Candour and Consent

Oct 03, 2019
In our ongoing blog series for the month of October, we examine the feedback provided by attendees at our CET training courses. Held in the first quarter of this year, our CET training session on ‘Candour and Consent’ took place in Cambridge and Leeds.

‘Candour’ and ‘empathy’ are two little words which carry such weight that it is worth expanding on the feedback received from attendees to examine how practitioners across the country can benefit from showing these concepts when dealing with complaints. 

The words, provided by an attendee, prove a useful starting point to understand how, in the words of an optics professional, these two concepts can be universally beneficial. 

‘Candour and empathy - emphasised the need for patient centered resolution’

Candour can be described as, ‘the quality of being open and honest; frankness’; and empathy, ‘the ability to understand and share the feelings of another’. 

As both a practitioner and as a client, the ability to enter into a frank and open discussion not only allows trust to be established, but also paves the way for greater understanding and communication. On the part of the practitioner, being frank and honest with a client helps to manage expectations and direct the patient to the likely outcomes, however difficult they may be. Likewise, as a client, being frank and open can help to ask the questions that can help you understand the situation and what it means for your pet. 

Empathy, for both sides, again fosters a greater sense of understanding and allows each party to place themselves in the position of the other. By practicing empathy, the difficult situation the client finds themselves in can be shared and understood better and the stresses that optic professionals may face can be greater understood by the public. 

‘Great examples to discuss which were helpful in potential conflict resolution. Thank you!’

Throughout the CET sessions held by the OCCS, real life case studies are provided that form the platform for peer discussion. The particular quote above highlights an interesting component of mediation and conflict resolution through the operative word ‘potential’. 

Through practising candour and empathy, both parties can help to avoid the potential for conflict by establishing the nature of the working relationship in an open and understanding manner. Through said principals, it is possible that whilst an issue may arise the reaction to the issue can be dealt with in a more productive and understandable manner.

The OCCS would like to thank all who attended our sessions and for the positive feedback that we received. If you would like to learn more about how the OCCS can support your CET event please contact our team via 0344 800 5071 or
Since 1 April 2014, the OCCS has assisted over 4,500 consumers and practices to resolve their consumer complaints. Jennie Jones, head of the OCCS, explains: ‘We are delighted that the OCCS  is seen as an effective and useful service, providing independent and impartial mediation and advice. The team does an amazing job ensuring that both the consumer and the practice feel heard, understood, and importantly, helped to find a very practical resolution to the complaint. Mediation is not about judgment or deciding who is right. It is about understanding each other’s perspective to be able to find an answer both can accept. We will soon be reporting on our 4th year in action, and look forward to sharing even more insight and useful information for all involved in optics.'