AOP Awards 2019 launch with two new categories

Nominations for the AOP Awards 2019 are now open which, for the first-time, feature two categories

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) has opened nominations for the AOP Awards 2019 which, for the first-time, feature two categories dedicated to locum optometrists and to optical practices incorporating audiology services.

Commenting on the new categories, Henrietta Alderman, AOP Chief Executive, said: “Optics is changing, and our new accolades reflect the diversity and dedication of those at the forefront. We know that locum optometrists play a vital role in providing flexible, high-quality patient care and we want to recognise that. Equally, many practices are increasingly going above and beyond to provide primary care services in their community, our Audiology Practice of the Year Award is about celebrating that commitment.”

Locum of the Year, sponsored by Johnson and Johnson Vision, and Audiology Practice of the Year will join the Association’s existing categories, including Health and Wellbeing Practice of the Year, which was added in 2018, and Members’ choice awards, Product of the Year and Frame of the Year. Ms Alderman encouraged nominations from across the sector, saying: “With 14 categories open for nomination, there really is something for everyone.”

Reflecting the AOP Award’s growing popularity, which in 2018 received over 30,000 votes, the 2019 Awards will also see another first. Online voting specialists Mi-Voice have been selected to manage both the nominations and voting process. 

Alongside the categories opening for nomination in May, the 2019 Awards will see the return of the Lifetime Achievement Award, which is chosen by the AOP Chief Executive and Chair. 

Heather McKeown, Practice Manager for Sinead McGurk Opticians, winner of the AOP Awards 2018 Practice of the Year, described winning an AOP Award as “truly special”, saying: “To be recognise for doing what you love doing every day is just great.”

The AOP Awards 2019 will take place alongside leading education and trade show, 100% Optical, on Sunday 13 January 2019. To find out more, or to nominate, visit the AOP Awards pages.


High resolution images are available via this Dropbox folder.

For more information, please contact Emily Campbell, PR and Marketing Officer, at the Association of Optometrists, [email protected] or telephone 020 7549 2040.

Notes to Editors

Association of Optometrists

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is the leading representative membership organisation for optometrists in the UK. We support over 80% of practising optometrists, to fulfil their professional roles to protect the nation’s eye health. For more information, visit

AOP Awards 

Now in its eighth year, the AOP Awards has quickly become a highlight of the optical calendar. Taking place at ExCeL, in London on Sunday, 13 January 2019, the ceremony will recognise achievement in 15 categories, 14 of which are open to nomination. For these categories, nominations will be open from 4 May to 12pm on 20 July. A panel of expert judges will select a shortlist to be put forward for public and AOP member vote in the autumn.

The following awards are now open for nominations:

  • Audiology Practice of the Year, sponsored by Optos
  • Charity of the Year
  • Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year 
  • Dispensing Optician of the Year 
  • Health and Wellbeing Practice of the Year
  • Lecturer of the Year 
  • Locum of the Year, sponsored by Johnson and Johnson Vision
  • Newly-qualified Optometrist of the Year
  • Optometrist of the Year 
  • Optical Team of the Year 
  • Practice of the Year 
  • Student of the Year
  • Frame of the Year – Members’ choice award
  • Product of the Year – Members’ choice award

Following recommendations from a panel of expert judges the following award will be decided by the AOP Chief Executive and Chair. 

  • Lifetime Achievement Award

For more information about the AOP Awards, and to nominate, visit