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Level 3 Apprenticeship

Optical Assistant

An Optical Assistant requires many skills to be able to work within the Optical retail Industry. They are often the people that spend the most time interacting with customers. Therefore strong communication, listening skills and a passion for working with others to deliver excellent service and products that are both clinically and cosmetically correct, are skills, knowledge and behaviours that need to be demonstrated at all times.

Optical Assistants have to interpret and understand a clinically issued prescription, its effects on the eye, and the customer’s vision. They need to be able to identify the appropriate spectacles to meet the customer’s needs and be able to explain the features and benefits of these, using non-technical customer friendly language. This Apprenticeship aims to give the students the knowledge and confidence to do just that. 

Apprenticeship information

  • Entry requirements

    A minimum of two GCSE at grade 4 (grade C) or above in Maths and English is required. You may have to complete your English and Maths Functional Skills depending on your GCSE grades.

  • Where will I study?

    Online Learning

  • Duration

    18 months - one day per week

close-up-students-writing-reading-exam-answer-functional skills

English and Maths

You may need to complete your English and Maths Functional Skills depending on your GCSE grades, or if you cannot provide evidence of your GCSE results.

The Functional Skills programme runs as an addition to the time you are already required to spend doing your off-the-job training. Following a thorough assessment process, we will select a learning plan suitable for you, which will be either 2-weeks full-time or 12-weeks (one day per-week) each for English and/or maths.

If a subject needs re-sitting, this will be additional time in the classroom on top of your learning plan.

Continuous training during programme
Regular reviews with the apprentice and the employer
Support when the apprentice is ready to undertake the end-point assessment (EPA)

Course details


Operating procedures
Act within the limits of own competence and within agreed ways of working, following the relevant local and national standards, policies, standard operating procedures used in the workplace.

Customer journey
Promote and provide a high level of service and care throughout the customer journey.

Health & safety
Maintain the health, safety and security of yourself, customers and others in the workplace by identifying risks and taking appropriate action to keep people safe.

Customer needs
Identify customer needs and offer the appropriate services and products to meet those needs.

Booking service
Provide and maintain a triage and appointment booking service for customers.

Provide a pre-appointment service for customers, gaining valid consent.

Review spectacles for quality, prescription and measurement accuracy.

Dispensing service
Provide a (product recommendation, measurement and fitting) dispensing service for customers requiring spectacles.

After care
Provide a spectacle collection, fitting and adjustment service.

Customer service
Provide and maintain a concern handling service for customers and manage queries.

Meet personal and business targets and goals on an ongoing basis.

Contact lens
Provide a contact lens insertion and removal service.

Employer information

An in-practice supervisor ideally needs to be a Qualified and Registered on the General Optical Council but it's not essential. (Dispensing Optician, Contact Lens Optician or OMP or Optometrist) for an apprentice to commence training.

Frequently asked questions

No the course is delivered completely on-line but your employer may require you to travel

You will need access to either a PC, laptop, tablet or smart phone with the internet

The entry requirement is grade 4 in English and maths but get in touch and we can talk to you about alternative routes onto the course

No, not for a Level 3 qualification

If you can’t attend the class, you will need to make this time back during working hours and this can be logged on oneFile

In the form of written questions, reports, logs and case studies. The standard of your work will help determine whether you are ready for the end point assessment.

No the coursework content is covered over the full 18 months

No you have no physical exam to take, you have an end point assessment which is in three parts: 1. Direct observation of practice with questions, 2. Report with questioning, 3. Professional discussion

Your employer would either supply this or provide guidance on what to wear

Four days at work, one day in the virtual classroom

All our live Apprenticeship vacancies can be found on our website. If there are none available we can help you find one or you already may know an opticians that is looking to recruit an optical assistant

This will depend on where you work, the minimum you will be paid is the national apprenticeship wage

This will depend on your place of work

Next steps

On completion of this course you may want to consider the following options to further your career.

Where can you progress to?