College Committees

Our committees play a major role in developing and implementing College policy, standards and regulations.

Education and Standards Committee

The Education and Standards Committee advises the Board on standards for optometric education, training and assessment, and professional standards.

Dr Gillian Rudduck BSc MSc PhD MCOptom Prof Cert Glau Dip TP (IP)

Trustee, Chair of the Education and Standards Committee, Council Member - North West

Gillian has over 20 years' experience in a wide range of optometry, including primary and secondary care and academia, and currently practices as a consultant optometrist and clinical lead at Wirral University Teaching Hospitals.

Since graduating with a BSc (Hons) Ophthalmic Optics, Gillian has achieved a MSc  in Management Practice and a Doctorate in Philosophy. She holds the College's Professional Certificate in Glaucoma and a qualification in Independent Prescribing.

Gillian has worked with NICE as a guidance committee member and is a CQC specialist advisor. Her work at the College has involved the development of higher qualifications and competency frameworks.

E: gillian.rudduck@college-optometrists.org

Kyla Black BSc MCOptom

Trustee, Council Member - East Midlands

Originally from Northern Ireland, Kyla graduated from Aston University in 1996 and completed her Pre Reg year with Dollond & Aitchison in 1997. She has worked for both Dollond and Aitchison, and since the merger, Boots Opticians for 22 years. In this time she has supported and supervised a number of pre-reg optometrists and student dispensing opticians.
 
She has experienced a number of leadership roles within Boots Opticians and is currently Senior Clinical Services Manager working in professional services where her role encompasses all Boots Opticians' practices company-wide. She has a team of 15 optometrists who support professionals and maintain clinical governance. 

Her passions include colleague professional development and bringing change to high street optics with changes in technology, including diagnostic, refractive and innovative ophthalmic products. 

E: kyla.black@college-optometrists.org

Lucy Blown MSc BSc (hons) MCOptom Prof Cert Glauc

Council Member - South East

Lucy graduated from City University in 2006 and completed her pre-reg placement with Dollond and Aitchison. Lucy is currently an Independent Practice Owner, having previously worked in Multiples as a Lead Optometrist and also in Refractive Surgery settings. 
 
She is also currently a College Assessor and has been a Visiting Clinical Tutor at City University. She is a committee member of Kent and Medway LOC and was elected College Council member in March 2017.

E: lucy.blown@college-optometrists.org 

Andrea Clerk MBA, CIPD

Lay Advisory Panel Member

Andrea has extensive experience in governance and regulation and has worked within the legal and medical professions with responsibilities for professional training, standards, compliance and continuing education.  She is skilled in modernising product ranges and service approaches, notably through an emphasis on blended learning.  Andrea is passionate about giving individuals the right training at all stages of their careers, in order to ensure they have the proper skills and experience to deal confidently and professionally with challenges as they arise.

Lewes Hambrey MCOptom

Council member - South West

Lewes has been an Optometrist since 2004. He began his career in the multiple sector, before working for a decade in independent practice, including a number of years as a sole practitioner. He has spent time in the Hospital Eye Service and provided domiciliary care, and now works in a multiple practice as part of a large Optometric team.

Since qualifying he has been involved in a number of shared care schemes and has pursued professional development. He has obtained numerous Certificate Modules in Clinical Optometry from City University, and is currently participating in the postgraduate Clinical Optometry course at Cardiff University. Throughout his career he has trained fellow professionals. He is currently a pre-registration Optometrist supervisor and is involved with the Optometry degree course at UWE Bristol. As a member of the Somerset Local Optical Committee and the Association of Optometrists Virtual Policy Group, Lewes encourages open, supportive communication between all within Optometry to ensure the future of the profession and the wellbeing of its members.

E: lewes.hambrey@college-optometrists.org

Matt Roney Bsc MCOptom

Council Member – North West

Matt graduated from the University of Bradford in 2016, and went on to complete his pre registration year at Moorfields Eye Hospital. Soon after qualifying, Matt undertook a post at The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital. He is currently a Senior Optometrist at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. Although Matt’s role is predominately within the hospital, he locums regularly in private practice.

Matt was elected College Council Member for the North West region in March 2019.


E: matt.roney@college-optometrists.org

Hassnain Safdar MCOptom

Council Member - East Midlands

Hassnain graduated from Aston University in 2016 and completed his pre-reg with Specsavers in 2017. Currently, he practices as a locum optometrist in a variety of multiple and independent practices. He was the inaugural LOCSU Student ambassador in 2016 and remains an active committee member of the Leicestershire and Rutland LOC since 2019. In addition, he is a junior faculty member for the Johnson and Johnson institute STEP programme where he mentors other pre-reg students as and sits on the newly-qualified reference panel for the College. Hassnain is passionate on building a strong relationship between primary and secondary care and strives to promote the role Optometrists can play in an increasingly stretched NHS.

E: hassnain.safdar@college-optometrists.org 

Meera Shah MCOptom

Council Member - London

Meera qualified in 2007 from Anglia Ruskin University with a first class honours degree. In her final year she was awarded the AOP prize for the best overall performance in the Legal and Business aspects of Optometry Module. 

Since qualification she has worked in a variety of roles at Boots Opticians. Her roles have included working as both a resident & mobile Optometrist and within that time she has supervised several Pre Reg-Optometrists. In the last 6 years she has worked as a Clinical Governance Optometrist in the London area within the Professional services team at Boots Opticians. 

