The Association of British Dispensing Opticians is opening a National Resource Centre to act as an education and examinations hub for both students and existing association members.
Explaining the impetus behind the facility, Alicia Thompson, BSc(Hons) FBDO R (Hons) SLD SMC(Tech) Director of Professional Examinations says, “The ABDO National Resource Centre will be the pinnacle of training and assessment. The Education Strategic Review and the changing landscape of our profession will naturally expand our scope of practice and we need the facilities to ensure our members are both competent and confident to embrace change and explore the exciting potential this brings.”
The ABDO NRC will both support the profession and generate income. The clinical facilities showcase the latest technology and a wide range of equipment for dispensing, refraction, contact lenses, screening, minor eye conditions services and glazing. Alicia Thompson adds, “The generosity so far in donations and sponsorship is overwhelming and we are extremely grateful for profession-wide support from optical business, retail, frames, lenses, contact lenses, equipment and instrument manufacturing.”
The ABDO NRC is sited at Aston Cross Business Village, within easy reach of major road, rail and air transport networks. It will be the new location for all dispensing and contact lens practical examinations. The centre includes rooms divided by partition walls, ideal for dispensing practical exam sections, with the potential to be opened up for conferences, seminars, training, revision and CET courses. There are also rooms for viva exams and smaller meetings, a fully functional glazing lab and 10 clinical bays equipped for refraction and contact lenses.
Sir Antony Garrett, ABDO CEO and general secretary, says: “The new ABDO National Resource Centre is a major step forward in the service that this Association provides for its members. This is the largest development project since the establishment of ABDO College in 2001, and further demonstrates the determination of the ABDO board to ensure that ABDO continues to keep the needs of members at the core of its development strategy.”
The ABDO National Resource Centre will open in time for the summer exam session.