We have engaged the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) to carry out a survey of optometrists. The survey is designed to help us understand the career aspirations and motivations of optometrists.
Aim of the survey
One of the biggest issues facing employers in optics, whether multiple or independent, is the recruitment and retention of staff.
We want to understand what drives optometrists’ career choices and what they want for their futures. We also want to understand what employers and managers in optics want from their own careers, and to understand their problems, and their successes, in recruiting and retaining staff.
This is so that we can develop services for members – whether they are employees or employers – to help them achieve their goals.
Background to this work
Previous work, such as the optometric workforce survey conducted for the sector by the College of Optometrists, has answered some questions and prompted more. We know that more and more people are working as locums, but we don’t know how many more might do so, nor whether current locums might opt for an employed role later in their careers. We learned how long people intended to stay in optometry, but we don’t know what might motivate them to stay longer, or seek advancement or move to a shortage area.
Our health and wellbeing survey revealed that fewer than a quarter of optometrists would be prepared to relocate in order to achieve their career goals. Why is this? Is it because there are sufficient career opportunities without the need to move? Or is it to do with non-work factors like family ties and responsibilities?
Who should do the survey
We want to hear from all optometrists - employers and employees, students, pre-reg or GOC-registered, whether they are AOP members or not.
We know that there are many competing demands on optometrists’ time and we are very grateful to everyone who gives us a little of theirs to help us understand optometrists’ needs and therefore improve our services.
Actions from the survey
We will use the results in a number of ways. One is to tailor our services to members’ needs and develop new services in light of the findings. For example, it may help us identify additions to our education program at 100% Optical and throughout the year. We can also use the results to help employers understand what they can do better to attract and retain staff.
If you have any questions about why this survey has been commissioned, and how the data will be used by the AOP, please contact the policy team on email@example.com.