ABDO Consultation Day 2021

Jo Holmes opens the Association’s annual meeting

ABDO held its annual Consultation Day on Sunday 21 November at its National Resource Centre (NRC) in Birmingham.

In a first for the organisation, the event combined both face-to-face and online access, allowing members to take part in the way that suited them best.

ABDO president, Jo Holmes, opened the event. She said: “At our first in-person Consultation Day with our members since before the pandemic, it was heartening and reassuring to see our members fact-to-face and to catch up on their own world in optics. It feels like we are gradually returning to normal.”

The Association’s annual meeting took place, with a summary of activities of the year. ABDO’s chief finance officer, Pavan Pavanakumar, presented a summary of the finances for 2020. This was followed by the annual meeting of the ABDO Benevolent Fund. Jo Holmes, acting chair, was confirmed in her position and provided a summary of activities. Pavan provided a financial summary.

Activities and outlooks

Next members of the ABDO senior staff team summed up activities for the past year and outlined plans for 2022. Head of communications and IT, Antonia Chitty, spoke about the communications that had taken place throughout the pandemic period, and focused on the Thinking Green campaign as a key strand of activity that members would be seeing throughout 2022.

Nick Walsh discusses training courses

Nick Walsh, head of corporate development, outlined progress with ABDO’s management and leadership training (MLT). The courses have been offered to ABDO members and the wider optical community with great success, and will be made more widely available in 2022, providing a valuable income stream to the association.

In addition, members will be able to take part in online courses and workshops focusing on change management and conflict management. In response to a question, Nick announced that 2022 would see a return for the face-to-face ‘Become an independent’ event, which helps members looking to start their own practice.

ABDO clinical lead, Max Halford, spoke about clinical developments at the Association. He outlined the progress of contact lens optician members who were becoming minor eye conditions services qualified, and highlighted the new ‘Focus on’ series of events.

Head of CPD, Alex Webster, outlined current knowledge about the new CPD scheme from the General Optical Council, which launches at the start of 2022, as well as CET activities from ABDO in the past year. She highlighted key changes for the new scheme – including members being responsible for uploading their own activities – and the shift to require all practitioners including dispensing opticians to complete a peer review or discussion session.

Finally, head of strategy Alistair Bridge spoke about ABDO’s journey to develop a strategy for 2022-2026. Members were consulted about key themes for the strategy in September/October. The strategy will go to the board in December before being launched at 100% Optical at the end of January, accompanied by the Annual Plan for 2022.

During the event, Jill Umpleby was presented with the Medal of Excellence. Read story in full here.