OPT021: Leadership Skills for Optical Professionals

This module aims to provide optical professionals with the opportunity to become an effective leader at both local and regional levels within the optical sector, through the support and development of Local Optical Committees, building effective strategic networks, influencing policy makers and enhancing eye health services for patients. It also aims to provide an understanding of current theoretical approaches and leadership models.

This module will particularly benefit those involved in commissioning enhanced service pathways, negotiating shared care schemes, but is also of benefit to anyone with a leadership or mentoring role in eye care practice. We welcome applications from all registered optical professionals including dispensing and contact lens opticians, ophthalmic medical practitioners and experienced optical managers.

Start Date Duration Credits Pre-requisites Module Tutors Module Code
March 201920 contact hours over one academic term 20 Credits
There are no CET points available for this module
None Gill Brabner (Leader)
Jane Gray (Tutor)

Additional information: This module complements OPT013, OPT016 and OPT020.

To acquire knowledge and understanding at an advanced level about:

  • your own leadership style
  • developing the vision and strategy for a sustainable business/committee
  • the importance of a high level of interpersonal skills when leading diverse professional groups
  • the process and methods for success in negotiating with individuals and groups
  • building and leading effective teams
  • leading change initiatives
  • the wide range of optical bodies and interest groups and their power bases.

To apply this knowledge to given scenarios and demonstrate how you would:

  • manage the dynamic between the wide range of optical bodies and interest groups so as to provide effective regional leadership.
  • assess one's own leadership strengths and areas for development, against the LOCSU Leadership Competency Framework and demonstrate understanding of the impact of personal behaviour on others.

To analyse a situation and suggest appropriate management of a situation with respect to:

  • approaching and building effective relationships with diverse professional groups
  • how to negotiate the best possible outcome for all parties.


Your leader blog will be 60% of your final mark. You will be required to write a weekly blog. One blog per fortnight (identified by you) and a minimum of 6 blogs over the period of the course will each count as 10% of your final mark. Feedback will be provided to each student on each blog post to support continuous improvement.

Essay assignment

You can choose any topic from the leadership course to explore further in your assignment. We are looking for evidence of practical application in your assignment, this could be via participation in your LOC or employer meetings/working groups, or leading a project for your LOC or employer. The essay assignment contributes 40% towards your final mark.

Syllabus content

  • Profiling and psychometrics - understanding own working preferences and those of the group
  • Leadership styles and models
  • PESTLE and SWOT analysis and developing a regional strategy
  • Media Skills
  • Negotiation and influencing skills and behaviours
  • Motivational and coaching skills
  • Mapping exercises for the regions (including data analysis and presentation)
  • GP Commissioning
  • Clinical /peer review sessions and clinical teaching
  • The political context to leading in the optical sector, creating the national and regional vision for optics
  • Action learning theory and practice

This module is taught via 2 mandatory contact days of practical workshops and peer group discussions. The contact days are held in London on consecutive days in April.

A minimum of 4 webinars are provided in small groups in addition to asynchronous discussions in Learning Central. Resources for core reading are provided: this includes a text book which is sent to all students and links to journal articles available via Learning Central. We also make use of video, podcasts and web resources. Students are expected to undertake their own additional research into topics of interest for their assignments.

Academic skills

  • Reviewing information resources
  • Searching for evidence on scholarly leadership issues
  • Subject-Specific Skills:
    • Understanding leadership and negotiating skills for optometry
    • Peer review teaching in optometry.

Generic skills

  • Searching for relevant information
  • Time management.
  • Working independently

Presentation skills

  • Problem solving
  • Communication skills
  • Negotiating skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Co-operating with fellow professionals