Contact Lens Certificate
The Contact Lens Certificate course is for you if you are a FBDO qualified Dispensing Optician and you want to train and work as a Contact Lens Optician. If you are a registered DO but without the FBDO qualification, you would need to contact ABDO Examinations to arrange and pass the relevant exams before applying.
It is delivered by a method called ‘blended learning’ that consists of practice based learning, block release and distance learning coursework.
Currently this course is paper-based, but will be an online course in the future. At this point you will need regular access to a computer and the internet.
The Contact Lens Certificate course is based around the ABDO Syllabus and the GOC Contact Lens Core Competencies. Both of these documents are available on request from the appropriate body.
The three key areas of theory study are:
- Ocular Anatomy, Physiology and Related Pathology; eyelids, pre-corneal tear film, lacrimal system, cornea, sclera, conjunctiva and anterior chamber.
- Visual Optics; instrumentation and emerging technology, refractive techniques, the optics of the eye and the optics of contact lenses.
- Contact Lens Practice; instrumentation, clinical procedures, abnormal conditions, design, materials, manufacture and related terminology, clinical application of all contact lens types, solutions and drugs.
The practical elements are; initial assessment, soft contact lens fitting, RGP contact lens fitting, complex lenses, aftercare routine and management, verification and identification.
The theory course takes one academic year. Beyond this there is a requirement to develop patient case records and many students take an additional six months – one year before undertaking the practical examinations.
The ABDO Contact Lens Certificate is an ‘advanced level’ qualification that has been accredited by Ofqal (Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) as Level 6 on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). This means that it is the same academic level as a Bachelors degree with honours.
Courses delivered by a method called ‘blended learning’ consist of practice-based learning, block release and distance learning coursework.
We will provide coursework material to work through and some assignment questions to answer for each part of the course. We will also allocate you a personal tutor and send you their contact details and a timetable for you to work to. There are 32 units of coursework and you will work through one each week. As the course is at advanced level, you will also need to undertake some additional research and read around the subject in order to gain a thorough understanding of the subject. You then send your work to your personal tutor who will mark it for you and return it to you with some feedback. You can expect this coursework to take you approximately 15 hours per week and you will need to be disciplined to make sure you keep up.
Block release is a one week period of intensive study that will support you with your theory and practical studies and give you the chance to meet some of your fellow students. There will be two of these block release periods in the year. Block release is held at ABDO College in Godmersham, Kent and it is a compulsory part of the course for all students.
While you are studying your Contact Lens Certificate you will be training in contact lens practice. This training consists not just of your block release and distance learning coursework but also of your learning in practice with your supervisor.
You and your supervisor will be issued with a workbook to guide you both through this part of your training. You will learn practical skills from your supervisor and work with patients in practice (under supervision) to perfect these skills.
To become a contact lens optician you will also need to complete a set number of case records that you build up over a one-year period and makes up a part of your final examinations.
The Contact Lens Certificate course is for qualified dispensing opticians, optometrists or ophthalmologists that have a specialist interest in working with patients in a clinical environment to provide a wide range of available services.
Yes, you must be working in practice as a trainee contact lens optician for a minimum of one day a week. It is essential that you are gaining practical experience to support your theory learning and developing practical skills in contact lens practice.
You must hold the ABDO Level 6 Diploma in Ophthalmic Dispensing (FBDO) or be a qualified optometrist.
If you are unsure about your eligibility to undertake the Contact Lens Certificate course please call us and we will be happy to discuss your options with you.
Yes, you will need to retain full membership for the duration of your course.
Yes, as a practicing dispensing optician or optometrist, it is essential that you retain full registration for the duration of your course.
The Contact Lens Certificate course run by ABDO College prepares students for the Level 6 Contact Lens Certificate examinations available from the Association of British Dispensing Opticians.
Abnormal Ocular Conditions (2nd Edition) – D M Pipe / L J Rapley
Ocular Anatomy & Histology (3rd Edition) – D M Pipe / L J Rapley
Manual of Monocular Subjective Refraction – H Freeman
Contact Lens Complications – (2nd Edition) – N Efron
Contact Lens Manual (4th edition) – Gasson / Morris
Contact Lenses (5th Edition) – Phillips and Speedwell
Clinical Anatomy and Physiology of the Visual System (3rd edition) –
British National Formulary – British Medical Association
Contact Lenses A–Z – Efron
Contact Lens Practice (3rd edition) –Nathan Efron
Cornea Atlas (3rd Edition) – J. Krachmer MD and D. Palay MD
Lee Ann Remington Dictionary of Optometry & Visual Science (7th edition) – M Millodot
Ocular Surface Disease – M Mannis, E Holland, W Barrry Lee
Call us. We are happy to answer questions about the available courses from ABDO College and to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.
We may also be able to put you in touch with other members who have previously completed this course.
Call the courses team at ABDO College on 01227 738 829 (option 1). Any member of the team will be happy to help you.
Talk to your employer straight away. Your employer will need to support you and you will need a dedicated supervisor to work with you and help you with your training in practice. If your employer or supervisor has any questions they should call us.
For an information pack with details of the next intake, fees, deadline and an application form contact us by telephone, fax, email, post or via the ABDO College website.