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 - ABDO College

WCSM Courses

Achievement of Arms 2009 (jpeg)

A solid foundation for the development of essential optical skills

ABDO College provides training courses leading to the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (WCSM) qualifications. WCSM is the awarding body, and successful candidates will be presented with their qualification certificates at the Company’s annual ceremony held at Apothecaries’ Hall in London each October.

WCSM qualifications lay a solid foundation for the development of essential optical skills and open up a clearly defined career pathway for those entering optical professions at the lower levels.

 - ABDO College

WCSM courses - available through ABDO College

The WCSM courses available range from Level 2 Optical Support to Level 4 Optical Technicians and lead to WCSM examination based qualifications. The courses at Level 2 and 3 consist of three mandatory units and then a range of optional units. Learners can build up credits rather than having to do a qualification in one hit.

The WCSM courses currently available through ABDO College are:

  • Level 2 Optical Support
  • Level 3 Optical Support
  • Level 4 Diploma for Optical Assistants
  • Level 4 Diploma for Optical Technicians
  • Fast Track Technician Training for FBDOs

For Level 2 and Level 3 courses there are two intakes per year, in February and September.

For Level 4 courses there is only one intake per year, in September.

Course fees for all courses are included on the application forms.


Please note that exam fees are not included in course fees.

For details on course fees contact ABDO College.

For examination fees and examination application forms contact:

ABDO Examinations and Registration
The Old Dairy, Godmersham Park, Godmersham, Canterbury, Kent CT4 7DT

tel: 01227 732 921
fax: 01227 733 641
email: examinations@abdo.org.uk

If you require any further assistance please call the courses team at ABDO College on 01227 738 829 (option 1)

Work based assessment qualifications - available through WCSM

  • WCSM Level 2 Diploma in Optical Retail Skills
  • WCSM Level 3 Diploma in Optical Retail Skills
  • WCSM Level 2 Diploma in Manufacturing Spectacles
  • WCSM Level 3 Diploma in Manufacturing Spectacles

WCSM offers Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications in Optical Retail Skills and Manufacturing Spectacles which are assessed in the workplace, and quality-assured by external verifiers, rather than through external examinations. These qualifications are typically suited to larger employers providing in-house training to a group of people and covering the learning outcomes required by the diplomas in day to day, supervised, working.

There is no training course associated with these qualifications and no set time period when they can start and finish.  Students will need to be highly motivated and will require a great deal of support from within their practice or laboratory facility.  There are no external workshops or revision sessions.

Each student must be able to produce a portfolio of evidence which proves their knowledge and competence in all areas of the syllabus. A GOC-registered supervisor must be nominated at the time of registration and must be willing and able to supervise the work undertaken by the student to complete their portfolio of evidence.

The units which make up the qualification are internally assessed (though some optional units can be taken by examination) and progress will be checked by the external verifier in three separate visits to the workplace.  The external verifier will also examine the final portfolio to make sure that all requirements have been met before an award can be recommended.

The full specifications for these qualifications can be viewed on the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers’ website

For further information, contact the Administrator at The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers, Apothecaries’ Hall, Blackfriars Lane, London EC4V 6EL, call 020 7236 2932 or email administrator@spectaclemakers.com

Please note that ABDO College does not provide any training or support for these qualifications.

WCSM Courses - Textbook list and order form