Her current role involves working with a wide variety of Optometrists all in different stages in their career and working with different stakeholders across the organisation. Meera is passionate about supporting Optometrists to deliver high clinical standards and compliance with patient centred care. She was elected College Council Member for the London region in February 2020.

E: meera.shah@college-optometrists.org 

Kiki Soteri MSc BSc (Hons) MCOptom DipTP(IP) FHEA ProfCertGlauc ProfCertMedRet

Vice Chair of the Education and Standards Committee, Council Member - South West

Kiki is head of optometry development for Specsavers, a visiting lecturer to University of Hertfordshire for postgraduate courses and an honorary associate professor at Plymouth University. Within Specsavers, Kiki leads the development of optometrists across the four nations of the UK and Ireland and helps ensure the support provided is inclusive and tailored to professional and patient needs. As a lecturer to undergraduates, she developed the UK’s first problem-based learning module for clinical case management in optometry and continues to build on that approach when conceiving and developing CPD assets. Since qualifying as an independent prescriber in 2011, she has encouraged students and colleagues to evaluate and achieve their career objectives through experiential development, professional collaboration and directed learning via postgraduate qualifications. Kiki has been a trustee to the board of The College of Optometrists and has contributed to relevant College and GOC committees, panels and groups.

E: kiki.soteri@college-optometrists.org

Jay Varia BSc (Hons) MCOptom DipTp(IP) Prof.Cert. Glauc

Council member - London

Jay graduated from the University of Wales, College of Cardiff and qualified as an optometrist in 2001 after completing her pre-registration year in independent practice.  After a period in working within the multiple sector, she joined a specialist independent practice in 2003 and was involved in diabetic shared care, community minor injury schemes, myopia control and orthokeratology clinics as well as carrying out regular eye examinations and contact lens consultations, which she continued until 2018.

In 2005, she joined Moorfields Eye Hospital part-time undertaking specialist contact lens clinics (paediatric, cosmetic, scleral, therapeutics, post-surgical cornea) as well as paediatric extended role, glaucoma, cataract, external disease, complex refraction, adult and paediatric low vision clinics. Her role also involved teaching and supervising clinical staff. In 2009, she was appointed Optometry Education Lead at Moorfields, alongside maintaining clinical commitments, which involved setting up the education section for the optometry department. This involved developing learning and development for staff, providing continuing education and training courses which were delivered nationally, expanding these and developing a highly motivated team to continue to deliver them.

In 2013, she joined UCL, Institute of Ophthalmology and set up the College of Optometrists Higher Qualifications in glaucoma. As the founding programme director, she set up and together with a team, developed and delivered Advanced Clinical Practice in Ophthalmology (for non-medical professionals) Master’s level programmes for which she is also glaucoma module lead. Her work also involves reviewing ophthalmic postgraduate education frameworks for non-medical professionals. Jay continues her clinical and education career and is passionate about developing optometrists in all sectors to take on advanced practice or specialist roles.

E: jay.varia@college-optometrists.org

Barbara Watson MSc FCOptom DCLP

Council Member - Yorkshire and Humber

Barbara has been an optometrist for more than 30 years and has worked throughout West Yorkshire in independent practice, multiple practice, as a locum and for local hospitals. She was one of the first members of the College to gain her Fellowship by examination and also holds the College Diploma in Contact Lens Practice.

E: barbara.watson@college-optometrists.org

OSC representative

Rupal Lovell-Patel FCOptom

OSC representative - Education and Standards Committee

Rupal is the Academic Lead for Vision Sciences at the University of Central Lancashire. She is also a Practising High Street Optometrist. She is the Chair of the East Anglia Local Eye Health Network and the Optometry Adviser for NHS England and NHS Improvement East of England Region.

Alongside her teaching and management roles within the University, she is a College of Optometrists Examiner for the Final Assessment of the Scheme for Registration (OSCE), member of the OSCE Development Group and the Educationalist on the College’s Higher Qualification Accreditation Panel. She is a Principal Fellow for the Higher Education Academy. 

She has been invited to lecture optometric students across Europe as well as provide CET/CPD sessions in the UK. She is known to work with international partners to develop ophthalmic related curriculum.

Ex-officio

Colin Davidson BSc (Hons) FCOptom DipTp(IP)

President, Council Member - South East

Colin currently works part-time for the University of Hertfordshire where he is programme lead for independent prescribing. He also works in independent practice in East Sussex, and at Sussex Eye Hospital in Brighton where he works in both A&E and uveitis clinics. He is a senior assessor for the College and an OSCE chief examiner. He is a former member of East Sussex LOC and a current member of the education faculty at the Johnson and Johnson Institute.

Colin was awarded a Diploma in Independent Prescribing Dip TP(IP) in 2011, and Fellowship of the College in 2013.

E: colin.davidson@college-optometrists.org

Governance Group

The College's Governance Group develops and amends governance documents, the regulations required to implement any changes to the committee structure. 

Colin Davidson BSc (Hons) FCOptom DipTp(IP)

President, Council Member - South East

Colin currently works part-time for the University of Hertfordshire where he is programme lead for independent prescribing. He also works in independent practice in East Sussex, and at Sussex Eye Hospital in Brighton where he works in both A&E and uveitis clinics. He is a senior assessor for the College and an OSCE chief examiner. He is a former member of East Sussex LOC and a current member of the education faculty at the Johnson and Johnson Institute.

