Career goals were high on the agenda at the recent workshops held for Specsavers second-year graduates.

The second and final year of the Specsavers Graduate Program aims to help graduates further increase their personal effectiveness as optometric professionals and identify the career direction they would like to pursue beyond the program.

In line with this, the second-year graduates are asked to manage a project with the goal of improving the commercial and / or clinical outcomes in their store. The projects are designed to help the graduates explore their career goals and areas of interest while also allowing them to drive their own professional development as they learn new skills.

During the recent Year 2 Specsavers Graduate Program workshops, which took place in five regions across Australia and New Zealand from 29 May to 7 June 2017, the graduates were briefed on the expectations, timing and criteria for the projects. They were also given practical project management and presentation training to assist them with the task ahead.

In addition to introducing the Year 2 projects, the workshops included two separate forums.

The mentor forum, designed for the Specsavers store partners participating in the Graduate Program, provided those in attendance with feedback from the Year 2 cohort. The mentors were given tips and tools for keeping their mentees engaged, not only in the final year of the program but also in the years beyond, as the graduates continue to establish themselves as Specsavers optometrists.

Meanwhile, the second-year graduate forum allowed the graduates to share their experiences with their peers and the Specsavers Professional Development Team, and they were also encouraged to discuss their future career aspirations. As part of this, the Professional Development Team explained the various options available to the graduates beyond the Graduate Program.

As Specsavers optometrists, they will be supported in broadening their clinical experience outside of the store, such as in performing vision screenings within their local community or undertaking visitations with ophthalmologists.

Specsavers also supports optometrists seeking to develop a speciality through further study, as well as those looking to enhance their leadership and business skills. Specsavers offers a range of training and development courses specifically designed for this purpose, as well as the structured Pathway Program to help team members develop the skills they need to become Specsavers joint venture partners.

After the forums and workshop, a Grand Rounds CPD evening was held, where the second-year graduates discussed cases in small groups. This was followed by a dinner to celebrate the cohort’s achievements to date.

The Specsavers Graduate Program is a two-year development program that provides participants with tools and training to build clinical and commercial knowledge and nurture business acumen.

Development reviews and peer group forums such as the recent Year 2 workshops are held regularly between graduates and their mentors to ensure both parties are supported throughout the graduate’s professional learning journey.

For more information on the Specsavers Graduate Program, email