Based on the world record nomination from Europe Records Institute (EURI) and Decision No. WK/USA.INDIA/870/2022/No.326, World Records Union (WorldKings) officially declared British Optical Association as the world's first professional body for ophthalmic opticians on July 7th, 2022.
The British Optical Association (BOA) was founded in 1895 as the first professional body for ophthalmic opticians (optometrists) in the world. It ran the first professional examinations and provided the Secretariat for a number of other optical bodies including what would eventually become the Association of Optometrists and the World Council of Optometry.
Soon after the BOA began, it estimated there were 20,000 people calling themselves opticians in Britain. Only 600 held any recognisable qualification. They formed many different associations to suit their different circumstances.
It concentrated on worthwhile qualifications through specifying standards and examining, not in teaching. These qualifications incorporated the recognition of ocular disease, especially after the famous 1910 case of Markham v Thomas which placed on optometrists for the first time the legal duty to examine eyes for disease.
The BOA established diplomas for specialist activities including orthoptics, contact lenses and the use of drugs in optometry. The Assocation had courses established in polytechnics which became institutes of technology and later, universities with chairs in optometry and professors to fill them.
According to museum.aco.org.au & readcube.com.