Colin was awarded a Diploma in Independent Prescribing Dip TP(IP) in 2011, and Fellowship of the College in 2013.

E: colin.davidson@college-optometrists.org

Dr George Anthony Gibson BSc PhD FCOptom

Treasurer, Council Member – North East

Tony left Aston University in 2003 with a 1st Class Honours degree and qualified in 2004. He then returned to Aston University in 2005 to study for a PhD which he gained in 2008. Tony currently works in independent practice in Darlington. He is a committee member of the Durham LOC. 

E: tony.gibson@college-optometrists.org

Mike Horler BSc (Hons) FCOptom Prof Cert Med Ret Cert Oc Pharm Cert Oc Therapeutics Dip TP(IP)

Council member - South East

Mike currently works at Sussex Eye Hospital in Brighton, in Medical Retina, and also as a Professional advancement consultant. Mike is a current WOPEC lead assessor and has previously worked at City University and University of Auckland, New Zealand where he taught & examined at undergraduate & post graduate level.

Mike Horler was previously the Optometry director at Specsavers Brighton, where he worked as a Community Optometrist with Special Interest in AMD. Mike was also as a Head of EOS for Specsavers group, where he was architect of their OCT clinical training.

Mike lived and practised in New Zealand, where he gained full therapeutics endorsement and has previously undertaken research in Glaucoma. He has delivered numerous invited CET-accredited lectures and workshops, at Optometry Tomorrow and Bitesize, College webinar and LOC study days.

Mike was awarded Fellowship of the College in 2021 and is also a College Assessor.

E: mike.horler@college-optometrists.org

John Kidd BSc(Hons) MCOptom

Council member - Eastern

John started his career as a manufacturer then qualified as a Dispensing Optician before graduating as an Optometrist at Bradford University in 2000. Over the years he has practiced in multiples, owned his own independent group and now currently works in an independent setting and Addenbrookes hospital.

He is a member of the Cambridgeshire LOC, a former MECS director and AOP councillor.

Outside optometry he helps run a food program for poor and disadvantaged in Tanzania and supports a blind school in Nepal.

E: john.kidd@college-optometrists.org

Dr Mary-Ann Sherratt PhD MCOptom DipGlauc DipTP(IP)

Co-opted Trustee, Chair of the Board of Trustees

Mary-Ann is Clinical Lead for Optometry at the University of the West of England, and part of the multidisciplinary team at Bristol Eye Hospital. A NICE Centre for Guidelines Expert Advisor on Serious Eye Disorders, she represented the College on Optometry Wales for six years, becoming their Clinical Advisor during the formalisation of the Eye Care Plan for Wales. A College representative on the Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning, Mary-Ann is also a past President of the College.

E: mary-ann.sherratt@college-optometrists.org

Jagdeep Singh BSc(Hons) MOptom MCOptom Prof Cert Glauc Prof Cert Med Ret Dip(Tp) IP

Council member - West Midlands

Jagdeep graduated with Master’s degree in Optometry from Aston University in 2015 and completed his pre-reg year with Specsavers in 2016. He currently works a Specialist Optometrist at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital working in medical retina, urgent eye, diabetic screening and injection clinics. Jagdeep is an Independent Prescribing Optometrist with a Professional Certificate in Glaucoma and Professional Certificate in Medical Retina. He is currently studying towards his Professional Certificate in Low Vision. He also works as an AMD Optometrist for SpaMedica, across various sites in the UK.

Since 2018, Jagdeep has worked as a Clinical Governance and Performance Lead for Primary Eyecare Services in Staffordshire, Cheshire and Merseyside and is responsible for supporting CCG’s and optical practices to establish and maintain extended services in primary care. He has been a member of the Shropshire Local Optical Committee since 2019 and continues to practices as locum optometrist within the West Midlands.

Jagdeep is passionate about local and integrated eye health services and believes that post graduate education and optometric qualifications will help Optometrists play a vital role in reducing the burden on ophthalmic services within secondary care.

He was elected College Council Member for the West Midlands region in March 2021. 

E: jagdeep.singh@college-optometrists.org

Amarpal Takk LLB (Hons)

Lay Advisory Panel Member

Amarpal is a graduate from City University London having read Business Law. He started his legal career at a leading international law firm focusing on company and corporate law and then moved to the banking and finance sector. He is currently Head of Legal of Capital Markets for a leading UK bank.

Kathryn Trimmer BSc MCOptom DipTp(IP)

Council Member - Scotland

Kathryn qualified from Glasgow Caledonian University in 1999 and has worked in Grampian in North East Scotland ever since for both multiple and independent practices. She has supervised pre-registration optometrists in her early career and moved to Professional Services Manager of a large independent group where she mentors and supports optometrists and dispensing opticians at all stages of their career. In this role she has been involved in service development in the practices as well as locally with the Grampian Eye Health Network, where optometry has been the first port of call for all patients with acute eye problems since 2007. She is past Vice-Chair of Grampian AOC, and is an active member of Optometry Scotland which has recently negotiated a new GOS contract for Scotland. She achieved Independent Prescribing status in 2013.

She regularly holds peer reviews following accreditation as a College Facilitator and hosts CET events locally. She was elected College Council Member in March 2019.

