Elections 2021

We are looking for passionate members to put themselves forward to become AOP Council representatives. No previous experience required


Nominations for vacancies on AOP Council open on 10 February and close on 1 March.

The work of an AOP Councillor

AOP Councillors represent members and help to ensure that members’ views across the UK and the profession are represented in policymaking. A significant element of a Councillor’s role is to communicate with members through various channels and to collate and present their opinions, interests and concerns at the three annual Council meetings.

Our Councillors also promote and actively encourage membership of the AOP, attend regional CET events, and refer members to the right person within the AOP to provide answers, advice and support. 

Councillors have told us that being part of the AOP Council is a rewarding experience, with opportunities to develop new skills, network and to help bring about positive change to the future of the profession.

There are nine elected posts in England, one elected post in Wales and two elected posts in Scotland open for nomination.

Alongside the 12 elected UK posts being contested in England, Wales and Scotland, there are 14 designated positions open for application.

  • Undergraduate student
  • Pre-registration optometrist
  • New Hospital optometrist (alongside the chair of Hospital Optometrists Committee who already sits on Council)
  • Newly qualified & Early career optometrist
  • Independent prescribing optometrist
  • Domiciliary care optometrist
  • Locum optometrist
  • Director of a multiple practice
  • Employee of a multiple practice
  • Director of an independent practice
  • Employee of an independent practice
  • Optometrist for Scotland
  • Optometrist for Wales
  • Optometrist for Northern Ireland

If you wish to and are eligible to nominate yourself for both an elected vacancy and a designated vacancy, the elected post will take precedence should you win that seat. You can check the eligibility criteria for all these vacancies.

Find about more about the role of a Councillor below and by reading the Councillor job description.

Voting for elected positions will be open from 12 March until 26 March, and all eligible AOP members will be invited to vote. The appointed candidates for designated positions will be chosen by the AOP Appointments Committee. The results will be announced in May.

How to nominate or apply 

Visit our nominations website and complete the elected position form to nominate yourself for one of the 12 elected UK posts and/or the designated position form to nominate yourself for one of the 14 designated positions. We strongly recommend drafting your application in a stand-alone Word document or similar and then copying and pasting it into the online form.

Civica Electoral Services (CES) are the independent elections facilitator we have appointed to handle our Council nominations and voting process.

Elected Councillor positions and constituencies

The holders of geographical constituency Council seats are elected by members to represent the interests of their region or country.

There are 12 UK geographical constituencies. There will be one vacancy in each of the nine constituencies in England, one vacancy in Wales and two vacancies in Scotland. If you are planning to stand in the 2021 elections and want to check which constituency you are in, review the constituencies table: AOP Councillors.

Designated Council positions

The designated Council positions representing optometrists working in core areas of practice and for optometrists working in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will also be open for application from 10 February. These positions are not elected - the AOP Appointments Committee will appoint a Councillor for each position from among the applicants.

Check your eligibility to apply for the designated positions on the Councillor job description page.

Before completing the online form

More information about the AOP Council.