At a packed out ICC in Birmingham, Spectrum caught up with Specsavers Managing Director Paul Marshall:
‘Two weekends ago I attended the largest ever Professional Advancement Conference (PAC) that has been running annually for over 20 years, and now the biggest of its kind in the UK.
I was one of many Specsavers UK Board members to attend this year, introducing and sitting in on sessions and manning a ‘Meet the UK Board’ stand, and I know all of us were hugely impressed at the scale of the event and the sheer breadth of learning that was on offer. With more than 2,200 professionals, including 165 optometrists and dispensing opticians who locum or work in independents, it was a busy and buzzy place to be. I found it inspiring to see so many optical and audiology professionals under one roof, thirsty for knowledge, all there for a shared purpose: to get better at what they already do so well.
It’s great to see that as well as professional credentials, my clinical colleagues have the enthusiasm and brilliance to back it up.
What I couldn’t fail to notice was the phenomenal expertise we have within UK optics.
As well as speakers from partner organisations like Newmedica, RNIB and the College of Optometrists, the multi-track programme was led and facilitated by Specsavers clinicians who are lecturers in their own right, academic doctors and fellows, hospital optometrists, examiners, enhanced services champions or subject experts in their chosen field.
Given, in one of the sessions, we were launching a new ‘Ascend Higher’ workshop by the respected Kiki Soteri – which encourages optometrists to explore their professional aspirations and create a personal development plan – I think young practitioners could have had no better role models than their colleagues involved in delivering PAC CET lectures.
Encouragingly, the OCT clinical sessions and supplier workshops were hugely popular which shows the hunger among optometrists to get their teeth into this new technology.
Next to us board members, the Enhanced Optical Services stand was also doing a brisk trade, with enthusiastic optical practitioners – often WOPEC-accredited up to the eyeballs – keen to explore how they can put their MECS and glaucoma accreditations into practice… literally.
In the meantime, here’s a date for your diary – PAC 2018: Sunday 21 October.
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