Is the careers guide misguided?
As a former chairman of the AOP, albeit long retired, I view with considerable concern for the independence, actual and perceived, of the association when the 'Specsavers Careers Guide 2012' is published and circulated under the aegis of the AOP.
Specsavers sponsorship of the OT Student News is equally worrying. The integrity of the association is at risk if it continues to be seduced by revenue from one, highly commercial, multiple. Stuart H Macpherson, AOP chairman 1964/65
OT manager, Louise Walpole, said: "I'm delighted to see one of our former chairmen still taking an active interest in AOP business and, indeed, Mr Macpherson makes a very good point. OT relies on advertising revenue from a variety of sources in order to remain a cost-free benefit for the profession. It is a question of judgement as to how much advertising is reasonable in any edition of the journal or its supplements.
Student News, although sponsored by Specsavers, contains content written by OT editorial staff from a variety of sources and, in particular, the students themselves.
A significant proportion of our readership is employed by Specsavers and the content produced in the supplement mentioned above is of value to them as employees, as well as being a good insight to other employers.
We must also remember that Specsavers provides around a third of the available pre-reg placements each year.
I acknowledge the concern which Mr Macpherson raises and we are currently looking at different ways we can produce high quality and valued supplements moving forward. Mr Macpherson can rest assured that our editorial integrity and independence will not be compromised by overly cosy relationships with advertisers."
Louise Walpole, OT manager