The Association of Optometrists (AOP) has today (6 February) launched a Voice of the Profession panel initiative.
The survey panel has been designed with the aim of raising the profile of optometry and eye health with the public.
Providing practitioners a “unique opportunity” to share their thoughts on eye health issues, the AOP is calling on members who join the panel to complete three online surveys throughout the 2017.
The findings from the surveys, the AOP explained, will be communicated under the brand 'Voice of Optometry' and aim to promote positive stories across national and local media to increase the public understanding of optometry and instil better eye health habits.
The first survey, which should take 15-minutes to complete, will be sent to all UK practising AOP members, along with an invitation to take part in future surveys by agreeing to be an ongoing panel member.
Topics explored in the first survey include the links between good vision and safe driving, lifestyle factors affecting sight and common misconceptions about eye health.
Speaking about the new initiative, chief executive of the AOP, Henrietta Alderman, said: “The AOP is delighted to be launching this important new initiative, which is designed to support a more public profile for optics. We know that this is increasingly important to our members and this project will underpin some of our longer-term goals for external facing work. Having this valuable statistical data will strengthen our position – giving us the campaign power to champion the profession and the issues that practitioners care about.”
AOP members who become an ongoing panel member will be asked to commit “less than hour of their time annually,” the Association emphasised. The findings of the survey will be reported on a general, rather than individual, level, and all views of panel members will remain anonymous.
Ms Alderman highlighted: “We hope that our members see this as an excellent way of ensuring their voice is represented and will support us in this endeavour to bring optometry and eye health issues to the fore.”
For more information on the panel visit the AOP website.