The International Opticians Association (IOA) has opened entries for the Silmo IOA International Optician of the Year Award. This innovative award, first given in 2018, recognises the importance of the optician in the optical business and their role in the choice of optimum products for their clientele.  

The International Opticians Association (IOA) is an international body dedicated to the enhancement and development of the profession worldwide. It is a strategic partner with Silmo in the development of the profession worldwide.

As well as being able to demonstrate that they are a qualified dispensing optician in the country where they practice, the winner of this award will display the following attributes:

• Professionalism – the client is at the heart of their business and receives excellent care.

• Excellent communication skills – both personally and via social media.

• Entrepreneurial spirit – with solid business acumen highlighted through the success of their enterprise.

• Innovation – within their business model / product offer / shop design.

• Specialisation – with a reputation in a specific branch of optics. 

• Creativity – both in the products they offer and the way they practice.

• Engagement – with the profession, the community, charitable endeavours and industry.

• Advocacy – championing the profession of dispensing.

IOA members, country members and industry partners will be able to nominate opticians worldwide. These people will be contacted and asked to fill in a dossier. The dossiers will be scrutinised by a panel made up of a number of industry experts. A shortlist will be established and the winner will be announced during the prestigious Silmo d’Or ceremony in Paris France. 

Nominations should be made on the form here by 31 May 2023. 

As well as the award, the winner will also win a trip to Silmo 2024 (economy air fare and hotel).

Fiona Anderson, IOA President says; “We are delighted to be able to launch our search of the 2023 International Optician of the Year with our partner Silmo. Every year we are amazed by the calibre of the applicants and the judging panel have an increasingly difficult task to produce a short list & eventual winner.”

The 2022 winner, chosen from a competitive field, was Grant Hannaford. Grant has made Hannaford Eyewear the destination for leading edge innovation and excellence in clinical care for the Southern Highlands in Australia as well as delivering optical dispensing training for optometrists at UNSW.


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