Since 2001, the British Association of Retinal Screening (BARS) has been the UK's professional organisation for those who provide retinal screening services for people with diabetes. We offer education, representation and support to a wide range of professionals involved in diabetic retinopathy screening, and our members include retinal screeners, graders, administrative and failsafe staff, programme managers, optometrists and ophthalmologists – in fact anyone with a professional interest or involvement in diabetic eye screening.
BARS is a not-for-profit organisation, run by an elected council of volunteers who are drawn from a range of roles within eye screening programmes across the UK, and we aim to support our members via regular conferences, meetings, training days and educational activities. The association has assisted those studying for the City & Guilds Diploma in Diabetic Retinopathy Screening by offering tutorial days for individual units, while administrative staff have benefitted from our popular Failsafe Discussion days. Programme managers and clinical leads can access our online support forum, and we organise regular programme managers' meetings, often with input from the national team.
BARS members have the opportunity to attend a variety of events throughout the year, providing you with the opportunity to network with others in similar roles, share good practice, and receive the support you need to improve or expand your skills.
Being a BARS member gives you the chance to have your say about the services we offer. BARS exists to represent its members, and we do our best to deliver whatever support and education you need. Joining the association gives you that opportunity to directly influence our actions, and request the services that will help you most within your role. If members ask for something, we do our best to provide it!
Members are entitled to attend the association's AGM which is held each year at our annual conference, and can vote on a range of proposals to help shape our future. As vacancies arise, members have the opportunity to stand for election to the BARS council and take a hands-on role in running the association and providing the services it offers, while those not wishing to stand can vote for those who do.
If BARS isn't currently offering what you want, then make your voice heard by becoming a member and telling us what we can do for you. Our future plans include expanding our range of meetings and training days to include staff groups and topics not previously covered, but we need your input to tailor these events to members' needs.