About SAOA


The South African Optometric Association is a professional body acting as the custodian of the profession of Optometry and Dispensing Opticians.


The South African Optometric Association is a professional association which represents optometrists and dispensing opticians across all forms of practice modalities in both the private and public sectors. In essence the main objective of the SAOA is to accommodate the interests of optometrists and dispensing opticians as well as the general public in South Africa.

The strategic profile for the SAOA, towards 2018, gives rise to the desired direction and focus for the organisation as whole.

SAOA Vision

The recognised voice and custodian of the Optometric Profession

Driving Force

The 'Driving Force' of SAOA represents the strategic heartbeat of the organisation and answers the question of 'what makes SAOA tick?' The driving force is the single- minded focal point of the organisation. The Driving Force of the SAOA is the profession of Optometry.

Business Concept

Every organisation perpetuates itself around a key idea or business concept, conceptualising how (e.g.) the SAOA is to address its environment.

The SAOA is thus to be regarded as the custodian of the optometric profession which addresses the interests and needs of members by way of advocacy programmes, professional development, the promotion of high ethical standards and support of its membership .

Areas of Competency

To realise its vision, it is important for the SAOA to identify key capabilities or skills that need to be cultivated to levels of proficiency to a greater extent than any other, i.e. to a point of excellence.

The competencies to be established for SAOA, regarded as success factors, are summarised as below.
  • Industry Knowledge
  • Leadership
  • Mentorship and Transfer of Skills
  • Effective Communication
  • Advocacy
    • Negotiation skills
    • Inter-personal skills
  • Efficient/Effective Administration
    • Financial management
    • Information technology
    • Database management
    • General Management


The deliverables of SAOA represent the menu of services and responsibilities in accordance with its mandate. These deliverables are categorised as follows:
  • Advocacy programmes – represent and lobby
  • Conferences, seminars and symposia
  • CPD provision/facilitation -
  • Ethics related advice, assistance
  • ‘Find an Optometrist’s –facility on web
  • Information, news and views
  • Marketing : Profession + Association
    • Public awareness
    • Media relations
    • ‘Feet through the door’ initiatives
  • Stakeholder liaison
  • Practice management
  • Tariff codes
  • Indemnity Insurance

Market Scope

The Market Scope identifies the segments of the total optometry environment considered important from the SAOA perspective and defines the scope of SAOA operations and involvement.

SAOA operates within the total sphere where there is potential impact or effect on optometrists which includes:
  • Academia
  • Industry
  • Public Sector
  • Private sector