Fact file 

We are:

  • The oldest optical body in the world still in existence 
  • A Company established by Royal Charter: you will not find us registered at Companies House!
  • A community of people focused on supporting the Craft, the City of London and Charity
  • One of the larger Livery Companies by membership with 380 Liverymen and 600 Freemen
  • An open Company: membership is open to all professionals who share our aims
  • The body from which both the College of Optometrists and the Association of British Dispensing Opticians originated
  • A supporter of optical training, through bursary awards made by the WCSM Education Trust
  • A Company which supports others: the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers' Charity (Reg no 1072172) is a grant-giving body which seeks to improve the quality of life for vision impaired people and their families, nationally and internationally
  • A supporter of academic research, with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals acknowledging the contribution of research to the improvement of eye health and the prevention and treatment of vision impairment
  • An independent and impartial place in which professionals of all optical disciplines can meet and discuss hot topics
  • A body which encourages firm friendships, based on common values

The Company and the Optical Sector

The Company maintains close connections with its craft. We provide a voice in the City of London for the work of the optical sector, which has a continuing impact on the daily lives of millions of people, as well as contributing at least £6 million each year to the UK economy.

 We take an independent view and offer our facilities at Apothecaries' Hall as "neutral territory" where contentious issues within optics may be debated openly and amicably.

The Company has excellent relationships with universities, institutions, professional bodies and membership organisations across the optical sector, including The General Optical Council, BIOS, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Moorfields Hospital and Charity, ABDO,  AOP,  AIO, The College of Optometrists,  FODO, The Federation of Manufacturing Opticians, NIOS, The Association of Optometrists Ireland and Optometry Scotland,  Optometry Wales and Optometry Northern Ireland.