AOP support

Amplifying the voices of the profession

As 14 designated posts on the AOP Council open for applications from 16 February, councillors share what they enjoy about being part of Council


The period for members to apply to join the AOP Council will be open between 16th February and 15th March this year, as 14 designated posts open for applications.

The designated positions open for application:

  1. Undergraduate student
  2. Pre-registration optometrist
  3. Newly-qualified optometrist
  4. Additional hospital optometrist
  5. Independent optometrist
  6. Domiciliary care optometrist
  7. Locum optometrist
  8. Director of a multiple practice
  9. Employee of a multiple practice
  10. Director of an independent practice
  11. Employee of an independent practice
  12. Optometrist for Scotland
  13. Optometrist for Wales
  14. Optometrist for Northern Ireland

The undergraduate student and pre-registration optometrist positions have a term of office of one year. All other designated positions have a three-year term from 2023.

More information about the designated positions and eligibility criteria can be found online.

Applications can be made online, with appointments decided by the AOP Appointments Committee.

The current AOP Council is made up of 34 members, with 14 elected to represent geographical areas across the UK, and 20 councillors with designated positions reflecting the diversity of AOP’s membership: their different types of work and workplaces across the whole UK, and the different stages in their careers.

The AOP Council helps to ensure the views of members across modes of practice and career stages can be heard, with councillors representing members within their region or membership group at Council meetings, held three times a year.

Councillors help to inform the AOP’s policy work and services for members, also representing the AOP, promoting membership and assisting members.

What the AOP council means to me…

To mark their time representing members, several councillors reflected on what they most enjoyed about being part of the AOP council.

Councillors noted the benefits of meeting representatives from across the profession and the country.

Laura Josephs, AOP councillor for undergraduate student optometrists, said: “Being on the AOP council has been an enlightening experience for me.” Josephs highlighted that council presents opportunities to discuss topics “that are really important to optometrists today.”

Ali Yasen, AOP councillor for newly-qualified and early career optometrists, also noted the opportunity to connect with others “on a national level and understand how the industry fits together and runs.”

“It’s lovely to be around like-minded people who are there to represent their cohorts, improve the quality of care for their patients and raise concerns in their areas where possible,” Yasen added.

Mehul Patel, AOP councillor for directors of multiple practices, explained that he applied for council as a way to give back to the profession: “I felt I wanted to give back to my colleagues and to the AOP, as they helped me a lot during the pandemic.”

Councillors also explained the ways that the AOP council has enabled them to share and develop their own views on matters.

AOP councillor for Scotland, Dr Stephanie Kearney, said that she enjoyed networking with practitioners across the UK, and having the opportunity to “be able to share and develop my views on important topics affecting our profession.”

AOP councillor for employees of multiple practices, Karan Vyas, shared: “Council provides the opportunity to get things done, and amplify your voice and the voices of others around you.”

Josie Evans, AOP councillor for employees of independent practices, suggested that being part of the AOP council provides an opportunity to “view our profession through a different perspective.”

Evans shared: “You feel supported; you know your views and the views of the members you represent are being heard and valued. As an individual, you are constantly learning and developing in this collaborative environment.”

Find out more about applying to be part of the AOP council on the AOP website.