The College of Optometrists


All spectacles or other optical appliances should be sold and supplied by, or under the supervision of, an optometrist or dispensing optician, even if an unregistered person could legally complete the sale without supervision. You should decide what is in the best interests of the patient. 
When selling and supplying spectacles to a patient you must ensure that patients or their carers have all the information they need to safely use or look after any optical devices they have been prescribed95
You should:
  • explain clearly to the patient the purpose and function of the spectacles
  • ensure the spectacles are suitable for the patient’s needs
  • take and record facial, frame and other appropriate measurements before ordering the spectacles
  • check that the spectacles are CE marked and conform to the relevant standards96
  • check that the spectacles correspond to the written prescription or sight test record
  • fit them to the patient to ensure the correct plane, height and position
  • check them on the patient for fit, comfort and function, making any adjustments before the patient takes them away
  • check against a letter chart or equivalent, where appropriate, to ensure the correct acuity.
You may make up spectacles without a prescription, for example by duplicating an existing pair of spectacles, if you feel this is in the patient’s best interests.
You must make arrangements for the patient to receive aftercare as far as and for as long as is reasonable.97


95 General Optical Council (2016) Standards of practice for optometrists and dispensing opticians para 2.5 [Accessed 22 Oct 2017]
96 British Standards [College members only] [Accessed 27 Oct 2017]
97 Opticians Act 1989 s27(3B)

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