As part of a more-than-a-decade-long mission to further optical education, John Seegers, Director of Education, and Keith Benjamin, Director of Marketing for Laramy-K Optical have developed a new concept in optician staff training that brings the practical element back to optician training. Designed for in-office implementation, the program called the Laramy-K OpticianWorks Optical Qualification Standard (OQS) is now available for free download.
With the eyewear market becoming more competitive by the day, it is more important than ever to have well-trained opticians on-staff. That is the reason John Seegers started the OpticianWorks online training program in 2008. However, as effective and convenient as online training can be, its biggest limitation has always been the lack of hands-on practical application.
After years of searching for a solution, Seegers and Benjamin have developed an easy-to-implement 62-page document they believe will change the way opticians are trained. The Laramy-K OpticianWorks Optician Qualification Standard (OQS) is a downloadable PDF that brings the optician curriculum out of the books and off the web pages into the real world—more specifically, the optician’s place of business.
The OQS contains the knowledge and proficiencies necessary for someone to become a competent optician. Presented in the form of “bite-sized” knowledge and practical requirements, the OQS can be used with any training material available but is designed to work in conjunction with the OpticiansWorks program.
The OQS is supplemented by 150 videos available for free on the Laramy-K YouTube channel. “It is absolutely incredible to see the reach and impact we’ve been able to have with the YouTube channel, which has grown to over 28,000 subscribers and 2.4 million views.”, said Keith Benjamin, “Our hope to have an even greater impact with the introduction of this qualification standard.”
The idea for the OQS came out of the U.S. Navy who uses a similar method to build proficiency before allowing personnel to perform important duties. Keith Benjamin, a Navy veteran experienced the method firsthand while training to become a naval nuclear plant operator. The method has trainees learn or practice each requirement on their own time and then, when ready, engage in a discussion or practical demonstration with a qualifier to obtain a signature as proof of competency before moving on. For the purpose of the OQS, qualifiers are designated or approved by management. Qualifiers may be other staff members, sales reps, or individuals from outside labs and optical businesses, depending upon the requirement.
The two made a conscious decision to steer clear of an online or mobile app implementation of the OQS. Keith Benjamin says, “The beauty of the printable OQS is that it lives in the real world. It acts as a road map, progress monitor, motivational tool, and physical proof of competency all-in-one. As long as you have at least one or two people in your office who you can designate as qualifiers with the ability to discuss, verify, and sign off on requirements, you can essentially hand this document to your new hire or trainee, set a timeline for completion, and you’re on your way.“
You can learn more about the OQS and download it for free on the Laramy-K Opticiaworks website. opticianworks.com/OQS
Laramy-K Optical, a leader in freeform lens surfacing, is the only exclusively-uncut laboratory in the U.S., established in 1989 in Indianola, IA, serving eyecare professionals both in the U.S. and abroad. The company offers a complete range of freeform and conventional uncut surfaced lenses and AR coatings.
Laramy-K OpticianWorks, established in 2008 and acquired by Laramy-K Optical in 2015, is the first 100 percent web-based education site for optician education. OpticianWorks training courses include optics, anatomy, optical products, sales and business management, and finishing. OpticianWorks has helped tens of thousands to become better opticians.
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