AOP Awards 2020 - Categories

Find out more about the 15 categories

AOP 2020 Awards


Charity of the Year

Sponsor: VISUfarma

VISUfarma logo
This award recognises charities from all corners of the eye health sector, including those who are dedicated to research, raising awareness of optical issues, or supporting people with vision impairments. Nominees for this award will be able to evidence an outstanding and successful initiative from the past 12 months, which demonstrates innovations in research, education, campaigning or profile-raising activities.

Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year

Sponsor: Bausch + Lomb

Bausch + Lomb

With a full grasp of product range and innovation, the Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year will be a champion for contact lens wear in the practice and beyond. Nominees will be able to demonstrate how they have expanded the presence of contact lenses within the practice and through their promotion have seen patient uptake of lenses grow.

Dispensing Optician of the Year

The Dispensing Optician of the Year will have an encyclopaedic lens knowledge, which they have utilised to find creative solutions for patients’ individual needs. Nominees will be able to demonstrate a dedication to keeping up-to-date with new innovations in frames and lenses and can show evidence of their leadership within the practice, supporting colleagues and promoting eye health.

Frame of the Year

Entries are invited for a frame brought to market in the last three years (at the time of application submission) that has had a significant impact upon the wearer and the dispensing practice or practitioner. The impact could have been aesthetic, emotional or financial in nature. The design might be broad in appeal, forward-thinking in style or innovative in material. It might be the pioneer of a whole new trend phenomenon. The way in which it was marketed and presented to the profession and to a wider audience might also be considered. The judge will welcome samples, case studies or measures of its success.

Health and Wellbeing Initiative of the Year

This award will recognise a practice that understands the important role that health and wellbeing can play in job satisfaction. Nominees must be able to demonstrate the initiative they have put in place to motivate, engage and support their staff. They will have established the awareness of wellbeing and the important role it can play, recognising that a happy, healthy workforce is essential for a successful business. 

Hospital Optometry Team of the Year

This award will recognise a hospital optometry team who has created a new system or clinic, or branched into an area of ophthalmology, pioneering the way for future hospital optometrists and helping patient care in busy departments. This may include expansion of services across the primary and secondary care interface. The award will also recognise a hospital optometry team that makes an outstanding contribution to core services. Maintaining high standards of care and attention, and looking to improve their service for the comfort of patients across fields such as contact lenses and paediatrics. The ‘team’ can be a sub-section of a hospital optometry department; however, it cannot be a lone-worker.

Lecturer of the Year

Recognising teaching at the highest level, nominees will be able to demonstrate a commitment to dynamic and informative teaching methods, which inspires clinical excellence amongst students. Showing great pastoral care, in addition to academic inspiration, nominees will have a lasting positive impact on patients.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Sponsor: Alcon

Alcon logo

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognises a person who has dedicated their career to promoting and expanding the role of optics, or who has brought the benefits of optics to a wider audience. The recipient will have a demonstrable and wide-reaching impact on the profession.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is selected by an AOP panel, including our Chief Executive and Chair.

Locum of the Year

Sponsor: Johnson & Johnson Vision

J&J Vision logo
The winner of the Locum of the Year award will demonstrate a drive and commitment to enhancing their clinical skills for the benefit of patients. Nominees will be able to evidence their wider contribution to the profession, through their leadership skills, mentoring of peers, teaching experience, research activity, or holding a key secondary role within the sector.

Newly-qualified Optometrist of the Year

Nominees will be optometrists who have been qualified for up to three years (from their date of registration on the GOC list at the time of application submission) who have launched themselves into the early years of their career with enthusiasm and professionalism. Going above and beyond their day job, this optometrist will be able to demonstrate a keen interest in the profession in its wider context.

Optometrist of the Year

This award will recognise an optometrist who has combined a commitment to patient care with hands-on clinical expertise. Nominees will be leading figures in their community practice or in a hospital setting and will demonstrate their support for the development of colleagues. A team player within the wider optical community, the winner of this award will also play a role in initiatives designed to support the profession. 

Practice of the Year

Sponsor: Optos PLC

NikonOptos logo
This award will go to a practice, either multiple, franchise or independent, that can demonstrate clinical excellence and a strong emphasis on the patient journey. Nominees will have engaged in educating patients and the wider community about eye health, along with showing a flair for products and services, and an emphasis on looking after every patient on an individual basis.

Practice Team Member of the Year

Sponsor: Lloyd & Whyte

This award will go to the person dedicated to delivering the best possible customer experience in the practice. Nominees will have a demonstrable interest in furthering their eye care knowledge, including taking an interest in the technology available in the practice. They will show outstanding support to the team while providing unique and creative customer service.

Product of the Year

This award is for an optical product brought to market in the last three years (at the time of application submission). This category seeks to highlight organisations that have identified new products and successfully brought them to market or adapted an existing product for a new market. Entrants must be able to clearly demonstrate that there was a demand for the innovation and that the innovation has proved successful in line with the objectives set.

Student of the Year

This award will recognise an optometry student, dispensing optician student or pre-registration optometrist who can demonstrate initiative and drive to improve their fellow students’ participation in, and awareness of, optical issues. Nominees will be able to demonstrate a passion for the profession and evidence of their status as 'an optical leader of the future'.