The World Council of Optometry (WCO)

Member profile

The World Council of Optometry (WCO) is the global organisation for optometry professionals, their associations and institutions. Membership is for optometry organisations and institutions and 89 associations, councils, schools and colleges are in membership from 48 countries, representing over 200,000 optometrist globally. The WCO is the first and only optometric organisation in official relations with the WHO

Main activities

The mission of WCO is to facilitate the enhancement and development of eye and vision care worldwide via education, humanitarian outreach and policy development. Through discussions at WCO meetings and conferences, WCO committees and working groups, optometrists globally are able to inform and contribute to the development of policy for eye and vision care globally. WCO has produced a Global Competency-Based Model of Scope of Practice in Optometry, an on-line Global Survey of Optometry Scope of Practice, a Public Health Toolkit for optometrists to support Vision 2020 initiatives and organises World Conferences in Optometric Education and also Optometric Globalization

Links to the health workforce crisis

WCO is committed to meeting eye and vision care needs globally and development of the optometry profession is a key factor in the availability of qualified staff able to deliver eye and vision care to both rural and urban populations. WCO has identified the need for a range of skilled healthcare workers as a key factor in the delivery of eye and vision care and has supported educational initiatives to develop local and regional healthcare staff.