Advice and guidelines

Update in progress

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The Advice & Guidelines which follow, although not exclusive, are issued in pursuance of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians’ (ABDO) objectives in maintaining for the public benefit the highest standards of professional competence and conduct. With changing circumstances the Association expects its attention will be drawn to new forms of practice or duties which might require fresh or amended advice to the profession.

This Advice & Guidelines supersedes any previous electronic guidance.

The profession is regulated partly by legal provisions and partly by advice issued by ABDO.

If you are an ABDO member and have a query which you cannot find the answer to online, please contact the membership team on or 01227 733 911 / 01227 733 912 / 01227 733 902.


Advice and guidelines

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The advice given by ABDO verbally or in correspondence regarding its published Advice & Guidelines or related matters is for use only by ABDO members and any implementation of such advice is subject to the member’s professional judgment. Whilst every reasonable care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of such advice provided, neither ABDO nor the person giving the advice can accept any responsibility for any action taken, or not taken, on the basis of this advice.

ABDO shall not be liable to any person for any loss or damage which may arise from using any such advice.

The above disclaimer is not intended to restrict or exclude liability for death or personal injury caused by the negligence of ABDO.

Advice & Guidelines References

In compiling these guidelines, reference was made to the following:

  • The Advice and Guidelines of the College of Optometrists (as current in 2019)
  • Association of Optometrists
  • British Standards Institution
  • College of Optometrists
  • Data Protection Agency
  • Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians
  • General Optical Council
  • Health and Safety Executive
  • Optical Consumer Complaints Service
  • Medical Devices Agency
  • vCJD (ABDO/College of Optometrists Joint Working Group – October 2001)
  • Association of Optometrists Members Handbook
  • Government Smoke Free legislation

The principal legal provisions which regulate dispensing opticians are as follows:-

  • The Registration Rules 2005
  • The Sale of Optical Appliances Order of Council 1984
  • The Rules on the Fitting of Contact Lenses 1985 (with amendments)
  • The Contact Lens (Qualification) Rules 1988 (as amended) (further amended)
  • The Opticians Act 1989 (with amendments)
  • The Contact Lens (Specification) Rules 1989 (as amended)
  • The Rules relating to Injury or Disease of the Eye 1999 (with amendments)
  • The Fitness to Practise Rules 2013
  • The Continuing Education & Training Rules 2005
  • The Committee Constitution Rules 2005
  • The Fees Rules 2005
  • All GOC rules affecting Dispensing Opticians (These can all be found on the General Optical Council website at Members of the dispensing profession should acquaint themselves with the detail of these, and of the 1989 Act in particular.)
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975
  • Race Relations Act 1976
  • Consumer Protection Act 1987
  • Access to Health Records Act 1990
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Data Protection Act 2018
  • Price Marking Order 2004
  • Medical Devices Directive 2017
  • The Enterprise Act 2002
  • The Smoking, Health & Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005
  • The Smoking (Northern Ireland) Order 2006
  • The Smoke-Free (Premises & Enforcement) Regulations 2006
  • Smoke-Free Premises etc (Wales) Regulations 2007