The Association of British Dispensing Opticians has held the official opening event for the National Resource Centre in Birmingham, its flagship new education and examinations hub. The centre was opened by Andy Street CBE, Mayor of the West Midlands. In his speech Andy said, “We welcome the decision ABDO has made to invest in the West Midlands, to create jobs across region and make the most of all the facilities Birmingham has to offer. This is a day of celebration and looking forward with great confidence to a bright future for both the National Resource Centre and the expanding role of the optical profession”.
Alicia Thompson, BSc(Hons) FBDO R (Hons) SLD SMC(Tech) Director of Professional Examinations says, “Today’s event has been an excellent chance for leaders in UK optics to join ABDO at this outstanding new facility. The ABDO National Resource Centre (ABDO NRC) is the pinnacle of training and assessment. These facilities will ensure our members are both competent and confident to embrace change and explore the exciting potential this brings as we extend our scope of practice.”
The clinical facilities at the ABDO NRC showcase the latest technology and a wide range of equipment for dispensing, refraction, contact lenses, screening, minor eye conditions services and glazing. The centre has been generously supported by Birmingham Optical, Essilor, Specsavers, Millmead, Jai Kudo the Norville Group, and Mainline Instruments.
Clive Marchant, President of ABDO says, “This is a landmark for the Association of British Dispensing Opticians and the optical fraternity, a centre of excellent for training, examination, and upskilling to advance the profession to embrace enhanced services and the rapid advancement in technology.”
The venue includes rooms ideal for practical examinations, 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. The centre is available to local businesses as well as those in the optical industry to hire for large and small meetings and events.