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 - ABDO College

Level 4 Diploma for Optical Assistants

September 2017 brings an exciting new course and Level 4 qualification from ABDO College and WCSM…

Supporting our businesses to have sustainable growth, to plan for the future and to thrive, we need to have the right people with the right skills delivering excellence to our patients. For individuals working in our practices, the opportunity to grow and develop is key. In this area ABDO College and WCSM have some great things to offer. There is a lot of change in optics, and one of those exciting changes is a new qualification and course that is commencing mid-September 2017.

The Level 4 Diploma for Optical Assistants (accredited by Ofqual – The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) is a new qualification awarded by the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers for optical assistants. It is expected that holders of the qualification will be entitled to use the letters SMC (OA) after their name. It is tailored to the needs of those who aspire to become senior optical assistants and supervisors. The course would also give a great foundation for those who may wish to go on to study for the FBDO qualification at a later date.

This is a two-year distance learning course supported by ABDO College. Students are assigned a personal tutor, and work through a series of papers at their own pace (in general, at least six to eight hours of work per week is required).

There are no specific entry requirements. However, candidates will be expected to be able to demonstrate knowledge and experience gained in practice and may be able to obtain some exemptions from material already covered if they have already achieved a Level 3 Certificate or Diploma in Optical Support and/or a nationally accredited qualification in mathematics equivalent to grade C or above at GCSE within the last five years.

Year 1 consists of three mandatory units (1, 2 and 3) plus one optional unit.

Year 2 consists of three mandatory units (4, 5 and 12) plus two optional units.

Students will be assessed at the end of each year of a two year course, but those claiming exemptions may be able to complete the qualification in a shorter time. A typical pattern would be as follows:

Year 1 Examinations

  • Written papers on each of Units 1, 2 and 3
  • Written paper on one optional unit

Year 2 Examinations

  • Written papers on Units 4 and 5 and a further two optional units
  • Practical assessment (Unit 12)

For more information please contact the ABDO College Courses Team on 01227 738 829 (Option 1) or email info@abdocollege.org.uk