Frequently asked questions about AOP membership
Below you'll find answers to some common membership enquiries, information on membership tax relief and any problems with logging in.
Common membership enquiries
I am about to renew my membership. How do I know if I am on the right membership grade?
I have just renewed my membership of the AOP. When will I receive my new membership card?
As part of a range of eco-friendly initiatives, we plan to move away from providing annually updated membership cards. From 2020, members will receive a card on first joining and replacement cards will be available on request. However, we will no longer provide a new membership card annually as part of the renewal process.
I am planning to start a family. How does this affect my membership?
If you are planning to start a family you may be eligible for our parental leave membership, which is available for existing AOP members. The parental leave grade is a fee-free grade for parents taking maternity, paternity or adoption leave and can be used for a maximum of 12 months.
I have had a ten-year career break from optometry. How do I rejoin the profession?
Visit our returning to work page to find out about some of the things you need to consider before returning to work, including advice on how to be restored to the GOC register, and how to be restored to the Ophthalmic Performers List.
You may also like to read about some of our members' experiences of returning to work:
I am planning to retire this year. Is there a membership grade for retired members?
If you are planning to retire this year, don't forget to let us know. If you are retiring from all employment you may be eligible for our newly retired membership grade.
The GOC has requested a copy of a patient's record. What should I do?
Under the Opticians Act 1989 the GOC may require you to supply information or produce a document that’s relevant to their work. The GOC will normally obtain the patient's consent and send this with their request. They’re also likely to ask for the original records, so make a copy before you send them.
Find out more about when and why you can share patient records on our patient confidentiality page.
I work part-time, what’s the best membership grade for me?
If you work less than 100 days in a calendar year (any work carried out on a day equates to one day) our full concessionary membership grade is best for you. For clarity, all work conducted either in a self-employed or employed capacity within the calendar year is included in the 100 day total. Days teaching and supervising optometry students undertaken in the university do not need to be included within the 100 day limit.
I’m a practice owner, what’s the best membership grade for me?
If you are a practice owner who is relying on the vicarious liability insurance for your practice, the full UK grade is the appropriate grade for your requirements.
We include vicarious liability insurance as standard as part of your membership and your business is covered if a claim comes in after an employee or locum member has stopped working for you. As long as all optometrists in the business (owners, employees and locums) are AOP members, and you have the vicarious liability cover through your AOP membership when the claim is notified, your business will be covered.
Membership tax relief
The AOP is an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) approved professional body - registered as ‘Optometrists, Association of’ - which means that if you are a UK tax payer, you may be eligible to claim tax relief on your AOP membership fee.
For a higher rate tax payer (40%) this could mean relief of more than £280 against the full annual membership fee and a basic rate tax payer (20%) relief of over £140.
If you pay your own AOP membership fee, tax relief should be claimed on your annual self-assessment return or via the HMRC P87 form.
If your employer pays your membership fee on your behalf, your employer may have an exemption with HMRC so that you won't be taxed. Alternatively, your employer will include these fees on your annual P11D tax form - then you claim the tax relief on your self-assessment return.
Self-employed people and locums
If you're self-employed or a locum the AOP membership fee may be deductible as an allowable expense before calculating your taxable profits.
When you join the AOP, or on renewal of membership, members are provided with a ‘Confirmation of payment or renewal’ receipt. This can be used as evidence for the claim.
For more information about tax relief for professional fees and subscriptions and how to claim, please visit the GOV.UK website
Logging in FAQs
If you're having problems with logging in to the website, we have compiled a list of the more commonly encountered issues together with some advice on how these can be resolved.
If you are unable to log in, please refer to the questions and answers below in the first instance. If, having read the advice, your problem persists, please contact us on [email protected]. We will reply to you within 48 hours (week days), if not sooner.
1. Which email address should I use?
Please log in with the email address to which you receive member communications from the AOP.
2. What do I do if I have forgotten my password?
Please click on the forgotten password link and enter your email address. You should receive a reset password email. Please check your junk and/or spam email boxes if you do not receive an email immediately.
3. What do I do if I receive a message saying that my email address or password is not recognised
Please contact us for assistance on [email protected]. Please include your membership number or GOC number when contacting us to help us identify you.
4. What do I do if I am told to re register on the site
Click on the Register link on the login page and complete the online form. You will need to enter the following information:
- Membership number
- Email address (please enter the email address associated with your AOP membership)
- Password (of your choice)
- Forum user name (of your choice)
Then click on the 'Register' button.
Once you are registered you should be able to log in successfully with your email address and chosen password. You may need to refresh your browser before doing so.
5. What do I do if I am unable to successfully register on the website?
Please check that you have used the correct email address and entered all other information correctly. If you are still unable to register, please contact us on [email protected]. Please quote your AOP or GOC number to help us identify you.
6. How do I register if I've change my surname
If you have changed your surname, for immediate access to MyAOP, you should register with the surname that you were using when you originally joined the AOP. You should then contact the membership team on [email protected] who will help you update your account with your new surname.