Evolving profession celebrated at the AOP Awards 2019

Two new categories are among 14 recognised in the Association's eighth annual awards ceremony

On Sunday, 13 January, the Association of Optometrists (AOP) welcomed practitioners from across the optical sector at its eighth annual awards ceremony.

The 2019 AOP Awards, which were sponsored by CooperVision, reflect an evolving profession, with the contributions of locums and optical practices providing hearing care recognised in dedicated categories for the first time.

Kris Cottier, who took home the Locum of the Year Award, said: “This award is the pinnacle of a twenty-year career in optometry,” adding that he hoped the award would shine a light on the positive role of locum optometrists more widely. “This award recognises the significant proportion of working optometrists who provide freelance and locum optometry and highlights the dependence many practices have on their locum staff.”

In total, there were 14 categories covering the breadth of optics. AOP Chief Executive, Henrietta Alderman commented: “Those working in the profession will know there is an incredible amount of dedication and passion in every area of optics, so it is fantastic to be able to recognise that in the AOP Awards.”

Ms Alderman added: “From established practitioners or educators, to those practices and individuals just starting out, it has been immensely enjoyable finding out about their achievements and stories. I hope the profession will join me in congratulating them and wishing them every success in the future.”

Other winners included Martin Smith, of Martin Smith Opticians in Lincoln, who was awarded Optometrist of the Year, and Professor Dave Edgar who was recognised with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Commenting on being selected, Professor Edgar said: “It is a fantastic honour, I was amazed to be chosen.”

The event was held at ExCel London as part of the trade and education event, 100% Optical. The awards ceremony was hosted by comedian Jo Caulfield, with nominees, guests and winners enjoying a drinks reception, gala dinner and live entertainment.

In 11 categories nominees were shortlisted by a panel of expert judges before being put forward to a public vote, while in two categories, Frame of the Year and Product of the Year, winners were chosen exclusively by AOP members. As in previous years, the Lifetime Achievement Award was selected by Ms Alderman and AOP Chairman, Mike George.

A full list of winners can be found on the AOP Awards pages. 


Hi-res images can be found in this DropBox folder.

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

Notes to Editors

AOP Awards

Now in its eighth year, the AOP Awards has become a highlight of the optical calendar. Taking place at ExCeL London on Sunday, 13 January 2019, the ceremony recognised achievement in 14 categories, 13 of which were open to nomination. A panel of expert judges selected a shortlist which was voted on from Monday, 1 October to Wednesday, 12 December 2018.

More information on the AOP Awards can be found at

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