Education and training requirements

ABDO and UCLan first to meet new GOC education requirements for dispensing

UCLan will deliver ophthalmic dispensing undergraduate qualifications under the GOC’s new requirements, while ABDO will become an awarding organisation for a level 6 diploma in ophthalmic dispensing

A pair of spectacles with a black and red frame is open on a glass surface facing towards the camera

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) are the first organisations to meet the General Optical Council’s (GOC) new education requirements for ophthalmic dispensing.

View the GOC’s

frequently asked questions about their new Education and Training Requirements


UCLan will deliver a BSc (Hons) Ophthalmic Dispensing qualification while ABDO Examinations and Registration will see various centres offering its Level 6 Diploma in Ophthalmic Dispensing, the GOC said.

ABDO Examinations and Registration is an awarding body that is recognised by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation.

That the two organisations had been approved under the GOC’s new training requirements was announced on 15 June.

Both UCLan and ABDO will begin delivering the updated qualifications to students in September 2023.

The new requirements for dispensing are part of a wider overhaul to the way optometry and dispensing optics education is facilitated.

The GOC published the new requirements in March 2021, and optometry schools in the UK will begin offering their new teaching programmes to students from September 2023.

The updated qualifications will still be subject to the GOC’s routine quality assurance processes to ensure they satisfy requirements, the regulator said.

Rupal Lovell-Patel, academic lead at UCLan, said: “It will be our pleasure to offer the two-year accelerated BSc Ophthalmic Dispensing degree to the next generation of dispensing opticians from September 2023.

“It has been a team effort and I would like to thank the team for their hard work to be one of the first dispensing optics qualifications noted to meet the GOC’s new education and training requirements.”

Samara Morgan, head of education development at the GOC, said: “We are pleased to note ABDO Examinations and UCLan as the first dispensing optics qualifications to meet the new education and training requirements.

“We continue to work with each provider to ensure a smooth transition to the new requirements so that incoming students are prepared to meet the future needs of patients.”