Membership of the Company is not restricted to those who work in the optical sector. Membership is open to anyone aged 18 and above, regardless of race, religion, marital status or disability. Membership of the Company has been open to both men and women since 1699.

There is no restriction on applications from outside the United Kingdom. Proof of identity and current address will be required (certified translations may be required in some cases) and all those who wish to be Freemen of the Company and Freemen of the City of London are required to declare their support for the British monarchy.

The Court’s general policy is that up to 25% of places within the Livery may be allocated to those who have no direct connection with optics but still support the Company's aims. Many current members are active in optical manufacturing, on the high street, in hospitals or in community eye care.  They are always happy to share their knowledge and experience.  We also have senior charity heads and professionals engaged in work which is associated with vision in some way but who are not themselves optically qualified.  The Company very much welcomes people working in other professions who share the values of the Livery world – the principle of Fellowship and support for the 4 C's – the Craft, the City, Charity and Community.

1)  Apply for Freedom of the Company - depending on when the Court next meets, this part of the process could take from a couple of weeks to three months

2)  Apply to the City of London for Freedom of the City.  Again, approval has to be given by the Court of Aldermen who meet 8 times per year.  We usually say you should allow around 8 weeks from applying for City Freedom to being admitted in your own individual ceremony.

3) You can then let the Clerk know if you wish to be added to the waiting list for Livery.  You must be both a Freeman of the City and a Freeman of the Company before you can be considered and the decision on progression to Livery rests with the Master and Wardens.

4) Clothing of new Liverymen happens only 3 or 4 times a year, usually in March, June and December and very occasionally before or after the Presentation Ceremony in mid October.  

Read MORE - FREEdom of the company

read more - Freedom of the City

Read more - Admission to the Livery

If you have any questions about joining the Company, please contact the Clerk. Email: Telephone: (+44 from outside the UK) (0) 20 7236 2932.