level 3 optical support course

INTRODUCTION

This course is designed to ensure you obtain a sound knowledge of optics developing the necessary skills to understand the basics of the subject whether you work in retail optics, manufacturing, sales or technical support. The course is ideally suited to a diverse range of people from those who are new in optics or those who may have been working in practice a number of years. Whether you are on the first steps of a career, expanding your skills in your current role or using the course as a stepping stone to higher qualification such as the Level 4 Optical Support or the Level 4 Diploma for Optical Technicians, this Level 3 course teaches you the fundamental essential skills in both a flexible and affordable way.

THE PROGRAMME

The Level 3 Optical Support is a short qualification to help students develop essential skills. Once completed, they will have developed an understanding of basic optical practices and techniques.Depending on your abilities, previous work experience and qualifications and your work and family commitments it can take 2 to 3 months to complete the mandatory units.  You should allow 3-4 hours a week for study.

THE LEARNING OUTCOMES

In order to successfully achieve the Level 3 Optical Support qualification, you will need to complete the three mandatory units shown below and select at least one optional unit.

UNIT 1: THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS IN OPTICS (3 Credits)
The aim of this unit is to help the learner to understand the legal implications including health and safety within an optical practice and how they relate to the role of an optical assistant. There will be elements of employment law, health & safety and GOC requirements.

UNIT 2: MANAGING PEOPLE IN OPTICS (7 Credits)
The aim of this unit is for learners to know how to effectively manage relationships with colleagues including communication and supervisory skills, and how to develop other people’s performance in optical practice. The learner will have the knowledge to communicate with patients/customers with impaired vision, to improve service, deal with conflict and improve selling and supervisory skills. This unit is strongly recommended for anyone with a managerial or supervisory role within the optical profession.

UNIT 3: SUPPORTING THE PROVISION OF SPECTACLES (8 Credits)
The aim of this unit is for the learner to know and understand the principles and factors underlining the choice of particular lenses used in spectacles and the learner to know and understand the benefits of the various alternatives available, including low vision appliances. The learner will learn about the principles, designs and fitting of frames, including facial measurements, and the importance of protective and other specialist eyewear. This unit is strongly recommended for anyone who is dispensing in optical practice.

SUPPORTING THE PROVISION OF OPTICAL SCREENING (7 Credits)
The aim of this unit is for the learner to be able to interpret and understand the relevance of common optical prescriptions. The learner will learn about the principles of optical screening equipment and processes for tonometry, auto refraction and visual fields and how to obtain the best data or measurements. The learner will understand the actions required when confronted with an optical emergency and the limits of authority in practice.

SUPPORTING THE PROVISION OF CONTACT LENSES (7 Credits)
The aim of this unit is for the learner to understand the key types, principles, designs and wearing modalities of contact lenses and the learner to understand the more complex designs of toric and multifocal lenses and the legal framework that regulates contact lenses and solutions. The learner will learn about how to identify and manage those customers who have not complied with contact lens care regimes. This unit is strongly recommended for anyone who is involved in supporting contact lens practice, especially those that perform insertion and removal appointments under the supervision of a contact lens practitioner.

MATHEMATICS FOR OPTICS (7 Credits)
The aim of this unit is for the learner to be able to understand and apply the mathematical principles used within optics. It will include calculations that require the use of geometrical mathematical principles.

THE EYE AND THE PRINCIPLES OF OPTICS (9 Credits)
The aim of this unit is for the learner to understand the structure of the eye and the principles upon which sight-correcting lenses are based. It will include the functions of the gross anatomical features of the eye and how refractive error is corrected. The underpinning theory of optics will be included in this unit.

COST

The cost of the course is £600 for the three mandatory units and £110 for each optional unit selected.

All of the course material is included for this fee and full tutor support, however, examinations fees are not included and will need to paid when you apply to ABDO.

THE ASSESSMENT
In order to achieve the qualification learners must pass an examination and in order to pass learners will need to achieve 50% on each unit.  They take place in June and December each year.  The examinations are not included in the course fees and we will update on these once they have been confirmed.  You will have to apply for the examination with ABDO but we will let you know when this needs to be done.

The examinations are organised and run by ABDO on behalf of the WCSM, and can be taken at a number of venues across the UK.  Details on the venues available the date and costs are shown on the ABDO website and will be available on our website as well.