Eye and Eyesight Testing

College Policy requires that where new or existing employees are identified as 'users' the following arrangements shall apply:

Section 4 - Eye and Eyesight Testing

During the first week of their employment for new staff, and wherever possible before undertaking display screen work for the first time for existing College employees, such personnel shall be advised of their entitlement to an eye and eyesight test. Where they wish to have such a test, this shall be conducted by a competent person (i.e. a registered opthalmic optician or a registered medical practitioner with suitable qualifications).

The costs of eye and eyesight testing and, where appropriate, those for the provision of 'special corrective appliances' (basic appliances only, any additional costs being met by the employee) shall be met from the departmental budget to the total sum established by the College, from time to time.

Section 5 - Frequency of Eyesight Tests

Repeat tests will be carried out at such intervals (usually every 2 years) as are recommended by the Optometrist or Medical Practitioner who carried out the previous test.

Outside of the normal cycle of eye tests, where users experience visual difficulties that may reasonably be considered to be related to display screen work, these should, in the first instance, be referred to the College Health & Safety Adviser.

What does this mean in practice?

Heads of Department/School/Director, assisted by their Health and Safety Co-ordinator (or departmental Display Screen Equipment Assessor) will need to implement an appropriate management system which ensures that the above arrangements are met. In practice, where employees are identified as being entitled to an eye and eyesight test they should be advised of this right within the first week of their employment. Departmental staff induction on their first day would seem an appropriate time to notify them of this entitlement. However, remember that the management system will need to identify a procedure for existing staff who become users during the course of their employment.

The next step is for the user to visit their local optician taking with them one of the two letters provided below.

  1. New Employees
  2. Existing Employees requiring re-test

These letters (which are obtained from your departmental Display Screen Equipment Assessor) explain what the user can expect when they visit their optician, and the entitlement to refunds for any costs incurred. The letters identify the College financial contribution to refund of costs which are currently set at the following amounts, and shall be met by the departmental budget:

Departmental Costs

 Eye and Eyesight test £19.00
'Special' Corrective Appliances       £60.00

Following the test the employee may be required to wear what are described under the Regulations as 'special' corrective appliances (normally spectacles) which are designed to correct vision defects at the viewing distance used specifically for display screen work. However experience has shown that such spectacles are rarely needed. As shown above, the College has determined that the department will contribute a maximum of £60.00 towards the basic total cost of these appliances. If the employee wants to pay more (i.e. for designer frames; or lenses with optional treatments not necessary for the work) then he/she must pay any additional costs.

Please note that for 'normal' corrective appliances which are spectacles prescribed for any other purpose than that described above, the department will not refund any costs incurred.

For the purpose of showing compliance with these requirements, departments shall keep a record of those employees who have been offered an eye and eyesight test (including both those who decline and accept this entitlement). This will also ensure that users are offered re-testing at the appropriate interval (i.e. currently every two years).

Should you not understand any of these arrangements please contact a member of staff in the Health and Safety Office.


Royal Holloway, University of London logo