About BIOS2024-05-01T14:13:56+01:00


The British and Irish Orthoptic Society is the professional body for Orthoptists and was founded in 1937, it’s also a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. BIOS members in the UK are also automatically trade union members of the British Orthoptic Society Trade Union (BOSTU).

BIOS is affiliated to the Allied Health Professionals Federation, a group made up of 12 bodies representing more than 158,000 workers in the UK. BIOS is also a member of the International Orthoptic Association (IOA) and Orthoptistes de la Communauté Européenne (OCE).

BIOS are very proud that we are represented or make significant contributions to many national and international groups.  This continues to ensure that orthoptic practice, policy, research and education aligns with AHP and Eye Health strategies.

Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning  www.ccehc.org.uk

UK Ophthalmology Alliance (UKOA)  www.uk-oa.co.uk

British and Irish Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Association (BIPOSA)  www.biposa.org

Vision UK  www.visionuk.org.uk

Council for Allied Health Professions Research (CAHPR)  www.cahpr.csp.org.uk/

Royal College of Ophthalmologists – Paediatric sub-committee  www.rcophth.ac.uk

What does an Orthoptist do?

An Orthoptist assesses, diagnoses, treats and monitors a variety of eye disorders.  They will work autonomously and as part of an eye care team. In addition many Orthoptists will work in multi professional health, educational or social care teams.

  • Are the experts in how the eyes move and work together
  • Specialise in the assessment of visual function, particularly in children and those with communication difficulties
  • Are the experts in understanding why and how neurological defects affect how we see.

Where do Orthoptists work?

Most Orthoptists in the UK are employed by the NHS and work in

  • hospitals (in patients, out patients and theatre)
  • community clinics
  • rehabilitation centres
  • special schools and child development centres
  • mainstream schools

Some orthoptic services may offer home visits and some work in private practice or overseas.

You can find out more about what Orthoptists do on our public information pages.