I wouldnt have accomplished my career progression without the support of Specsavers
Meet Irfan Aziz, Optical Partner
in Specsavers Northfield and Longbridge
What was your background before joining Specsavers?
I worked as a mobile optometrist for the West Midlands region for Scrivens Optical and Hearing Care.
Tell us a bit about your career journey at Specsavers?
I became a resident optometrist for the Northfield store located in Birmingham. Shortly after, my retail and clinical skills were acknowledged by the management team and I was put forward to do the ILM level 3 training course in leadership and business management. After completing the course with great success, I was encouraged by my store directors and Regional Relationship Manager to apply for Pathway. After successfully completing Pathway the opportunity to be a Joint Venture Partner (JVP) of a new specsavers store was presented to me and I, with much joy and excitement, accepted this brilliant opportunity.
How has Specsavers supported your development?
My store directors and the Regional Relationship Manager supported my business training and progression by allowing me to do ILM level 3 and Pathway. I received superb training during my time on Pathway from expert tutors and learnt skills that will be useful to me within and outside of the optometry profession.
What clinical advances have you seen lately?
Enhanced optical services (EOS) seems to be flourishing. MECS and Pears courses as well as glaucoma refinement are being promoted bringing the profession into a more clinical light.
How are you driving forward optometry in your local community?
I am promoting EOS with a number of flyers and leaflets. I am also offering free eye examinations within National Eye Health week to encourage the general public to have regular eye health examinations.
Where do you think you have made real difference to someone's eye health?
I saw a patient who had not had an eye examination in many years. She presented with no symptoms. Upon examining her, I found both eyes' optic nerves to appear swollen. I referred her immediately to the eye hospital where they confirmed my diagnosis and commenced lumbar puncture. This just shows the importance of having regular eye health examinations.
In regards to training and developing yourself and your clinical teams - how do you manage to stay at the leading edge of your profession?
I am a continuous prescriber of Optometry Today and a member of my local optical council. I regularly attend Continuous Education and Training seminars where new advances in optometry are mentioned.
What makes you most proud of your time at Specsavers so far?
I am extremely proud of my career progression which I feel I would not have been able to accomplish with as much support and training in any other company. I am privileged to be the JVP of two successful stores working with a diverse group of team members.
Describe the Specsavers culture in three words
Positive, caring, professional.
What advice would you give someone looking to join Specsavers?
Specsavers offer a great support system for progression both clinical and retail. You will be working with a very knowledgeable training team and every question you have has an easily acceptable answer.