E: kathryn.trimmer@college-optometrists.org

Lay Advisory Panel

The Lay Advisory Panel plays a key role in ensuring that patients are involved in all aspects of eye care and eye care services.

Mark Redhead MA, MBA, FRSA

Lay Trustee, Chair of the Lay Advisory Panel

Mark’s career to date has been in health policy, management and sector development. Following a variety of roles in membership organisations and the NHS, Mark currently is head of system partnerships at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. 

Mark is also chair of a national patient charity, Ehlers-Danlos Support UK, and is keen on working with behaviours - pursuing an interest in coaching, facilitation and group relations. 

As a user of optometry services and a keen supporter of the role colleges play in the development of professions and services, Mark is delighted to join the lay advisory panel.

Emeritus Professor David Caplin

Lay Advisory Panel Member

David is Emeritus Professor of Physics at Imperial College London, where he has spent most of his scientific career. He maintains an international research activity in electronic materials, particularly magnetic and superconducting compounds; in the past, he has had some interests in the optical properties of materials. He has extensive experience of appraisal and review of research programmes, both nationally and internationally, and  has published about 300 research papers. 

Since retiring, David has been a Lay Member of the Bar Standards Board Conduct Committee, and was one of two Lay Vice-Chairs (2006-2008); he is currently the Vice-Chair on two National Patient Safety Agency Research Ethics Committees, and is a Lay Partner with the Health Professions Council.

Andrea Clerk MBA, CIPD

Lay Advisory Panel Member

Andrea has extensive experience in governance and regulation and has worked within the legal and medical professions with responsibilities for professional training, standards, compliance and continuing education.  She is skilled in modernising product ranges and service approaches, notably through an emphasis on blended learning.  Andrea is passionate about giving individuals the right training at all stages of their careers, in order to ensure they have the proper skills and experience to deal confidently and professionally with challenges as they arise.

Tony Cowburn BSc

Lay Advisory Panel Member

Tony is a physics graduate from the University of Southampton and has worked his entire career in scientific research and development (R&D).  He started his career as semiconductor process engineer with Phillips and then became an R&D manager at the IBM UK Development Laboratories, developing magnetic disc drives. He was involved in a management buy out  at IBM and became Technical Director for ADFlex, before completing his career as Technical Director for City Technology (electrochemical & optical gas sensors).

Tony is now semi-retired and works occasionally as a consultant. He has had a deep interest in all eye care matters since experiencing a serious eyesight problem as a teenager.

Katie Engel LLB

Lay Advisory Panel Member

After graduating, Katie worked as a solicitor in private practice and in-house. In 2009 she moved into the regulation of the legal profession, working for the Law Society's Legal Complaints Service and then the Legal Ombudsman. She is currently an adjudicator for an ombudsman scheme and enjoys the variety and challenge that the work brings.

Katie has a keen interest in optometry due to her family's eye conditions and has had several operations relating to her eyelids over a number of years.

Andrew McGregor BSc MCOptom

Council Member - North East

Andrew graduated from Bradford University in 1990 as a mature student, having spent seven years as an army officer. He has run an independent high street optometric practice with his wife in Ashington, Northumberland since 1991. During this time he has also been employed an optometric adviser for NHS North of Tyne and was appointed to the Professional Executive Committee of NHS North of Tyne as an optometry professional between 2007 and 2011. He is a trained College facilitator.

Andrew has served on the Wansbeck District Council and Ashington Town Councils and is currently the Vice-Chair of the Ashington Town Team.

E: andrew.mcgregor@college-optometrists.org

Pratik Patel

Lay Advisory Panel - Optometrist not on Council

Rekha Randhawa LLB (Hons), MA

Lay Advisory Panel Member

After completing her undergraduate law degree at University College London and a Master’s degree in Medical Ethics and Law at King’s College London, Rekha was Called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in 2007.  Following extensive experience working as a legal assistant in healthcare and non-healthcare disciplinary prosecution work, she cross-qualified as a solicitor in 2012.  After qualification, she specialised initially in claimant clinical negligence work, working for major London firms in that field and representing primarily children with cerebral palsy following birth hypoxia. Latterly, she worked as an in-house solicitor at a leading medical defence organisation, defending doctors and dentists from medical/dental negligence claims and disciplinary proceedings.

Amarpal Takk LLB (Hons)

Lay Advisory Panel Member

Amarpal is a graduate from City University London having read Business Law. He started his legal career at a leading international law firm focusing on company and corporate law and then moved to the banking and finance sector. He is currently Head of Legal of Capital Markets for a leading UK bank.

Johnathan Waugh BSc MCOptom DipTp (IP)

Trustee, Council Member - Scotland

Johnathan qualified from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2000 and undertook his pre-reg in the hospital eye service at St. Paul's Eye Unit, Liverpool. He then worked as a locum across the UK before working with ASDA Opticians for three years. Returning to the hospital sector in 2005, he was involved with Glaucoma and paediatric care, achieving IP status in 2010.

In 2013, Johnathan joined a small independent practice in Hamilton and in 2018 moved from there to a role with NHS diabetic screening. He still continues with some hospital sessions including pre and post-op cataract assessment at the Golden Jubilee, and is also involved with flu and Covid vaccinations.

