Education and Standards Committee

The Education and Standards Committee advises the Board on all aspects of professional standards for optometrists, as well as standards for optometric education, training and assessment.

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Committee members help us to ensure that our clinical and professional guidance, training and qualifications, and monitoring and assessment activities are relevant, robust and reliable. 


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.


Kyla Black BSc MCOptom
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. 


Lucy Blown 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. She worked for D&A/Boots until 2014, when she joined Vision Express. Lucy is currently Optometrist Store Manager at Vision Express, plus Regional Optical Lead, supporting Optometrists on a day-to-day basis and Personal Development Tutor, supporting pre reg trainees throughout their year and facilitating courses. 

Since 2013, Lucy have been a Visiting Clinical Tutor at City University, supporting practical sessions and patient clinics. In 2015, she became a College Assessor. 

Lucy has completed several post graduate modules and is currently studying for an MSc. She is a committee member of Kent and Medway LOC and was elected College Council member in March 2017.


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.

Clare Harrington LLB (Hons) LLM
Lay Advisory Panel Member

Clare is a barrister practising principally in the areas of personal injury and employment law. She is a director of 13 King’s Bench Walk Limited and a member of her chambers’ management committee. She is also a practitioner lecturer at The Inns of Court School of Law.

Dr Aleksandra Mankowska BSc PhD MCOptom
Treasurer, Chair of the Professional Conduct Committee, Council Member - Yorkshire and Humber

Alex entered the optometric profession in 2004 after 11 years in the automotive industry. She graduated from Bradford University in 2007, and was awarded a PhD by the same institution in 2013 for a study of blur adaptation in human vision. She is currently a member of the undergraduate teaching staff at Bradford with responsibility for the Binocular Vision and Paediatric clinics.

Alex also works as a specialist optometrist at York Teaching Hospital in the AMD treatment clinic, and is part of the ophthalmology research team. She continues to practise as a locum optometrist in the multiple and independent sectors. 



Deepali Modha MCOptom
Council Member - Eastern

Deepali graduated from Cardiff University in 2009, and became a qualified optometrist in August 2010. She has mainly worked in multiples, and currently works for Vision Express, based in the St Albans store. Deepali is a Regional Optical Lead for Vision express, which involves working with her regional manager to help professional staff and stores in the area, and to provide them with support, guidance and training if needed. Deepali supervises a pre-reg trainee and is a Professional Development Tutor for pre-regs in the company. This role involves running workshops, tutorials and helping students by giving them pastoral care. Deepali is a strong believer learning from peers, and as a result regularly facilitates peer reviews. She is an associate lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University and primarily assesses OSCEs on the distance based Ophthalmic Dispensing foundation degree. 

Deepali plays an active role in the wider optometrist community, and is a keen member of her local LOC. She thoroughly enjoys and takes pride in helping her peers, whether it is on a local, regional or national level. This passion for supporting her peers, led her to becoming an AOP councillor for East of England last year. The optometric landscape is changing, and Deepali passionate about raising the awareness of optometry and the skills optometrists possess in furthering their clinical stance.



Dr Joy Myint FCOptom Prof Cert LV FHEA
Trustee, Council Member - London

For most of her professional career Joy has been involved in academia, teaching in a number of different institutions. She also works with a number of organisations including Alliance Boots, Clearview Training, the International Paralympic Committee, WOPEC and The Vision Care Institute, Johnson & Johnson Medical Ltd UK.

Joy is a Senior Examiner and Assessor for the College and sits on the College's Scheme for Registration and Final Assessment Panel. She is an editorial board member for Optometry in Practice, and an external reviewer for other journals and funding organisations. Joy is involved with a number of research groups and her current research interests include autism, binocular vision, glaucoma, myopia, paralympic sport, public health and visual impairment.


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.


Nitika Sondhi MCOptom
Council Member - London

Nitika started her Optometry career at Anglia Ruskin University and was actively involved with the Optics Society at University, standing as the President in 2nd year. Since qualifying, she has worked with Vision Express Opticians, and as a locum with various other multiples. 

Nitika is an active member of the Vision Aid Overseas charity, which included an assignment to Zambia in 2017. She will be leading a team in Ethiopia as part of her next assignment in 2019. Nitika is currently undertaking an IP qualification. She was elected College Council Member for the London region in 2019.


Kiki Soteri MSc BSc (Hons) MCOptom Dip TP (IP)
Trustee, Vice Chair of the Education and Standards Committee, Council Member - South West

Kiki has been a member of the College since graduating in 1995. Her interests include therapeutic management of anterior eye conditions, communication, paediatric eye care, visual perception, clinical case management and the business aspects of optometry.

Kiki was a member of the team of academics that developed the BSc (Hons) Optometry at Plymouth University, and taught and assessed students on the programme. She has practiced in a range of settings across the UK. She founded and developed an independent practice in London, before moving to Devon where she is now Head of Enhanced Services at Specsavers.



OSC representative

Dr Kirsten Hamilton-Maxwell PhD B.Optom(Hons) FHEA

Kirsten is the Director of Learning & Teaching for the School of Optometry & Vision Sciences at Cardiff University. She has been an optometrist for over 20 years, originally graduating in 1998 from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia. She subsequently worked in full-time clinical optometric practice before embarking on a PhD in 2003, returning once again to UNSW to do so. She joined Cardiff University in 2007, registering with the GOC in the same year.

Kirsten is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has a keen interest in the enhancement of optometric education, in areas such as assessment and feedback, learning technology and the student experience. Her optometric area of expertise is in corneal biomechanics, and in particular, how this seemingly innocuous parameter may be linked to glaucoma, keratoconus, myopia control, and intraocular pressure measurement.

Kirsten is the OSC representative on the College of Optometrists Education and Standard Committee. She is also the External Examiner for the Professional Qualifying Exam, Association of Optometrists, Ireland.



Professor Edward Mallen BSc PhD MCOptom
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.