Optical Technician Apprenticeship - A full breakdown

Posted on February 23, 2017
Author: Sam Reed


The Specsavers Optical Technician Apprenticeship is a nationally recognised Level 3 qualification. In working towards this qualification, you will develop skills and knowledge that will enable you to progress your career with a wide range of opportunities. This qualification is equivalent to an A Level grade and is a 2 year apprenticeship. Please see a full breakdown of the qualification and modules below: 

Level 3 Optical Technician Apprenticeship

Module One

  • Processing optical orders accurately
  • Transposition, blank sizes and optical manufacturing principles
  • Essential Health & Safety information
  • Practical single vision glazing

 Module Two

  • Basic quality inspection process
  • Lens forms and the effect on light
  • Anatomy of the eye
  • Personal development and the history of spectacle making

Module Three

  • Practical Health & Safety Principals
  • Stock control and dispatch process
  • Lens treatments
  • Maths (arithmetic)

Module Four

  • Working with communication and order queries
  • Hand edging and lens adjustments
  • Properties and types of lens and frame materials
  • Maths (lens formulae)
  • Quality management processes, inspection and correcting errors

Module Five

  • Employment rights and responsibilities
  • Maintenance principles and correct use of equipment
  • Maths (properties of circles and triangles and their use in optics)
  • Understanding the manufacturing process
  • Further use of industry tolerances and inspection for quality

 Module Six

  • Personal development process, 1-2-1’s and feedback on skills, knowledge and ability
  • Job roles within optics and governing bodies
  • Maths (use of graphs, report data and tables in optics)
  • Compile and compare report, quality and performance data

 End Point Assessment (EPA)

  • An independent assessor will evaluate your knowledge, skills and ability relative to the criteria you have been working with during the course
  • You can achieve either a pass or distinction, depending on the level of achievement seen during the EPA
  • You can bring work-based learning materials you have completed during the apprenticeship to your EPA, where applicable, to use as evidence of reaching criteria standards

 Level 2 Functional Skills in Mathematics*

  • Mathematics exam paper 90x minutes

 Level 2 Functional Skills in English*

  • English reading exam paper 60x minutes
  • English writing exam paper 60x minutes
  • English speaking and listening exercise, 2x 10 minutes

 *unless already held (proof of exemption must be provided)

How will I be assessed?

Learning will be achieved in a variety of ways, with much of it being self-led and through our online learning portal. There will also be regular on-the-job training and formal classroom sessions.

Over the course of programme, you will be allocated an assessor, who will be in touch with you every four to eight weeks, either in person of over the telephone.

During the visits in person, your assessor will observe you carrying out daily tasks, such as practical glazing processes, ordering glasses, quality inspection and maintenance of lab equipment. They will ask you to carry out the tasks in your own work environment. Don’t worry though, they won’t be sitting next to you or looking over your shoulder – they will be far enough away that they can see and hear you without intruding. Typically, telephone contact will be to ask questions and discuss areas of your role to check your knowledge and understanding.

In addition, you will be assigned projects and will need to complete written questions and case studies for your e-portfolio.

To complete the apprenticeship, there will be an End Point Assessment (EPA) which is designed to provide you with the opportunity to discuss and practically demonstrate the skills and knowledge you have gained during the programme. This will be with an independent assessor and will be in your workplace – you won’t have to go to another location for this assessment.

How can I progress?

We’re committed to giving everyone at Specsavers all the learning and development opportunities they need to achieve their full potential. Everyone is different, which is why we will draw up a personal development plan for you, which aligns with your own talents and ambitions.

The following are just some of the options for career progression at Specsavers:

Level 4 Diploma for Optical Technicians – known as SMC(tech) – 2 year distance learning course

Regarded as the “Gold Standard” in optical manufacturing, this course provides technicians with a wealth of theoretical and background knowledge in manufacturing optics to validate the practical skills they will pick up during their career path.

Ophthalmic Dispensing FdSc (Distance learning, part-time, three year undergraduate)

Earn while you learn on a distance learning course, which features on-campus residentials. Train as a dispensing optician and take the next step towards a rewarding career in eyecare.

How can I apply?

To apply for an Apprenticeship with us click on the “Find Apprenticeship vacancies” button on the right hand side of this page and do a search for current vacancies in your area. You can then complete an application form online and if you are shortlisted, you will be invited to an in-store interview.

Learn more about this apprenticeship by watching the videos below: