College Membership is awarded to those who satisfy the following criteria:
Fellowship is the College’s highest qualification. It is an acknowledgement of commitment to the profession, experience and accomplishments. Since the College foundation in 1980, there have been a number of routes to Fellowship:
The College was founded in 1980 as the single successor body to The British Optical Association and The Scottish Association of Opticians together with the examining function of The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers. On the foundation of the College, Fellows or Members of these bodies were awarded Foundation Fellowship.
College Members who were successful in two or more modules of the Fellowship Diploma Examination were awarded Fellowship by Examination. The examination was superseded at the end of 1998 by criteria based on Higher Qualifications. With the new scheme, College Members who successfully achieved any four Higher Qualification certificates awarded by the College were awarded Fellowship by Examination. Fellowship by Examination was superseded in 2008 by Fellow by Portfolio.
Fellowship by Portfolio is currently awarded to members who successfully demonstrate through submission of a portfolio that they have made a significant contribution to the practice of optometry locally, nationally or internationally.
Awarded to anyone who is registered with the GOC or the appropriate regulatory authority in the country in which they are practising and resident or practising overseas with an overseas address as their main address.
Honorary Fellowship is awarded at the discretion of the Council to individuals who have made a significant and distinctive contribution to optics. Honorary Fellows may not be optometrists, may not hold office as members of the Council and may not vote at general meetings.
Life Fellowship is awarded on the strength of an outstanding contribution to the profession of optometry. Life Fellows have the same rights and privileges as other Fellows; while required to pay no annual subscriptions.