Number: C0205 Date Published: 8 September 2020 Version 3 – September 2020
1.0 Summary of Changes
This procedure has been updated following its review. Changes made are:
Within section 3.1 wording added regarding prescription solely for VDU use;
Within section 3.2 wording specific to damage within the first 12 months added;
Within section 3.4 the word “medical” added;
New section 3.5 added – Provision of Eye Sight Test – Exceptions’;
EIA added within section 4;
New paragraphs added within section 8 regarding data security and retention and disposal of records;
Author details updated.
2.0 What this Procedure is about
The procedure outlines the process for employees (officers and staff) to apply for eyesight tests and for the provision of spectacles for officers and staff where the prescription is clinically necessary for either police duty or Display Screen Equipment use.
Compliance with this procedure and any governing policy is mandatory.
3.0 Detail the Procedure
3.1 Provision of Spectacles
3.1.1 Official Spectacles
An officer or member of staff will qualify for spectacles providing the prescription is clinically necessary for either:
Use on police duty; or
Solely for use with display screen equipment (DSE) where that individual is deemed a DSE user;
Under normal circumstances a claim has not been made in the previous two years;
Note: Provision of free spectacles is a non-taxable benefit if provided exclusively for DSE use, but for general wear will attract a benefit in kind tax payment.
A “user” means an employee who habitually uses DSE as a significant part of their normal work. Local management will therefore identify who are users of police owned DSE, in accordance with the following guidelines.
a) Use of DSE is more or less continuous on most days; or b) Where use is less continuous or frequent, it will generally be appropriate to classify as a user if they:
Normally use DSE for continuous or near continuous spells of an hour or more at a time; and
Use DSE in this way more or less daily; and
Have to transfer information quickly to or from the DSE and also one or more of the following:
Need to apply high levels of attention and concentration; or
Are highly dependent on DSE; or
Have little choice about using it; or
Need special training or skills to use DSE.
Employees/officers who consider they fall into category b) should submit a report, in writing, to their line manager detailing how each of the criteria is met. Line managers will endorse and submit the report to the Head of Business Services at the Business Centre, for consideration.
Employees/officers will only seek eyesight tests or spectacles via the on-line eyecare portal.
Where an employee/officer is due an eyesight test they will request authorisation and a cost centre code from their line manager, before applying via the on-line eyecare portal.
Police officers are eligible for the specification of lens (e.g. bifocals etc.) required to allow them to conduct the full range of their duties. Staff DSE users are only eligible for the provision of single vision spectacles where their prescription is ‘solely’ for VDU use.
Where an employee/officer requires safety spectacles these should also be selected via the on-line eyecare portal as part of the application process; entitlement will be validated against uniform and equipment policy or other agreed exceptions by Business Services prior to release of the eyecare plan/voucher.
3.2 Application Process
On application via the on-line eyecare portal the employee/officer will be presented with a list of local network opticians who are members of the eyecare scheme; eyesight tests and spectacles may only be obtained via members of the scheme.
On successful completion of the on-line eyecare portal application, the employee/officer will receive an eyecare plan/voucher entitling them to attend a member optician of their choice and detailing their entitlement.
After carrying out the eyesight test the optician will advise if the employee/officer requires DSE/vocational spectacles and advise on the approved range of spectacles available via the scheme, taking any necessary measurements for fitting purposes. The optician will complete the form and send it to the eyecare supplier for the spectacles to be made. The spectacles will be sent direct to the optician who will advise the member of staff that they are ready for fitting and collection. No payment is required by the member of staff.
An employee/officer who chooses ‘extras’, e.g. vari-focal or tinted lenses, that are not clinically necessary or not essential for police duty or are not covered by other agreed exemptions will be required to meet any cost involved. The optician will advise on any optional services to upgrade from the standard spectacles and details of other offers and discounts available via the scheme, which will be at the cost of the employee/officer; no contribution will be made by Essex Police for spectacles outside of the approved range or for optional lens extras.
Invoices from the on-line eyecare scheme will be authorised and paid by Business Services via the SAP automated invoice process with costs transferred to the cost centre that authorised the application.
Spectacles acquired through the scheme which are damaged with the first 12 months must be returned to the member optician for assessment of repair or replacement as appropriate.
3.3 Contact Lenses
If, for clinical reasons, an individual cannot wear spectacles and contact lenses are the only option, the full cost of purchases will be met providing the standard requirements for eligibility have been complied with. The optician’s report and application for consideration of dispensing of contact lenses must be sent to the Head of Business Services for consideration prior to ordering contact lenses.
If contact lenses are a personal preference, the member optician will advise of the options available; discounts may be available as part of the scheme, but this will be at the expense of the employee/officer and no contribution will be made by Essex Police.
3.4 Provision of Spectacles - Exceptions
The majority of eyesight prescriptions can be catered for using the principles above and under the eyecare scheme. Where there is a medical requirement not catered for within this procedure it will be sent to the Head of Business Services for consideration prior to any costs being incurred.
Any costs arising from the purchase of spectacles or contact lenses outside of the guidelines contained in this procedure will not be met unless written authorisation for an exception has been obtained from the Head of Business Services.
3.5 Provision of Eyesight Test – Exceptions
Where a request for an eyesight test fall outside the approved two-year cycle, please complete the DSE risk assessment for review by your line manager.
Once completed this should be sent to Business Services for review and approval, prior to applying through the online eye care portal.
4.0 Equality Impact Assessment
EIA – September 2020.
5.0 Risk Assessment
There are no risks associated with this procedure.
The following have been consulted during the formulation of this document:
Essex Police Federation
Health and Safety
Superintendent (Chair of the Uniform & Equipment Review Group)
7.0 Monitoring and Review
This procedure will be monitored in line with Essex Policy and changes made in line with any changes to the contract of the process for the provision of eyesight test and Spectacles. It will be reviewed every 2 years by, or on behalf, of the owner.
8.0 Governing Force policy. Related Force policies or related procedures
8.1 Data Security
Essex Police have measures in place to protect the security of your data in accordance with our Information Management Policy – W 1000 Policy – Information Management.
8.2 Retention & Disposal of Records
Essex Police will hold data in accordance with our Records Review, Retention & Disposal Policy – W 1012 Procedure/SOP - Records Review, Retention and Disposal.
We will only hold data for as long as necessary for the purposes for which we collected. Victims/public should be reminded that Essex Police take the protection of personal data seriously as described in the privacy notice https://www.essex.police.uk/hyg/fpnessex/privacy-notice/.
9.0 Other source documents, e.g. legislation, Authorised Professional Practice (APP), Force forms, partnership agreements (if applicable)