Role description for Council member

Find out what's required of Council members before you apply for the role.

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The College’s governance structure ensures that its direction and strategy are informed by the views of a representative cross section of membership on College Council. We want all types of optometrists from a diverse range of backgrounds and with diffrerent levels of experience. The key is you should be interested in the development of the profession, have an enquiring, critical and open mind, and willing to express your views.

As a volunteer you will act as the conscience of the College, monitoring the performance of the Board of Trustees and ensuring that the College remains true to its principles and accountable to its membership. This is a voluntary position although reasonable expenses for travel, accommodation, subsistence and childcare will be reimbursed by the College.

Purpose of role

Council members:

  • Set the strategic direction for the College in leading the profession.
  • Are the College’s regional representatives.
  • Are advocates for the College and the profession.

Key characteristics of candidates

Ideal personal attributes:

  • An effective communicator
  • Trusted and reliable
  • Proactive and willing to express your views
  • Well organised with strong attention to detail 
  • Committed to the development of the profession 
  • Good team working and influencing skills

Personal and professional development

You can expect to gain from:

  • Greater understanding of local and national issues
  • Access to a network of friendly and informed clinicians
  • The ability to influence national development of optometry and optics
  • Career development and a greater local profile
  • Experience of working in a representative and collaborative role
  • Training opportunities, including media interview skills and facilitation  
  • Additional knowledge, clinical insights and transferable skills and which you can use in your day job.

Main activities

Council members:

  • Attend and actively participate in Council meetings.
  • Bring members’ views directly to the College’s attention, which may have been received, for example, through conversations at meetings and events or via online communications.
  • Share the College’s thinking, direction and activity within their region by supporting local networks and attending College and industry events.
  • Elect the President, Vice President, Treasurer and trustees.
  • Contribute to specific areas of the College work, for example through committees and working groups, requests to contribute to consultations, assist in the development of the College public relations activity or act as a spokesperson for the College

Term of office

The normal term of office for a member of Council is three years. Subject to re-election, a member may serve up to four terms of three years consecutively.

Time commitment

The time commitment for the core role is a minimum of seven days per year, although this could be more if you choose to get involved in other areas of College work, or attend any local network meetings (eg LOCs, ROCs) and industry events within your region. If you put yourself forward for a College committee, there will be a requirement to attend at least one meeting in person per year. In addition to the meeting duration, additional time is needed to read the papers and prepare for the discussions. 


Activity when where time commitment
Council AGM meeting February Varies ½ day (evening dinner ahead of conference)
College AGM and conference February Varies 2 days
Full day Council meeting June London 1 day
Diploma Ceremony November London 1 day
Full day Council meeting November London 1½ days (evening dinner and full day meeting) following Diploma Ceremony
Regional events (in your region) Varies Varies 2 x ½ days (evenings)
Minimum commitment     7 days + ½ day preparation
Additional committees
(which normally meet twice a year)
Varies London Normally ½ day + preparation per meeting