E: johnathan.waugh@college-optometrists.org

Dr Magdalena Zarowiecki

Lay Advisory Panel Member

Magdalena is Senior Cancer Analyst at Genomics England, a company set up by the Department of Health & Social Care, with the aim of delivering breakthrough genomic analysis to NHS patients, making UK the first country in the World to integrate genomics into standard-of-care. She has more than 15 years’ experience of working with genomics and stratified medicine projects, looking at a range of different genetic and epigenetic data, she has written statistic analysis and bioinformatic pipelines working at Institute of Cancer Research, Kings College London, Imperial College and Wellcome Sanger Institute. 

She has published high profile research papers, and extensively supported programmes for quality assurance, equality, diversity and career progression.

Ex-officio

Colin Davidson BSc (Hons) FCOptom DipTp(IP)

President, Council Member - South East

Colin currently works part-time for the University of Hertfordshire where he is programme lead for independent prescribing. He also works in independent practice in East Sussex, and at Sussex Eye Hospital in Brighton where he works in both A&E and uveitis clinics. He is a senior assessor for the College and an OSCE chief examiner. He is a former member of East Sussex LOC and a current member of the education faculty at the Johnson and Johnson Institute.

Colin was awarded a Diploma in Independent Prescribing Dip TP(IP) in 2011, and Fellowship of the College in 2013.

E: colin.davidson@college-optometrists.org

Professional Conduct Committee

The Professional Code of Conduct Committee hears complaints against members alleged to have breached the College’s Code of Conduct, and determines the appropriate course of action.

Shane Abbas Bhimani BSc(Hons) MCOptom FBDO CL DipTp (IP) Higher Cert Glauc

Council Member - London

Shane qualified in 2007 as a Dispensing Optician and then went on to qualify as a Contact Lens Optician in 2009. He studied Optometry at Bradford University in 2010. During his studies, he was awarded the Bausch & Lomb prize in 2009 for a consistently high standard in all theory and practical assessments and the AOP prize in 2011 for highest marks achieved. Shane is an Independent Prescribing Optometrist with the Higher Certificate in Glaucoma and is working towards his Diploma in Glaucoma. He is also studying for his Executive MBA at Aston University.
 
Shane is the Clinical Director at Specsavers Hemel Hempstead and London Colney. He also works at Moorfields Eye Hospital in a consultant-led glaucoma clinic. He was elected College Council Member for the London region in February 2019.

E: shane.bhimani@college-optometrists.org

Shamina Asif BSc MCOptom

Council Member - West Midlands

Shamina qualified from Aston University in 2004 with a First-class honours degree and having a having received the highest prize in elective studies. She is currently a self- employed optometrist having, worked for Boots Opticians for 12 years and is a tutor on the Boots Opticians pre-registration programme. She has supervised two pre-registration students.

Shamina is Chair of the Dudley LOC and Vice-Chair of Walsall LOC. She has been actively involved in promoting optometry, having been featured in two articles in the Daily Mail. She has a keen interest in the effect of nutrition and smoking on ARMD.

E: shamina.asif@college-optometrists.org

Kyla Black BSc MCOptom

Trustee, Council Member - East Midlands

Originally from Northern Ireland, Kyla graduated from Aston University in 1996 and completed her Pre Reg year with Dollond & Aitchison in 1997. She has worked for both Dollond and Aitchison, and since the merger, Boots Opticians for 22 years. In this time she has supported and supervised a number of pre-reg optometrists and student dispensing opticians.
 
She has experienced a number of leadership roles within Boots Opticians and is currently Senior Clinical Services Manager working in professional services where her role encompasses all Boots Opticians' practices company-wide. She has a team of 15 optometrists who support professionals and maintain clinical governance. 

Her passions include colleague professional development and bringing change to high street optics with changes in technology, including diagnostic, refractive and innovative ophthalmic products. 

E: kyla.black@college-optometrists.org

Katie Engel LLB

Lay Advisory Panel Member

After graduating, Katie worked as a solicitor in private practice and in-house. In 2009 she moved into the regulation of the legal profession, working for the Law Society's Legal Complaints Service and then the Legal Ombudsman. She is currently an adjudicator for an ombudsman scheme and enjoys the variety and challenge that the work brings.

Katie has a keen interest in optometry due to her family's eye conditions and has had several operations relating to her eyelids over a number of years.

Kathryn Trimmer BSc MCOptom DipTp(IP)

Council Member - Scotland

Kathryn qualified from Glasgow Caledonian University in 1999 and has worked in Grampian in North East Scotland ever since for both multiple and independent practices. She has supervised pre-registration optometrists in her early career and moved to Professional Services Manager of a large independent group where she mentors and supports optometrists and dispensing opticians at all stages of their career. In this role she has been involved in service development in the practices as well as locally with the Grampian Eye Health Network, where optometry has been the first port of call for all patients with acute eye problems since 2007. She is past Vice-Chair of Grampian AOC, and is an active member of Optometry Scotland which has recently negotiated a new GOS contract for Scotland. She achieved Independent Prescribing status in 2013.

She regularly holds peer reviews following accreditation as a College Facilitator and hosts CET events locally. She was elected College Council Member in March 2019.

E: kathryn.trimmer@college-optometrists.org

Remuneration Committee

The Remuneration Committee considers appropriate payment for the duties carried out by the President, the Vice-President, the Immediate Past President, the Treasurer and the Chair of the College.

Mark Redhead MA, MBA, FRSA

Lay Trustee, Chair of the Lay Advisory Panel

Mark’s career to date has been in health policy, management and sector development. Following a variety of roles in membership organisations and the NHS, Mark currently is head of system partnerships at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. 

