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Councillor job description

The role of AOP Councillors

Summary of role

The AOP’s Council is the representative forum for AOP members. Each Council member is responsible for listening to and communicating with members, for conveying their views and for assisting them when they need information or support.

Each member brings their own knowledge and experience to the work of the AOP.

Council members who represent Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are expected to work in a team with the other Councillors representing that country. They are expected to share and divide tasks in order to ensure that all activities and duties are covered.

Remuneration

Councillors can claim payment for significant time spent on Council duties, and costs such as travel, in line with the AOP’s expenses policy.

Key tasks

  • To attend Council meetings and participate in committee meetings and working groups, taking part in policy‐making, as and when required
  • To propose agenda items for Council meetings
  • To communicate with members, mainly electronically, for example:
    - Reporting the discussions that take place at Council meetings
    - Participating in community forums on the AOP website
    - Seeking opinions on key topics, collating responses and presenting them at meetings
  • To represent the AOP within the represented group, for example attending CET events and participating in relevant meetings
  • To provide reports to Council from the represented group
  • To promote and actively encourage membership of the AOP
  • To take part in AOP events, for example staffing the AOP’s stand at conferences
  • To deal with requests from members appropriately, for example referring members to the right person within the AOP to provide them with answers, advice or support
  • If appropriate, after some experience and appropriate training, to act as a mentor to new Council members.

Expectations

  • To attend at least two meetings out of the annual three, reading all relevant papers before the meeting takes place
  • To follow the etiquette for online meetings
  • To act as a ’critical friend’ to the AOP, communicating members’ views to Council and to communicate Council’s decisions and the reasons for them to members
  • To declare any conflict of interest
  • To respect confidentiality rules applying to commercially sensitive information and the privacy of individuals
  • To be mindful when speaking in public forums that one is speaking for the AOP or will be assumed to be so
  • To be familiar with the AOP website and the member advice and policy positions it sets out
  • To regularly read AOP communications to members, including emails and Optometry Today.

Person specification

  • To be a working optometrist ‐ or dispensing optician, student, or pre‐registration student in the case of the members representing those designated groups
  • Committed to promoting and furthering the ideals of the profession
  • Membership of and commitment to the AOP and the representative group
  • Interest in and some knowledge of optical policy
  • Willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to fulfil the specified duties and activities
  • Willingness to speak on behalf of the group being represented
  • Ability to work effectively as a member of a team
  • Comfort with the use of the internet to communicate and network.

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for and to take up a designated position, or Regional (elected) position, applicants must be AOP members, resident in the UK and must fulfil the criteria for each position laid out below.

Position Eligibility
Regional (elected) positions
An optometrist member, who lives or works in the region they represent
Dispensing optician
An AOP dispensing optician member 
Hospital optometrist
As appointed by the Hospital Optometrists Committee
Additional Hospital optometrist An optometrist whose primary role is in a hospital environment
Franchisee/joint venture partner optometrist An optometrist who is a Joint Venture Partner or Franchisee
Newly‐qualified and Early-career optometrist (two positions)
An optometrist who has recently qualified or is in the early stages of their career and who can represent AOP members who are newly qualified or in the early stages of their career
Pre‐registration optometrist
An optometrist with either current or very recent experience of pre-reg work who is able to represent the pre-reg cohort effectively 
Undergraduate student optometrist
Any student member of the AOP who is currently studying for an undergraduate degree in optometry at a UK university. The post holder will also be appointed as the Chair of the AOP Student Committee
Academic optometrist An optometrist who teaches optometry at a United Kingdom university
Additional academic optometrist Nominated by the Optometry Schools Council (OSC) and will usually be the Chair of the OSC
Locum optometrist An optometrist who works as a locum in different settings that change from time to time and can represent members who practice as locums
IP optometrist An optometrist who holds an Independent prescribing qualification and who has current or very recent experience of independent prescribing and can represent this cohort of AOP membership
Domiciliary care optometrist
An optometrist who works wholly or mainly in domiciliary settings
Employed optometrist in a multiple practice
An optometrist working in a multiple practice who is able to represent the interests of AOP members working in multiple practices
Director optometrist of a multiple practice
An optometrist working at the level of director of multiple practice who is able to represent the interests of directors of multiple practices
Employed optometrist in an independent practice
An optometrist working in an independent practice who is able to represent the interests of AOP members working in independent practices
Director of an independent practice
An optometrist working at the level of a director of an independent practice and who is able to represent the interests of directors of independent practices
Optometrist for Scotland
An optometrist who has a working knowledge of NHS commissioning and Government health policy in Scotland
Optometrist for Wales
An optometrist who has a working knowledge of NHS commissioning and Government health policy in Wales
Optometrist for Northern Ireland
An optometrist who has a working knowledge of NHS commissioning and Government health policy in Northern Ireland

Term of office

Before standing down people occupying each role may serve.

 Position  Term of office
Regional (elected position)
 Up to three, three-year terms. First term commencing in 2021 will be two years
Dispensing optician
 Up to three, three-year terms
University lecturer
 Up to three, three-year terms
Hospital optometrist
 As determined by the Hospital Optometrists Committee
Additional Hospital optometrist Up to three, three-year terms. First term commencing in 2021 will be 2 years 
Franchisee/ joint venture partner
Up to three, three-year terms
Newly-qualified and Early-career optometrist (two positions)
Up to three, two‐year‐terms
Pre‐registration optometrist
One one‐year‐term
Undergraduate student optometrist
One one‐year‐term
Additional academic optometrist
Up to three, three-year terms. First term commencing in 2021 will be 2 years  
Locum optometrist
Up to three, three-year terms. First term commencing in 2021 will be 2 years 
IP optometrist
Up to three, three-year terms. First term commencing in 2021 will be 2 years 
Domiciliary care optometrist
Up to three, three-year terms. First term commencing in 2021 will be 2 years 
Employed optometrist in a multiple
Up to three, three-year terms. First term commencing in 2021 will be 2 years  
Director optometrist of a multiple
Up to three, three-year terms. First term commencing in 2021 will be 2 years 
Employed optometrist in an independent
Up to three, three-year terms. First term commencing in 2021 will be 2 years
Director of an independent
Up to three, three-year terms. First term commencing in 2021 will be 2 years 
Designated post for Scotland
Up to three, three-year terms. First term commencing in 2021 will be 2 years 
Designated post for Wales
Up to three, three-year terms. First term commencing in 2021 will be 2 years 
Designated post for Northern Ireland
Up to three, three-year terms. First term commencing in 2021 will be 2 years