Professional Volunteer

Role Title: Refraction Materials Update Workgroup

Job Location: In volunteer’s country of residence

Job Reference: RMWG

Salary: This is a volunteer opportunity which is unpaid.

Workgroup Dates: From June, it is expected to take about 6 months depending on work required

Number of Team Members required:  4 - 6

Qualifications required: GOC (or equivalent) Optometrist or Dispensing Optician

Closing date for applicants: 31 May 20  

Informal interviews will take place at a mutually agreed date.

Aim of the Workgroup

Working within the global initiative for the reduction of avoidable and/or preventable blindness National Eye Health Strategic Plan 2017 -2021, Vision Aid Overseas, through Professional Volunteer engagement, delivers a 6-week refraction training course to teach basic refraction skills to a groups of Ophthalmic Clinical Officers and Ophthalmic Nurses who primarily work in district hospitals where a shortage of human resource for eye health (HReH) seriously affects the country’s work towards the prevention of avoidable blindness. Strengthening HReH with this course provides greater access to refractive eye care and increases the number of eye health referrals that receive treatment in eye health facilities and ensures people in rural areas access can basic eye health services as close to the family as possible.


Topics in the course include:

  • Vision and Visual Acuity
  • Eye Structure and Function
  • Refractive Errors and Correction
  • Introduction to Lenses
  • Best Vision Sphere Refraction


Our training materials now need to be reviewed and updated. Working under the guidance of VAO’s Director for Education and Training, a small workgroup of volunteers, who delivered the course in 2019 in Zambia, have already started a baseline study into the work required and we are now looking to recruit a pool of Professional Volunteers to assist them in the next phase of work, of updating the materials and creating tutorials using VAO’s standard delivery templates.

Professional Skills Requirements


All volunteers must have:

  • Current GOC (or equivalent) registration
  • Good IT skills, including Skype, Word, PowerPoint and Excel and access to a computer
  • Excellent understanding and support of VAO’s strategic vision, mission and strategies
  • A proven background in training or academia
  • Recent optical education or teaching experience
  • Ability to follow VAO format and style guide for materials prepared
  • Ability to commit hours required over the time period (6 months) to complete materials and related tasks
  • Ability to meet agreed deadlines for materials


All volunteers could have:

  • Practical experience delivering workshops, practicals and tutorials
  • Supervisory experience with undergraduates, pre-regs or trainees
  • Delivery of CET or CPD sessions as author, presenter or facilitator
  • Examples of education materials prepared by applicant
  • Experience working in Google Drive: Documents, Sheets, Slides

Role of the Volunteer

As a member of the workgroup you will attend monthly planning e-meetings at a mutually agreed time and take on tasks to work on from home. Work will be flexible and in your own time. All work will need to be formatted to VAO templates, style and guidelines (provided) and collated in Google Drive and a timeline of tasks will be updated as work is completed. Work will need to be  completed to agreed deadlines.

Workgroup members will be required to review existing materials and update them as detailed in the master work plan. Members will select topics and areas of refraction they are confident in to work in. Some additional materials, including practical sessions may need to be created, to complement the existing updated materials. Members may also be asked to peer review work by other members or contacts.

Commitment Requirements

It is expected that in addition to monthly e-meetings that volunteers will commit to approximately 2 days per month, which can be spread across the month in hourly blocks if preferred. In addition, volunteers must commit to time to respond to emails from the group or contacts they have reached out to.

The Person

Personal Requirements:

  • An ability to work as a team
  • Motivated to work remotely without supervision
  • An ability to work to deadlines and see things through to the end
  • Have a passion to support and strengthen HReH in the countries we work in
  • Ability to understand and work in accordance to VAO’s aims, ethos and policies
  • To be an ambassador of and promote VAO


VAO’s policies can be read online

Financial Commitment

This is an unpaid role. This role does not involve any overseas travel.

How to apply

Please email a professional CV [email protected] (please include the Job Reference in the subject line of your application) by the closing date above. In the body of your email please state why you think you would be suitable for this role, highlighting your relevant experience. Please put the reference in the subject line of the email.

To see a PDF version of this job ad click here.