Claire Craig who originally joined Specsavers Ballymena as a trainee optical assistant has graduated as a fully qualified dispensing optician.

Three year course

Three years ago, Claire enrolled at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge and embarked on an intensive distance learning course. The programme included coursework, online learning, book study and two exams per year. She also had to travel to Cambridge up to six times per year for four-day residential courses.

Much greater understanding

Claire explains, ‘I have always wanted to develop my skills and learn more about eye health. When the store directors, Valerie Penney and Adrian Murdoch, offered to support me through the course, both financially and with time allowances, I jumped at the chance.

'The course has been tough but really worth it and I can now do so much more with patients. I have a much greater understanding of the pathology of eye health and also better technical knowledge. I am so grateful for the opportunity to gain this qualification and am really enjoying putting into practice all that I have learned.’

Essential role

Valerie Penney, store director in Ballymena Specsavers, added, ‘We were delighted with Claire’s commitment to the programme and warmly congratulate her on her success. Her qualification brings the total number of dispensing opticians in the Ballymena store up to five. Our Dispensers play an essential role in a customer’s journey and the fact that we have had to increase our numbers is testament to growing customer demand.’

All Ballymena store information