Eighteen Specsavers participants were the first to experience our new wholly virtual Diploma of Leadership and Management pilot program, as part of their ongoing program of professional development.

Across 2019 and 2020, Specsavers worked with Swinburne Professional, part of Swinburne University in Melbourne, to customise the Diploma of Leadership and Management program and transform it into a wholly online virtual experience exclusive to Specsavers Retail Store Directors and retail team members from across ANZ stores, who have the potential for, or who have expressed an interest in leadership and management and have this recognised with a formal qualification.

The pilot program launched in March 2019 and was completed in August 2020 with 22 team members participating.

Working with Swinburne, the Specsavers Retail Learning and Development department adapted the program’s traditional delivery schedule from nine days of face-to-face delivery to 20 x 3-hour sessions run fortnightly.

The fully virtual delivery allowed for cross-regional attendance from Perth to Auckland and everywhere in between, without the need for travel – which had become nearly impossible due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

18 participants graduated from the course late last year, reporting a significant professional learning curve and personal growth because of this program.

The Specsavers cohort was also a part of another first – attending Swinburne Professional’s first-ever Live Online graduation ceremony to formally finalise the completion of their qualification.

Specsavers Director of Partner Engagement and Development, Bridget Blake said the partnership with Swinburne showed how Specsavers was evolving its professional development programs to continue to support partners and team members, despite world events.

“At Specsavers, we’re committed to delivering valuable ongoing professional development to our teams and our partners to ensure they are able to grow their careers, regardless of global circumstances,” she says. “We’ve been thrilled with the outcomes of this online pilot program and will continue to look at new and innovative ways of delivering professional development opportunities to our partners and team members.”