Our Council helps determine policy by dealing with the issues you face day-to-day

The AOP Council acts as a representative body for our membership. It consists of 33 members, 25 of whom are elected to represent geographical areas, with 18 Councillors from English regions, three from Scotland and two each from Wales and Northern Ireland.

The remaining eight Councillors have designated positions representing particular membership groups:

  • Early-career optometrists
  • Franchisee/joint venture partner optometrists
  • Undergraduate optometry students
  • Pre-registration optometrists
  • Newly-qualified optometrists
  • University lecturers
  • Hospital optometrists
  • Dispensing opticians 

The work of an AOP Councillor

AOP Councillors represent members within their region or particular membership group. Their main role is to communicate with members and to feedback to the AOP at Council meetings, which take place three times a year. 

Through their attendance at Council meetings and the reports they contribute to, Councillors directly inform policy-making. This helps to ensure we fully represent all members through a democratic process.

As well as representing members, Councillors also represent the AOP. They promote and actively encourage membership and deal with requests by referring members to the right people within the AOP who can provide answers, advice or support.

What is my Council constituency?

Regionally-elected Councillors are chosen to represent members across 12 UK constituencies: Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and nine constituencies across England. The border of each constituency is defined by postcode area. 

Your regional Councillor elected to represent you (and therefore your voting constituency) is determined by the address you have chosen to receive your AOP communications. You can review this address within the My details section of your My AOP profile. Click 'Edit details' to find your addresses under 'Communication preferences'.

Find out more about the Council's structure, powers and the election process in our Council Byelaws.

Becoming a councillor

Elections of new Council members, take place two years out of three, during the spring. Forthcoming elections will be held in 2020, 2021, 2023 and so on. 

Members can apply for designated positions representing particular membership groups when there are vacancies. The appointments are decided by our Appointments Committee.

If you're interested in becoming a Councillor, read the Councillor job description.