Please click here to see the announcement about WCSM qualifications made on 30 March 2019.

The WCSM has had a long history of supporting training, from the first days of its incorporation when Masters engaged, supervised and qualified apprentices. Throughout the last four centuries, the ways of training new entrants to optical professions have evolved and expanded.

We expect even more change as vision technologies and techniques reach high street practices and we look forward to advances which will help professionals and patients alike. We encourage all who work in the optical field to undertake specialist training and continue their own professional development throughout their career.

The last full sitting of WCSM examinations took place in December 2019. Resit opportunities are being provided for candidates who wish to complete their nationally accredited qualification within the time period allowed. No new candidate registrations can be accepted.


Examinations planned for Summer 2020 were all deferred. Examinations for Level 2 and 3 qualifications in Optical Support, Level 4 Diplomas for Optical Assistants and Optical Technicians and resits in Scotland for units of the Certificates in Optical Care at SCQF Levels 5 and 7 are expected to take place in December 2020.

All currently registered candidates are asked to get in touch with us to confirm their own position. Please contact lpogson@abdo.org.uk or clerk@spectaclemakers.com

Registration and administration services for WCSM examinations are provided by the ABDO examinations team. For exam applications, dates, fees and requests for reasonable adjustment or special consideration, please go to the WCSM examinations section of the ABDO website at https://www.abdo.org.uk/examinations/wcsm/. You will also find past questions there to help you prepare.

Our Customer Service Statement provides more detail on processes for applications, release of results and replacement of certificates (currently charged at £30).

You can also view our Examinations Handbook below.

Examinations Handbook

Click here for information on how to make an enquiry, complaint or appeal about the result of an examination or workplace assessment:

Complaints and Appeals Procedure

As an Ofqual-accredited awarding organisation, WCSM cannot provide training leading to its own examinations. We have not been directly involved in training for some years. A number of other organisations do offer training courses. It is up to you to decide which might suit you best. No training courses are accredited by Ofqual. Ofqual accreditation only applies to qualifications from awarding organisations which meet strict regulatory and reporting requirements.

Candidates can also prepare for examinations through independent study, by careful reference to the assessment criteria and learning outcomes specified in the Handbook for each Qualification. Links to the relevant Handbook appear on each separate qualification page. Trying to cram information from a book or website at the last minute is unlikely to be enough. The most successful candidates will be asking questions and gaining knowledge at work as well as studying at home, building on the theory they have learned and developing communication and practical skills as part of their everyday work in practice.