MiniPACs bring clinicians back together

3,000 join clinical conference events online and face-to-face

How do you deliver a series of clinical conferences that offers the convenience of live, virtual sessions AND the interaction of in-person colleague events?

Answer – you do both.

This year’s series of Mini Professional Advancement Conferences (MiniPACs) has been offering our most flexible and ambitious programme ever – with a full month of live CPD workshops in April for optical clinicians, wherever they work, followed by the welcome return in May of our first in-person CPD events in two years.


‘The pandemic forced us to re-imagine how to deliver quality, interactive peer discussion online, with Zoom breakout rooms and facilitators. But out of challenge came opportunity… and benefits to colleagues who could learn and earn their mandatory CET points from the convenience of their clinic or living room.

‘Colleagues have told us how much they’ve loved that flexibility but also – once we were able to – how much they’ve missed catching up with other clinical colleagues in person rather than on-screen. So for our first conference series of 2022, we’ve offered both – allowing clinicians the option to mix-and-match virtual and in-person, depending on their interests and availability.’ Grant Duncan, Specsavers Director of Professional Advancement.

Quality and quantity

In the first year of a new CPD (continuing professional development) cycle and system for most optical clinicians, both online and in-person MiniPAC programmes have offered a breadth of discussion workshops for all practitioner groups – from red eye and cataract cases, to managing soft contact lens wearers’ expectations, children’s vision unlocked for life, managing future complaints, OCT essentials and clinical practice in domiciliary eye care.

There were also extra sessions that were exclusive to the face-to-face events such as retinal image assessment; sustainability considerations and future technology advances in contact lenses; a hands-on spectacles fitting and adjustments masterclass; and coaching for improving clinical outcomes.

As ever, a huge thank you to our fantastic presenters, facilitators, delegates and sponsors for bringing such energy and expertise to all the events.

Highest ever delegate numbers

The new hybrid approach has meant more clinicians than ever before have been able to benefit from the conference agenda – including a record number of practitioners (more than 600) from outside of Specsavers, many of whom commented on how pleased they were to be able to join the free online events. In fact, one locum optometrist, Mark Smith, said the session he attended was: “One of the best events in my nearly 40 years as an optometrist.”


We’ve had some amazing feedback from colleagues….

“Brimming with relevant knowledge and enthusiasm. An excellent presentation and event to participate in.”

“Both online and face to face, these CPD events give the participants the chance to interact with other eyecare professionals of differing areas of expertise and experience, something that is limited in day-to-day practice.”

“Excellent day as a whole, very relevant to day to day working. Also, great to see colleagues from other stores again after three years!”

“Informative and great interaction.  Even after 35 years qualified, I’m still learning.”

“One day and 10 CPD points scored! That’s half the requirement per year. Excellent facilitators and some excellent discussions were had. Look forward to the big PAC in October!”

Save the date – PAC in Birmingham, Sunday 16 October

PAC is back in October! Following the success of our return to regional events at MiniPAC, we’re delighted to announce that our main Professional Advancement Conference for optics and audiology will return as a face to face event at the ICC in Birmingham on 16 October. A great day of development and opportunity to bond as a clinical team, while meeting up with colleagues and suppliers from across the business.

Watch out for sign-up details coming soon.

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