatures on the Preliminary Qualifying Portfolio data protection slips to resume from the 1st September 2021.

This is required from 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗨𝗞 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗮𝗻 𝗔𝗕𝗗𝗢 𝗽𝗼𝗹𝗶𝗰𝘆 𝗱𝗲𝗰𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻, separate to any exemptions in relation to signatures on GOS forms that may still be in place within your region.

ABDO is calling for your feedback as it launches a review of the syllabus of its FBDO qualification to ensure that student dispensing opticians are prepared for the roles of the future.

ABDO’s Level 6 diploma in ophthalmic dispensing enables students to register with the GOC and practise using the protected title of ‘dispensing optician’. The syllabus sets out which areas students study, and the depth and breadth of what they study in each area.

Read the consultation paper and respond here. The consultation closes on 12 July 2021.

ABDO have been working with the manufacturers to try and reinstate the tours this year, but with the lasting safety requirements and with cases on the rise again, this is now unlikely to happen.

We will therefore be accepting a researched report again for the Winter 2021 and Summer 2022 portfolio submissions.  Please make sure you refer to the portfolio guide and cover all the topics listed for case record 51, and that the assignment is clearly referenced.





The Association of British Dispensing Opticians’ (ABDO) Exams and Registration department has been liaising with the General Optical Council on student supervision, due to the current situation with Covid-19. The organisations have agreed temporary amendments to supervision arrangements.

The following measures have been agreed to assist students and supervisors regarding supervision due to extended periods of training and potential overlap with new trainees requiring supervision. The following is a temporary update to the supervisor/student ratios:

  • For the period of September 2020 to July 2021 only, pre-approved supervisors may oversee the training of a maximum of 3 GOC- registered students.
  • Supervisors will be required to notify the Examinations and Registration Department by email to for the appropriate declaration.
  • A pre-agreed extension will only be permitted where candidates were already registered to sit their assessments in April 2020 or Summer 2020
  • One of the 3 supervised candidates must have completed 80% of their PQP and ready to sit their final assessments as soon as is safe to do so.
  • If the final year candidate subsequently is unsuccessful in their assessments, the supervision extension will continue to the end of August 2021 to allow the full number of permitted re-sit attempts in that time.
  • If the final year student qualifies earlier than August 2021, the usual supervision rules of a maximum of 2 GOC registered trainees will be re-instated.
  • Supervisors must maintain the GOC supervision policy for all candidates that they have registered to supervise.

This applies only to final year students registered for the April 2020 or Summer 2020 ABDO assessments.

If you have any questions on the above points, please contact Mark Chandler, Head of Exams and Registration on 01227 732920 or at

For the Summer 2020 Certificate in Contact in Contact Lens Practice practical examination session, the case records requirements are those detailed in the 2018 Syllabus.

After that sitting and so for the Winter 2020 sitting (practical examinations to be held in January 2021), any candidate who is involved in a resit of Section 5 should be prepared for the case records requirements of the 2019 Syllabus as the 2019 Syllabus will apply to all contact lens practical sections and examinations in the Winter 2020 examinations, whether a retake or first attempt – and thereafter.

The CHANGES to the Section 5 Case Record requirements at Winter 2020 are:

  • An increase to TWO toric patients
  • An increase to TWO presbyopic patients
  • A decrease to TWO patients fitted with RGP lenses

As the first pair of lenses issued to any case records patients for the Winter 2020 examinations, is required to be issued by 31 MAY 2020, any candidate retaking Section 5 in the Winter 2020 practical examinations should be prepared to meet the change in requirements, by fitting the extra patients and issuing the lenses within the deadline of 31 May 2020.

The 2019 Syllabus gives full details of the theory and practical examinations including the full list of case record requirements. Copies of the 2019 syllabus (and the 2018 syllabus and a document detailing the changes) are available to download from the ABDO website ( information/contact lens exams).

For information

Guidance on the headings which it is felt should be part of new fittings and the consultations which follow, can be downloaded from the ABDO website. The most direct way to find them in the new website, is to use the ‘general search’ option on the home page – entering ‘contact lens records’ – and the lists should either be first or early in the list.

All candidates should be aware that – for all sittings – the requirement for aftercare is that the lenses are monitored over a period of six months: there is no requirement for a specific number of aftercare appointments or frequency, as they would vary according to the patient’s ocular status, lens type and lens wear.

For those planning to sit the practical examinations after the 2018 syllabus examinations have ceased, success in the contact lens theory examinations under the 2018 syllabus will be carried forward.  The seven-year rule will apply to any examination success whether under the 2018 syllabus or the 2019 syllabus.

Online applications for the Summer 2023 session are now CLOSED.  The next available exam session will be Winter 2023.