Why me? 

The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers is the oldest and best connected optical organisation in the world. We have over 900 members, spanning 35 different professions. All of us believe in better vision for all. Our Charity gives over £70,000 each year in grants to organisations helping people with vision problems here and abroad and special awards to support young professionals starting their careers in eye health across the UK.

Our Journeyman membership option is new for 2021. It gives people working in optical professions or the sight loss sector a chance to get to know us, to get involved and to want to move up to full membership of the Spectacle Makers’ Company. 

What’s a Journeyman?

“Journeyman” has a special meaning in our 1629 founding Charter. A Journeyman was someone who had the skills needed to do their job but was developing their knowledge and experience still further by working for someone else.  Journeymen would progress to becoming “Freemen”, people worthy of public trust, with a strong reputation of their own.  Journeymen, Freemen and Liverymen are titles of respect and have been used by men and women equally throughout our almost 400-year history. 

Today’s Journeymen will have access to advice and support to help them become Freemen of the Company, which are full members of our organisation in their own right, when they feel ready.

There’s no age restriction but you must be in the early stages of your career to become a Journeyman. You might be in a pre-reg year, a post-doc starting in research, someone who has returned to work after a career break, a charity fundraiser or volunteer, a newly-qualified dispensing optician or someone whose career development brings them into optical sales or manufacturing. Whenever you start, your time as a Journeyman will end after five years – but you don’t have to wait that long.  You can choose to move up to Freedom at any time. 

We take pride in our friendliness and openness.  We don’t accept discrimination. Any person committed to better vision for all is welcome to the Spectacle Makers. 

Benefits for Journeymen 

– access to free online discussion sessions with some of the UK and the world’s leading vision experts.  Our next “Eye-to-Eye” Zoom will be on Tuesday 14 October, World Sight Day, 6.30-7.30pm

– invitations to WCSM-hosted presentations at conferences eg 100% Optical 

– opportunities to set up exclusive networking groups just for Journeymen, and plan your own events

– your own ready-made multi-disciplinary group, perfect to get in touch if you need help from someone in a different optical role or who knows about sight loss

– career advice

–  get to know Freemen and Liverymen across the UK and abroad

– an opportunity to give back through our Charity & outreach activities

Ready to go?  Just sign up below!

Become a Journeyman
  • We don't need this, but it would be handy to have your handle or username to invite you to exclusive groups.
  • The Journeyman category is open to people of all ages but is limited to people working in eye health or sight loss who are in the early stages of their career. More experienced professionals in any walk of life are welcome to apply to become Freemen (see the membership page for details)
  • This is just so we can validate you as someone working in vision or sight loss.
  • If more than one, choose the most important
  • £30 one off fee gives you access to our Journeyman package for up to five years.