Mark is also chair of a national patient charity, Ehlers-Danlos Support UK, and is keen on working with behaviours - pursuing an interest in coaching, facilitation and group relations. 

As a user of optometry services and a keen supporter of the role colleges play in the development of professions and services, Mark is delighted to join the lay advisory panel.

Andrea Clerk MBA, CIPD

Lay Advisory Panel Member

Andrea has extensive experience in governance and regulation and has worked within the legal and medical professions with responsibilities for professional training, standards, compliance and continuing education.  She is skilled in modernising product ranges and service approaches, notably through an emphasis on blended learning.  Andrea is passionate about giving individuals the right training at all stages of their careers, in order to ensure they have the proper skills and experience to deal confidently and professionally with challenges as they arise.

Katie Engel LLB

Lay Advisory Panel Member

After graduating, Katie worked as a solicitor in private practice and in-house. In 2009 she moved into the regulation of the legal profession, working for the Law Society's Legal Complaints Service and then the Legal Ombudsman. She is currently an adjudicator for an ombudsman scheme and enjoys the variety and challenge that the work brings.

Katie has a keen interest in optometry due to her family's eye conditions and has had several operations relating to her eyelids over a number of years.

Rekha Randhawa LLB (Hons), MA

Lay Advisory Panel Member

After completing her undergraduate law degree at University College London and a Master’s degree in Medical Ethics and Law at King’s College London, Rekha was Called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in 2007.  Following extensive experience working as a legal assistant in healthcare and non-healthcare disciplinary prosecution work, she cross-qualified as a solicitor in 2012.  After qualification, she specialised initially in claimant clinical negligence work, working for major London firms in that field and representing primarily children with cerebral palsy following birth hypoxia. Latterly, she worked as an in-house solicitor at a leading medical defence organisation, defending doctors and dentists from medical/dental negligence claims and disciplinary proceedings.

Barbara Watson MSc FCOptom DCLP

Council Member - Yorkshire and Humber

Barbara has been an optometrist for more than 30 years and has worked throughout West Yorkshire in independent practice, multiple practice, as a locum and for local hospitals. She was one of the first members of the College to gain her Fellowship by examination and also holds the College Diploma in Contact Lens Practice.

E: barbara.watson@college-optometrists.org

Research Committee

The Research Committee plays a key role in developing and implementing our research strategy, and supporting the College’s work to build the evidence base for optometry.

Professor Edward Mallen BSc PhD MCOptom

Immediate Past President, Council Member - Yorkshire and Humber

Ed graduated in optometry from Aston University in 1998, and completed a PhD at the same institution in 2003. He is now Head of the School of Optometry and Vision Science, and Professor of Physiological Optics at the University of Bradford. He also holds the position of Honorary Professor with the School of Health Professions, Plymouth University, and Visiting Professor at Aston University. Ed was appointed College President in March 2018.

Ed is the Ex Officio of the Education and Standards and Research Committees and the Lay Advisory Panel.

E: ed.mallen@college-optometrists.org

Dr Catey Bunce

Research Committee Co-optee

Dr Catey Bunce is a Consultant in Applied Medical Statistics with expertise in ophthalmology amassed from over 25 years working in research in Eyes and Vision. She has an honorary Associate Professorship at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and is co-lead for the NIHR Statistics Group.

Catey established the Ophthalmic Statistics Group which has written a series of statistics notes for the British Journal of Ophthalmology. She sits on the Certificate for Vision Impairment Committee (CVIC) which oversees data collected in England and Wales during the certification process for visual impairment. She is also an Ambassador for the Royal Statistical Society championing the message that “better data = better research = better healthcare”.

Emeritus Professor David Caplin

Lay Advisory Panel Member

David is Emeritus Professor of Physics at Imperial College London, where he has spent most of his scientific career. He maintains an international research activity in electronic materials, particularly magnetic and superconducting compounds; in the past, he has had some interests in the optical properties of materials. He has extensive experience of appraisal and review of research programmes, both nationally and internationally, and  has published about 300 research papers. 

Since retiring, David has been a Lay Member of the Bar Standards Board Conduct Committee, and was one of two Lay Vice-Chairs (2006-2008); he is currently the Vice-Chair on two National Patient Safety Agency Research Ethics Committees, and is a Lay Partner with the Health Professions Council.

Tony Cowburn BSc

Lay Advisory Panel Member

Tony is a physics graduate from the University of Southampton and has worked his entire career in scientific research and development (R&D).  He started his career as semiconductor process engineer with Phillips and then became an R&D manager at the IBM UK Development Laboratories, developing magnetic disc drives. He was involved in a management buy out  at IBM and became Technical Director for ADFlex, before completing his career as Technical Director for City Technology (electrochemical & optical gas sensors).

Tony is now semi-retired and works occasionally as a consultant. He has had a deep interest in all eye care matters since experiencing a serious eyesight problem as a teenager.

Dr Irene Ctori MCOptom

Trustee, Council Member - London

Irene graduated from City University in 1994. She worked in high street community practice until 2007, mostly in Vision Express, Ilford and then the Oxford Street store. Irene then went on to hold a role as a specialist optometrist at Whipps Cross University Hospital until 2012. This included leading a fast-track age-related macular degeneration clinic; undertaking complex adult and paediatric eye examinations and conducting low vision and diabetic eye assessments.

