Biggest ever Specsavers roadshow delivers training ‘from Padawan to Jedi’

Attendee numbers at Specsavers’ CET roadshow have continued to grow for the fifth year in a row, particularly amongst dispensing opticians.  

A total of 2,050 optometrists, dispensing opticians and contact lens opticians attended the series of regional ‘MiniPAC’ conferences between March and May – 6% of them from practices outside of Specsavers – and each earning a potential 17 CET points. 

The use of OCT as part of a multidisciplinary team was particularly popular with DO delegates, along with workshops on fitness to practise and managing complaints effectively to avoid unnecessary escalation. 

Elsewhere, the predominantly discussion-based programme offered sessions on contact lenses for complex prescriptions and corneal problems, oculoplastics and dry eye, paediatric eye care and retinal pathology, challenging glaucoma cases, and dispensing specialist ophthalmic lenses. 

An exhibition space offered delegates the opportunity to talk with key contact lens suppliers and get some further hands-on experience with the latest OCT equipment. 

In line with the company’s ‘pay it forward’ ethos, this year saw a dedicated stream of workshops devoted to the topic of supervision. These included an ‘Introduction to supervision – Padawan to Jedi’ session for the novice supervisor, alongside sessions for the more experienced who wanted to update their knowledge and hone their coaching skills. 

Says Gill Robinson, Director of Professional Training and Development: ‘The sustainability of our profession relies on the passing on of skills from one generation of clinicians to the next, so the quality of the content delivered and the quality of the supervision itself is of the utmost importance.  

‘With so many support staff now studying for accredited courses such as Cert 3, Cert 4 and our Enhanced Optical Services Diploma, we are seeing GOC-registered practitioners taking on supervisory roles earlier in their career – which, in turn, provides a great grounding for the necessary skills to become a pre-reg, trainee DO or CLO supervisor, manager or mentor later on. ‘ 

The MiniPAC Roadshow began life five years ago to offer additional, regional conference days alongside the company’s flagship Professional Advancement Conference (PAC), which will mark its 25th year in October. 

On top of this, Specsavers has continued to deliver three full days of packed-out, free CET sessions at each of the 100% Optical and Optrafair trade shows. 

Specsavers’ 25th Professional Advancement Conference will take place on Sunday 13 October, at the ICC Birmingham, and is open to all practitioners.  

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