Following a new, simplified nomination process, all nominees will now be asked to provide supporting documentation for their nomination, giving them the opportunity to put forward the strongest possible case for why they should be shortlisted by the judging panel for the accolade.
An all new judging panel will announced in due course.
Once a shortlist for each category is decided, it will then be put to a public vote, with the winners announced at a special ceremony and gala dinner at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on October 23.
Hosted annually, the Awards aim to celebrate the achievements of eye care practitioners in the profession who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.
Now in its fourth year, the AOP Awards have grown in popularity year-on-year and are now a highlight in the optical calendar. The Awards, which will be headline-sponsored this year by CooperVision, recognise some of the greatest achievements of the profession and celebrate the fantastic personal and joint successes which have been made by practitioners within the last 12 months.
This year the AOP has introduced two new categories, ‘Young Practice of the Year’ and ‘Specialist Practice of the Year.’
The categories for the AOP Awards 2014 are:
Optometrist of the Year
Sponsored by Topcon
Nominees for this award will combine a commitment to patient care with a great deal of clinical experience. They will be a key figure in every area of the practice, supporting colleagues and driving revenue. They will also be a team player within the optical community, constantly striving to better the profession.
Practice of the Year
Sponsored by AEL Chartered Accountants
The multiple, franchise or independent practice which can demonstrate a great balance between clinical excellence and a strong emphasis on patient journey. Educating patients and the wider community about eye health, a flair for products and services, and emphasis on catering for each patient on an individual basis are musts.
Lecturer of the Year
The winner of this award will be a lecturer who is committed to offering dynamic and informative teaching which inspires clinical excellence among their students. The great pastoral care provided ensures that this lecturer remains in students’ minds long after the studies end.
For more information, click here
Student of the Year
An optometry student, dispensing optician student or pre-registration student who demonstrates initiative and drive to improve their fellow students’ participation in, and awareness of, optical issues. Their passion for the profession guarantees their status as an optical leader of the future.
Optical Assistant of the Year
Sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers
The person or team dedicated to improving the customer experience of their practice. They will have a demonstrable interest in furthering their eye care knowledge, including taking an interest in the technology available in the practice. They will support the team while providing a positive and friendly customer service.
Dispensing Optician of the Year
The DO of the Year will have an encyclopaedic lens knowledge, which they utilise by finding creative solutions for each patient’s individual needs. They are dedicated to keeping informed of new innovations in frames and lenses and are a leader within the practice, supporting colleagues and promoting eye health.
Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year
Sponsored by CooperVision
With a full grasp of product range and innovation, they actively promote contact lens wear within the practice and beyond – particularly focusing on groups such as teenagers and the elderly. They are constantly looking for ways to expand the presence of contact lenses within the practice, and through their promotion, sales of lenses continue to grow.
For more information and to make a nomination, click here
Marketing Campaign of the Year
This award acknowledges an outstanding marketing campaign which promotes an element of optometry, be it sales-motivated marketing, brand-building, or increasing awareness of eye health by a practice, manufacturer, company or organisation. The nominees will show how the campaign’s initial objectives translated to measurable benefits, including market impact and engagement, and revenue growth.
Charity Initiative of the Year
Charities from all corners of the eye health sector are welcome to enter this award, including those which are dedicated to research, raising awareness of optical issues, or supporting people with vision impairments. They will be able to demonstrate an innovative and successful initiative from the past 12 months which encompasses either a lead on research, strong campaign work or profile raising.
Specialist Practice of the Year
The winner of this award will be a practice that goes beyond the GOS to offer and actively promote enhanced services to the benefit of patients and the growth of the practice. Specialisms include, but are not exclusive to; low vision, children, technology, colorimetry, orthoptics and glaucoma.
Young Practice of the Year
A practice, either multiple, franchise or independent which has been established in the last five years. This new practice fills a need in the community, has had local impact and has demonstrated drive and flair in establishing, growing and retaining a strong customer base. The team will be dedicated to the future expansion of the practice.
Sponsored by Alcon
The person who has dedicated their career to promoting and expanding the role of optics, or who has brought the benefits of optics to a wider audience. The winner will have a demonstrable and wide-reaching impact on the profession.