11 Jan 2023
Why Should I join the AIO?
- We lobby on behalf of Independents with Government and other Stakeholders. Most recently this has included call for a review of the Opticians Act and reform of the GOS regime in England
- We have a clear set of policies on which we lobby on behalf of the Independent sector.
- We created the ‘Eye Promise’ quality mark for Independents to become the recognised sign for excellence in eye health care in local communities
- We created the Practice Support Network (PSN) with Myers La Roche, NEG, Eyeplan and Specs Network, which is designed to help people into Independent practice, support those who have recently entered the sector, and assist those wishing to retire with succession planning
- We respond to consultations and meet and speak regularly to the GOC, The College, ABDO and other key optical stakeholders
- We are engaging with various stakeholders and interested groups in respect of the proposed introduction of apprenticeships in optometry. With A significant majority of AIO members opposed to this we are proposing that the whole initiative is shelved
- We are represented on the Trail Blazers Group for apprenticeships in optometry. With a significant majority of AIO members opposed to this we consistently advocate that the whole initiative is shelved
- We participate in GOC Strategic reviews, most recently on Qualifications and Training, and Standards for Businesses – and now reform of the Opticians Act
- We have a reporting mechanism with the GOC that is designed to help outlaw the illegal sale of contact lenses which has already produced results
- We offer members a suite of insurance products tailored for Independent practice
- We have a students’ awareness programme that includes speaking at student events at the main universities to promote the Independent sector to them. We also run a special student programme at our Annual Conference
- We are lobbying for a fundamental review of the DVLA sight test programme
- We provide guidance to members on offering DVLA field tests for their patients
- We maintain a Supervisors database for members matching students with members to ensure the future lifeblood of newly qualified people for the Independent sector
- We arrange an Annual Conference and other events for our members delivering relevant CPD at very attractive prices
- We survey our members on topical issues to make sure we are representing our members’ views.
- We issue press releases and offer media commentary and interviews to make sure our views are heard.
- We issue regular newsletters and bulletins.
- We arrange special offers from suppliers for our members
WHAT ARE WE PLANNING TO DO NEXT?
- We are lobbying for primary eye health care to be embedded in community optometry
- We will offer a carefully crafted response to the GOC consultation on reform of the Opticians Act
- We continue to advocate a national eye health care strategy for England
- We will continue to campaign for the GOS to limit the remuneration for the standard eye examination to the amount charged by the contractor for a private eye examination. In other words – no taxpayer subsidy for ‘free’ eye tests
- We will continue to push for effective policing of the illegal sale of contact lenses
- We will issue Freedom of Information requests to identify what is the real cost of cutting corners on Government contracts (such as the DVLA)
- We orchestrated a bid for the DVLA sight test contract in 2019 and will do so again when the current contract is up for tender
- We created a Post Covid 19 Manifesto with a route map for appropriate reform
- We are a nice bunch of people, and we like to have fun when we can!
You can become an AIO member by visiting www.aiovision.org