Irene completed the MSc in Clinical Optometry in 2012 and went on to do her PhD 2012 to 2016. Since then, Irene has been a full-time lecturer at City, University of London. Her main areas of interest and research include the use of OCT in clinical practice, quality of life in low vision and also paediatric optometry. Irene is committed to the future of optometry in the UK and is passionate about promoting optometrists as healthcare professionals.

E: irene.ctori@college-optometrists.org

Katie Curran PhD, MPH, BSc (Hons) MCOptom

Council member - Northern Ireland

Katie qualified as an optometrist from the University of Ulster, Coleraine in 2012. She completed her pre-registration year in Scotland and continued to work as a full-time optometrist until 2016, before returning to Northern Ireland to complete a Master’s in Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB). Katie has a keen interest in the optometry profession from a clinical and research perspective. She is passionate about strengthening partnerships between optometrists, ophthalmologists and other health care personnel to enhance patient care. She is also interested in early prevention strategies to reduce avoidable vision impairment and blindness for all age groups.

Katie recently completed her PhD, “Building capacity for diabetic eye screening and management in low-middle income countries: A mixed-methods approach” at QUB. She is working as a postdoctoral researcher at QUB with Professor Tunde Peto and is continuing to locum as an optometrist at weekends. Katie is now working towards becoming an independent prescribing optometrist.

E: katie.curran@college-optometrists.org

Professor Chris Hammond BA Hons MA BM Bch MRCP (UK) FRCOphth MD

Research Committee Co-optee

Chris has been the Frost Professor of Ophthalmology at King’s College London and consultant at Guy's and St Thomas' since 2011. After Cambridge and Oxford Universities, he was a registrar at the Western Eye Hospital, a senior registrar at St Thomas’ and completed his paediatric ophthalmology and strabismus Fellowship at Moorfields Eye Hospital. He was appointed as consultant at Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust in 2000, and was awarded the prestigious NIHR Senior Research Fellowship in 2008 in recognition of his groundbreaking research.

Chris has previously been both training programme director and regional adviser for the London Deanery/RCOphth, and is the ophthalmology lead for the London (South) Comprehensive Local Research Network. In addition, he has a longstanding association with City University, previously as a Visiting Professor and currently external examiner to its Optometry MSc programme. His specialist interests include adult strabismus, children’s complex strabismus and refractive error (high myopia).

Professor Hammond is one of the leading international researchers into the genetic epidemiology of common eye diseases including glaucoma, cataract, myopia, dry eye disease and age-related macular degeneration. He has been published widely.

Chris has been awarded the NIHR Senior Research Fellowship, the International Glaucoma Association Fellowship, the Elizabeth Paice London Deanery Award for best teaching institution (St Thomas’ Eye Dept),. as well as grants from the Wellcome Foundation and the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers.

Robert Harper BSc (Hons), MPhil, DPhil, DipGlauc, DipTP(IP), FCOptom

Council Member - North West

Robert Harper is an Optometrist Consultant at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, an Honorary Professor of Optometry in the School of Health Sciences at the University of Manchester and a Visiting Professor in Optometry at City, University of London.  His role encompasses clinical practice within the HES, research, undergraduate and post-graduate teaching, and training and continuing education for post-graduate optometrists. He is also actively engaged in examining and wider professional matters.  Areas of clinical and research interest include glaucoma, diagnostic test evaluation, low vision rehabilitation, and enhanced schemes within optometry.  He has presented nationally and internationally for over 3 decades and been lead applicant or co-applicant on grants amounting to over £3 million.  Robert has authored a glaucoma handbook and over 100 papers, including over 70 papers in the peer reviewed literature.  He has fostered links between the HES and community optometry for many years and in 2015 was awarded Life Fellowship by the College for his contribution to the profession.  He is currently an expert panel member for NICE, an external examiner at Cardiff, and an optometry member of the RCOphth external reviewer team.

E: robert.harper@college-optometrists.org 

David Hill BSc MCOptom DipTp(IP) FBDO

Council member - Eastern

David graduated from City University in 1996. Following a period with Boots Opticians, he joined Specsavers in Newmarket as a partner in 2003. He registered as an IP optometrist in 2014 and retains a close working relationship with the hospital eye service. David chaired Suffolk LOC until the end of 2020 and remains a member of the committee. Also, he works part-time as a clinic supervisor at Anglia Ruskin University and has supervised many pre-reg students.

E: david.hill@college-optometrists.org

Dr Keziah Latham PhD Prof Cert LV FCOptom

Council member - Eastern

Kez is an Associate Professor at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), where she has been a staff member since 2006. Her key interests are in low vision and assessment of visual function, and she was awarded the Neil Charman medal for excellence in optometric research in 2017. Kez trained at Aston University for her undergraduate degree (1990) and PhD (1995), and then continued there as a lecturer (1995-2000). She has worked in community practice throughout her career in both independent and multiple settings. With her current independent practice she is involved in glaucoma shared care schemes.

Kez is passionate about undergraduate optometric education and upskilling of the profession through postgraduate study, and also in the importance of research for the development of optometry as a mature, evidence-led profession. She was elected to College Council in March 2021.

