Star pupil Adam achieves country’s top result in optical exams

Adam Robson and Christine McLaren

Adam Robson has set his sights on an exciting future after receiving the best results within his exam category in his year.

The dispensing optician has graduated from University Centre Bradford College with a Foundation Degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing after gaining the highest marks of everyone who took the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) final qualification exams in the UK last summer.

He said: “It was amazing, I didn’t expect to do this well.”

The 31-year-old, who works in Specsavers Opticians in Wakefield alongside his wife Janine, is now hoping to study further to become an optometrist.

He first met Janine when he was working as a projectionist at Cineworld at XScape in Castleford. At the time, Janine had a job at Specsavers. Despite having no experience of working at an optician, Adam began to look into potential careers with the company. He said: “I started as an optical assistant, and finding out a bit about every aspect of working there, before beginning my degree at Bradford College.”

The FQE exams combined testing theoretical knowledge with practical examinations, involving in-depth interviews with examiners. And tests on prescribing glasses for a variety of needs, as well as diagnosing conditions in case studies. He said: “I enjoyed the more practical parts of the exam.

“The tutors at Bradford College did a really good job of preparing me for the exam but nothing could prepare you for the stress of actually being there.”


He enjoys his current job at Specsavers, especially his daily interaction with the customers. He said: “That’s the reason I find my job so fulfilling and that I’m so proud of what I do.”

Adam joined more than 300 dispensing opticians and contact lens opticians at Canterbury Cathedral following their ABDO exams. There, he was presented with the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians (FMO) Derek McLaren Prize for top marks. In addition, he was presented by the Association of Optometrists award for highest section A of the Final Qualifying Practical Examination.

This was followed soon afterwards by his graduation with distinction from University Centre Bradford College.

Every day Adam still walks to work with Janine from their home in Thornes, Wakefield, and hopes to continue his studies with a view to gaining further qualifications. He said: “I would advise others to just keep on learning, keep training to get further ahead.”

Dean Dunning, Programme Leader, FdSc Ophthalmic Dispensing at Bradford College, said: “We at the college are all very proud of Adam’s achievements and he fully deserves the national recognition he has received from ABDO. He was a model student throughout the three years he spent here at Bradford College, excelling in all theory and practical elements of the course. I have no doubt that Adam will be an outstanding Dispensing Optician and we wish him all the best in the future.”

You can find out more about the ophthalmic dispensing courses at Bradford College on the website.