Search begins for AOP Awards 2020 winners, including new hospital optometry category

Practitioners from across optics are invited to put themselves forward

Nominations for the AOP Awards 2020 are now open, with organisations and individuals able to nominate themselves in 15 categories.

Run by the Association of Optometrists (AOP), the Awards, which are sponsored by Cooper Vision, celebrate individuals, teams and organisations across the width and breadth of optics. To recognise a landmark year, the 2020 Awards theme is ‘Excellence in optics’.

The 2019 Awards saw categories introduced to recognise the growing roles of hearing care in optical practices and locum optometrists. In 2020 the AOP Awards will also recognise the unique role of hospital optical staff for the first time, with a new category, Hospital Optometry Team of the Year.

AOP Awards judge Holly Higgins, who is a full-time hospital optometrist at Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and sits on the AOP’s Hospital Optometrists Committee, said she was delighted with the new category. She commented: “Hospital optometrists have adapted and created new systems to help with the ophthalmology workload, including being involved in extended roles, and the expansion of core services. I was so pleased to hear about the launch of the new Hospital Optometry Team of the Year Award to celebrate their unique contributions, pioneering the way for future hospital optometrists and helping patient care in busy departments.”

To put themselves forward, nominees must answer three questions using a dedicated nomination site available through the AOP Awards webpages. All entries are then put to a panel of expert judges who will select a final shortlist for public vote. Winners, excluding the Lifetime Achievement Award, will be chosen through a combination of public votes and judges’ ratings. The Lifetime Achievement Award is selected by an AOP panel, including the AOP’s Chief Executive and Chair of the Board.

Bhavin Shah, who won Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year in 2019, said he would recommend anyone thinking about nominating themselves, or their team, to take the plunge, explaining: “The AOP Awards are a great recognition both from the industry and peers, and also from the public. It makes everything we do feel worthwhile and I feel motivated to achieve even more.”


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

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 ninth year, the AOP Awards, supported in 2020 by headline sponsor Cooper Vision, has become a highlight of the optical calendar and will return to ExCeL, in London on Sunday, 26 January 2019. The Awards recognise achievement in 16 categories. Of these, 13 categories are open to public vote, while voting for the two members’ choice awards is restricted to AOP members. All voting opens from 1 October and closes on Wednesday 18 December.

The following awards are now open for nominations:

  • Charity of the Year
  • Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year
  • Dispensing Optician of the Year
  • Frame of the Year
  • Health and Wellbeing Initiative of the Year
  • Hospital Optometry Team of the Year
  • Lecturer of the Year
  • Locum of the Year – sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision
  • Newly-qualified Optometrist of the Year
  • Optometrist of the Year
  • Practice of the Year – sponsored by Optos
  • Practice Team Member of the Year
  • Product of the Year
  • Student of the Year
  • Vision and Hearing Care Practice of the Year

The Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Alcon, will be chosen by an AOP panel, including the AOP’s Chief Executive and Chair of the Board.

To find out more visit