Fact File

We are:

  • The oldest optical body in the world
  • A Company established by Royal Charter
  • A community of people supporting the Craft of eye health, the City of London and Charity
  • A diverse and international organisation. We have 370 Liverymen and over 400 Freemen, in the UK, Europe, the US, Australia and New Zealand.
  • An open Company. Membership is open to all who share our aims, regardless of gender, occupation, race, religion, nationality or background.
  • A principal founder of the College of Optometrists and the Association of British Dispensing Opticians
  • A Company which supports others through charitable giving. The Spectacle Makers’ Charity gives bursaries and travel awards to people starting in optics and grants to organisations seeking to improve quality of life for vision impaired people.
  • A supporter of academic research. Our Gold, Silver and Bronze medals recognise research which has a significant impact on the improvement of eye health and the prevention and treatment of vision impairment
  • An independent and impartial body, encouraging multi-disciplinary networking and discussions
  • A body which encourages firm friendships, based on common values

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 Moorfields Eye 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.