Applications are now open for the Fellowship Dispensing Diploma (FBDO) course, which combines online study with face-to-face lectures and practical sessions.

Run by the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) and supported by Specsavers, the FBDO is a Level 6 diploma in ophthalmic dispensing that covers a comprehensive array of knowledge and skills that exceed the level taught within the current Australian and New Zealand optical dispensing syllabus. It was previously available as distance learning program, however, Specsavers is now working with ABDO to facilitate face-to-face workshops and examinations in Australia to support the online study component.

A pilot of the locally facilitated program began in September 2018 with five students – three Specsavers dispensers and two students from Deakin University. Following the early success of the pilot intake, ABDO and Specsavers have now opened up enrolment for the course’s first official intake, which will commence in the first week of September 2019.

About the program
The FBDO is a Level 6 qualification undertaken over three years and delivered through blended learning, including practice-based, block release and distance learning coursework. Students are examined at the conclusion of each academic year.

The course has an in-depth focus on all aspects of dispensing practices, ranging from paediatrics to contact lenses and low vision. It also includes in-depth study of abnormal ocular conditions and standards of practice. A full syllabus can be accessed on the ABDO website.

It is a worldwide-recognised qualification that is delivered in 26 countries, and is generally regarded as the gold standard in dispensing education internationally.

To learn more about the FBDO, read the pilot intake’s initial thoughts on the course or hear why the students’ supervisors believe the qualification is the future of the profession.

The course is open to both Specsavers and non-Specsavers optical dispensers. Specsavers team members can express their interest by contacting Anna-Mary Carroll, Dispensing Development Manager, via, and non-Specsavers dispensers can apply via the ABDO College website.