E: keziah.latham@college-optometrists.org

Professor Jennifer Read

Research Committee Co-optee

Jenny Read is Professor of Vision Science at Newcastle University’s Institute of Neuroscience. She has a first class degree in physics (1994), a doctorate in theoretical physics (1997) and a Masters in neuroscience (1999), all from Oxford University, UK. From 1997-2001 she was a Wellcome Training Fellow in Mathematical Biology at Oxford University, then from 2001-2005 a postdoctoral fellow at the US National Eye Institute. She returned to the UK in 2005 with a University Research Fellowship from the Royal Society, Britain’s national science academy. Her lab works on many aspects of visual perception, especially stereoscopic or “3D” vision. Current projects include modelling how visual cortex encodes binocular information, developing a new stereo vision test for children, and uncovering how insects see in stereoscopic 3D. More information and all publications are available at www.jennyreadresearch.com.

Matt Roney Bsc MCOptom

Council Member – North West

Matt graduated from the University of Bradford in 2016, and went on to complete his pre registration year at Moorfields Eye Hospital. Soon after qualifying, Matt undertook a post at The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital. He is currently a Senior Optometrist at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. Although Matt’s role is predominately within the hospital, he locums regularly in private practice.

Matt was elected College Council Member for the North West region in March 2019.


E: matt.roney@college-optometrists.org

Hassnain Safdar MCOptom

Council Member - East Midlands

Hassnain graduated from Aston University in 2016 and completed his pre-reg with Specsavers in 2017. Currently, he practices as a locum optometrist in a variety of multiple and independent practices. He was the inaugural LOCSU Student ambassador in 2016 and remains an active committee member of the Leicestershire and Rutland LOC since 2019. In addition, he is a junior faculty member for the Johnson and Johnson institute STEP programme where he mentors other pre-reg students as and sits on the newly-qualified reference panel for the College. Hassnain is passionate on building a strong relationship between primary and secondary care and strives to promote the role Optometrists can play in an increasingly stretched NHS.

E: hassnain.safdar@college-optometrists.org 

Professor Kathryn Saunders BSc FCOptom

Trustee, Council Member - Northern Ireland

Kathryn Saunders is a Professor of Optometry and Vision Science at Ulster University in Northern Ireland. Her research interests include the development of refractive error in infancy and childhood in typically developing children and in the presence of developmental disability. She has led the Northern Ireland Childhood Errors of Refraction (NICER) study, a large longitudinal epidemiological study of refractive error, for the past 12 years. The NICER study has provided new insight into the prevalence, onset and progression of myopia in modern school age children living in the UK. Kathryn has published over 70 peer-reviewed scientific papers and is actively involved in undergraduate and postgraduate optometry teaching, including leading the College-accredited Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eyecare at Ulster University. In addition to academic and research work, Kathryn remains a practising optometrist with a strong interest in translational research which improves vision care and visual outcomes for people with and without special needs.

E: kathryn.saunders@college-optometrists.org

Dr Laura E Sweeney MCOptom DipTp(IP)

Council Member - Scotland

Laura is originally from Glasgow and continues to work and live in the Southside of the city. She graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) in 2008 and completed her pre-registration year at McCabe Opticians in Barrhead. In 2010 she began her PhD studies. Prior to, and throughout her PhD studies, Laura worked part time as a specialist optometrist in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde working in the glaucoma, cataract and paediatric clinics. Alongside her PhD studies she also completed the Independent Prescribing qualification in 2014.

In 2014 Laura took up a post with Dundee University as postgraduate optometry tutor and she was involved in the creation of evidence based online CET materials for optometrists and helped develop the Scotland wide Peer Assisted Learning Network. In 2015 she took up a post as lecturer at GCU where she is involved in the teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate optometrists. Alongside her teaching commitments, Laura’s current research interests include binocular vision, accommodation, eye movements and Alzheimer’s disease. Alongside her lecturing post Laura works as a self-employed locum optometrist, working regularly in Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Ayrshire and she is part of the Lanarkshire Eye Network Scheme. Laura was elected College Council Member in March 2017.

E: laura.sweeney@college-optometrists.org

OSC representative

Professor John Wild PhD, DSc.

Cardiff School of Optometry and Vision Sciences

Professor John Wild is Professor of Clinical Vision Science, and Head of School, at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University. He is the Optometry Schools Council representative on the Research Committee.

John’s research career has involved the development of visual field techniques and analyses for the investigation of glaucoma and, more latterly, for the investigation of the field loss associated with the anti-epileptic drug vigabatrin. He holds a PhD from Aston University and, for the totality of his research, a DSc from City, University of London. He has co-authored close to 100 papers in the ophthalmological and neurological journals, given invited presentations in approximately 30 countries including those at the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Neurology. He is a Past President of the International Perimetric Society, the only UK national and the only optometrist to hold such an honour. 

Ex-officio

Colin Davidson BSc (Hons) FCOptom DipTp(IP)

President, Council Member - South East

Colin currently works part-time for the University of Hertfordshire where he is programme lead for independent prescribing. He also works in independent practice in East Sussex, and at Sussex Eye Hospital in Brighton where he works in both A&E and uveitis clinics. He is a senior assessor for the College and an OSCE chief examiner. He is a former member of East Sussex LOC and a current member of the education faculty at the Johnson and Johnson Institute.

Colin was awarded a Diploma in Independent Prescribing Dip TP(IP) in 2011, and Fellowship of the College in 2013.

E: colin.davidson@college-optometrists.org