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 - ABDO College

Contact Lens Certificate



The Contact Lens course takes a minimum of 1 year to complete. Most students take an average of 18 months to 2 years dependent on clinic time in practice.

Assessment methods

Students must submit all weekly assignments and attain 60% or higher each week in order to gain entry into the Contact Lens theory exams. Formal assessment is then carried out via these examinations. There are 3 theory papers as well as practical examinations - including case records.


£2,400 (exams are not included) 6 month payment plan available: £400 per month (please contact the College for further information. All plans need to be in place by 16/08/21).

Course Structure

Students study via 'blended learning'. This refers to a combination of distance learning, teaching at the College as well as learning in practice. Students complete 32 weekly distance learning assignments (all online) and attend the College in Godmersham, Kent, for 2 residential blocks each lasting a week.

Entry requirements

All Contact Lens students must be FBDO qualified. If you are sitting your final exams this summer and would like to move onto the Contact Lens course, please do apply as we can offer a provisional place. If you are a registered DO but without the FBDO qualification, please contact ABDO Examinations who can arrange exams to 'top up' to the FBDO standard.

Course requirements

Students must be GOC registered Dispensing Opticians and ABDO members for the duration of study. Students must be working at least 1 day per week in a Trainee Contact Lens Optician capacity under supervision from a registered Contact Lens Optician or Optometrist.

Closing date for applications

1st August 2021

Course start date


What is a Contact Lens Optician?

A contact lens optician (CLO) is a specialist practitioner who is trained and qualified to fit, and provide aftercare for, patients with contact lenses. Contact lens opticians assess whether contact lenses meet the needs of their patient, resolving clinical and tolerance issues, and remain responsible for clinical decisions enabling them to provide continuity of care to their patients.

The contact lens specialty is open to dispensing opticians (as well as optometrists and ophthalmologists) and involves extra study and clinical practice. Once the specialist training is completed and competence assessed, practitioners must register their specialty with the General Optical Council. They are then able to perform additional duties to those of a dispensing optician.

Course Details

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:
1. Ocular Anatomy, Physiology and Related Pathology; eyelids, pre-corneal tear film, lacrimal system, cornea, sclera, conjunctiva
and anterior chamber.
2. Visual Optics; instrumentation and emerging technology, refractive techniques, the optics of the eye and the optics of contact lenses.
3. 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.
While you are studying your Contact Lens Certificate you are training in contact lens practice. Beyond your block release and distance learning coursework, your learning in practice with your supervisor is a key part of the course. You and your supervisor are 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.

You must be working in practice as a trainee contact lens optician for a minimum of one day a week.
The Contact Lens Certificate course run by ABDO College prepares you for the Contact Lens Certificate examinations available from the Association of British Dispensing Opticians.