Ceremony on 6 December 2023 at The Hilton, Park Lane, London,
Entries are now closed
Sustainable Practice Award
How sustainable is your business and what actions are you taking to reduce your environmental load on the planet? The winner of this award is a practice which has thought about the long-term impact of the actions they take whilst meeting the needs of their patients. The judges will want to see evidence of the entrant’s actions in reducing waste, improving efficiency and keeping consumption of non-sustainable products and services to a minimum. This could be through the provision of recycling, energy saving or by education to eliminate unnecessary consumption. Entrants should provide a case study of one project highlighting an issue and the solution implemented.
This award seeks to reward a practice that can demonstrate an ability to use technology effectively both for the direct clinical needs of the patient and the efficient operation of the practice. The judges will be looking for evidence in detection of ocular conditions and the subsequent provision of excellent eye care. Entries should demonstrate the use of a range of technologies along with relevant links beyond the practice. This award seeks to reward a team offering innovative, effective and inclusive use of technology for the benefit of the patient and the promotion of the practice.
Multiple practices come in all shapes and sizes and this award seeks to reward variety and excellence within a corporate setting. The panel of judges will want to see what makes the entrant’s practice appealing and its take on eye care and customer care. Entries should show how that harnesses the power of national branding and highlightings their profile in the local community. The judges will also want to see evidence of the clinical and commercial success of the branch and the engagement of its staff.
Independent retailing continues to enjoy a resurgence and Optician is looking to recognise the best of the optical bunch. The panel of judges will be looking for a truly independent practice that offers real product choice, an outstanding customer experience and clinical excellence. The judges will want to see evidence of how the business has created its personality in its local area, links with other businesses and its profile within the community. The judges will be looking for evidence of service, individualised eyecare and a practice that adds something a little different to its competitors. The panel of judges will want to see the quality and diversity of optical products offered and see positive feedback on that from the practice’s clients.
Fashion and eyewear are inextricably linked and Optician wants to reward a practice that understands how that is translated into retail optics. The winning practice will understand the importance of colour and stylish eyewear and will be proactive in sourcing product that makes the practice stand out. Our judges also want to see the active encouragement of eyewear as a fashion accessory and the engagement of converts to eye fashion. The panel will be particularly interested in hearing from entrants how their practice is promoted and positioned within the community and about links with other fashion-focused businesses.
Entries in this category are open to products and suppliers in the field of lenses, coatings, tints and treatments relevant to the market during the last year. Entries on our shortlist may lead on the service offered by an organisation or showcase a particular product. Our shortlist will include excellent lens products or companies our judges feel have given patients and practitioners added value. Emphasis will also be placed on innovation, communication to the market and the wow factor. Entries highlighting the supplier should demonstrate the strength of relationship between supplier and customer, how the entrant exceeds customer expectations and excellence in communication.
This category is open to frame suppliers and individual frame models significant to the British market over the last 12 months. The panel of judges is looking for an entry that shows significance to UK optical practices and is capable of broad market appeal. This may highlight a supplier or a significant piece it has placed on the market in the last year. For a frame it may be its style, value to the wearer or technical excellence. If the entry is for a supplier the judges will be looking for strength of relationship between supplier and customer, how the entrant exceeds customer expectations and excellence in communication.
Entries in this category are open to both companies and products in the field of contact lenses relevant to the market in the last 12 month. Entries may major on the supplier or a particular product. Factors taken into consideration for entries highlighting a product will be the product’s significance to practice and its ability to grow the contact lens business. The judges will be looking for evidence of the lens’s success in practice, the level of innovation the product employs and the way in which it has been presented to the market. Entries highlighting the supplier should provide evidence of how the entrant exceeds customer expectations, engagement and excellence in communication.
Optics is a relationship business and this award will be presented to an organisation that excels in exceeding its customers’ expectations. The panel of judges will be looking for suppliers to the retail optical business who can demonstrate excellence in service, quality and relationships. Entries are welcome from suppliers outside of the awards covering suppliers of lenses, contact lens and frames.
The judges will be looking for evidence of excellent service over and above what might be expected and innovative ways of engaging with customers.
The optical profession’s primary care role has come to the fore of late and this category with be won by a practice offering excellent enhanced services and primary eye care in its community. This may be for diabetes, glaucoma and AMD or offering triage, refractive surgery or dry eye management. The judges will want to know how these services have been developed and the partnerships formed with providers beyond the practice.
Managing childhood myopia is the most exciting development in optometry for years. This award seeks to recognise a practice that has enabled its patients to fully enjoy the benefits of the licensed products now on offer. The judges will be looking for evidence of proactivity in communicating myopia management to their patients and parents, the success rates for take up and the techniques employed. Entrants should provide a brief story of their journey into myopia management and offer techniques and tips for successful fitting and maintaining wear.
Engagement with customers is increasingly carried out online and this Award seeks to reward a practice that has excelled in using tools such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The judges will be keen to hear about the reach of the entrant’s social media platforms the frequency of posting and success in achieving comments, shares and likes. Entrants are invited to showcase up to three postings used during the last twelve months and describe to judges how those posts came about and the traction they created. Entries should also describe the ethos behind the social media approach taken by the practice.
How high profile is dispensing in your practice and who drives it? The winner of this award will be an excellent dispensing optician with great communication skills who champions dispensing. Entries are welcome from DOs working in practices of all types and sizes and evidence of patient satisfaction should be demonstrated. The judges will also want to see evidence of the DO’s expertise in eyewear styling and feedback from patients to that effect. Emphasis will be placed on everyday eyecare solutions, patient communication as well as clinical excellence and all round practice skills. Whether your specialism as a DO is clinical or fashion this is the category for you.
This category is designed to reward an optometrist who uses their optometric skills to enhance the lives of patients, colleagues and the community. Entries should show excellence in clinical techniques, interaction with other practice staff and, most importantly, patients. The judges will also want to see how the optometrist has made an effort to further the eye care of their patients and enhance their practice’s reputation. This category is for the practice-based optometrist who goes the extra mile for patients day after day. It may also be an optometrist who works hard to forward the profession and the adoption of new ideas.
Learning through adversity is the mark of the truly great business and this Award will seek to recognise an independent practice that has done just that. Our judges will be looking for a practice that has changed its way of working to become more successful as a direct result of the fallout from the pandemic. The panel will want to see evidence of the pressures placed on the business and the measures taken to mitigate them and improve care and service for patients. This should include how messages were communicated and the methods used to achieve results; evidence should be provided for real changes to ways of working in the practice. This should highlight how contact lenses, eyecare and spectacles were built in as a growth opportunity to enable the practice to emerge from the pandemic stronger than when it struck.
As Her Majesty the Queen celebrates 70 years as head of state Optician has joined with Specsavers to seek the ideas of young people who will be running optics in the future. In this category entrants will be asked to spell out how they would like their career to develop over the next ten years and their blueprint for how the optical profession and business should develop. Finalists in this category will be those working in optics who are at the dawn of their career. The winner will hold any role connected to retail optics, they will have excellent skills in their chosen field and a passion for developing optics. Entries and nominations will be accepted from students, trainees and those who have been working within a retail optical environment for no more than two years.
Technology is an increasingly important tool for optical practices, this award will be presented to a company that not only offers the best kit to the profession but fully supports its customers too. Entries in this category should not only showcase excellence of product, commissioning and training but more importantly patient care. The judges will want to hear the entrants’ strategy for provision of technology and the clinical and business needs met. Entrants may wish to showcase a particular product launch or market initiative but should also focus on how they exceed customer expectations. The judges will want to see how the entrant has helped customers in practice, this should be backed up with examples and feedback from customers.