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ECP University – An Online Tool For New ODs

This is a sponsored post by Essilor of America, a supporter of NewGradOptometry & new graduate optometrists! 😎 

When I joined the private practice of Dr. Eric White, my schedule was not fully booked. I have been at the practice for 10 months and still, I am only about 33% booked with patients.

That means I have lots of time to spare and I spend it building the practice instead of sitting around.

I actually intend to write a complete article series titled – “Associate New Grads – What To Do When Not Seeing Patients”. But for now, this is my #1 piece of advice!

One way that new graduates can build their practice is to set up a training program for the office staff. I personally took on this duty and got our entire staff on ECP University Online from Essilor.

ECP University is broken up into two main features

Essilor and ECP UniversityToday I will focus strictly on ECP University Online and save the Dispensary Manager Program for a separate article!

ECP University Online is a really slick online training dashboard that is available to your entire staff 24×7. It allows you to assign specific courses to specific members of your staff, monitor their progress and their success. At the end of the day, it builds them to be true eye care professionals. Staff education is so important and your practice is only as good as your staff, so why not train them?

Try out ECP University Online

My Experience with ECP University Online

My experience with ECP University Online has been phenomenal and I rate it 96 out of 100. Overall I found that the program provides education and training for all staff roles and experience levels in your practice.

I specifically liked the quality of information. I found that the program puts out solid information in a very efficient and concise way.

First off, print this flyer about ECP University Online to show your boss / practice owner. It is always good to show you are thinking about the future of their practice!

There are 4 main features of ECP University Online

The New Dispenser Program

I found this program valuable to pretty much all the staff as a nice refresher on key principles.

This is an 18-course online program. It is great for new opticians and general staff members. This course is for staff to learn dispensary business practices, learn about lenses, frames and treatment materials, and gain sales and service skills.

The topics include –

  1. Business Management
  2. Optics
  3. Products
  4. Patient Service and Selling

The Apollo Program

I found this program valuable for my lead opticians.

This program covers 55 online courses and has 18 hours Continuing Education Credit (CEC) for ABO and AOA certifications and 1 hour CEC for NCLE certifications.

The topics of the training include –

  1. Business Management
  2. Optical/Medical Principles
  3. Technical Optical Tools
  4. Industry Products
  5. Patient Service and Selling

Front Desk Staff Program

We just hired a new front desk receptionist and this is one of the first trainings we set up for her!

Essilor said that they did a bunch of market research to determine the “most critical competencies required for running an efficient front office” and then came up with this list. This is what the training focuses on.

  1. Goal Setting & Action Planning
  2. Professional Relationships
  3. Managing Patient Appointments
  4. Records and reporting
  5. Patient Service
  6. Telephone Etiquette
  7. Managing Insurance
  8. Front Desk Professionals

Lens Training Program

(this one is FREE for everyone)

I found this most valuable for the doctors in the practice and then the staff as well. We are really big on “Doctor Driven Dispensing” so it was really important that Dr. White and I knew everything possible about the latest in lens technology.

You get in depth training on the following products –

  1. Transitions Signature VII
  2. Crizal Prevencia
  3. Varilux S Series
  4. Xperio UV
  5. Optifog Technology
  6. Crizal UV
  7. DEFINITY: Ground View Advantage
  8. Digital Dispenser Training
  9. Varilux DRx Lenses
  10. Visioffice for Dispensers
  11. Varilux Comfort Core

The Value of ECP University

If my staff is not well versed in the ins-and-outs of eye care, how can I expect my practice to do well? Staff members who are comfortable with the eye care lingo and optical principles are often your biggest sellers and practice builders.

I got to speak with Janelle Routhier, the Director of ECP Education at Essilor. She told me that “Essilor has invested well over a million dollars in developing quality education and training content for the benefit of our independent ECPs.”

Essilor did some research in 2013 on staff training.

  • Employees without access to learning are 400% more likely to leave their current employer within 1 year (2)
  • The cost of hiring & training a new employee is up to 200% of their annual compensation (3)
  • 50% of practice revenue is driven by the staff (1)
  • 61% of revenue in independent optometric practices comes from product sales – Your optical staff could be costing you more than you think (1)
  • The average ECP loses at least one-third of eyewear sales – staff can help change this (1)
  1. MBA Key Metrics: Assessing Optometric Practice Performance 2013 Edition
  2. (Source: Training Investment Can Mean Financial Performance, John Kotter, Harvard University Press)
  3. (Source: American Management Association)

Here are a few reasons to consider ECP University Online

  1. Reduce staff turnover
  2. Show your staff you believe and are willing to invest in their future
  3. ECP University online has great training and it covers all staff positions in the eye care practice
  4. Easy, affordable access to continuing education credits and an ABO Exam Prep book
  5. New Dispenser Quick Start will help to get your new dispenser staff member up and running in your optical in as little as 20 days
  6. FREE Accelerated Product Training on Essilor’s latest technology

The Cost of ECP University

It is important to note that their is a 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed – If you are not satisfied, contact ECP University within 10 days for a full refund.

Think about it, if this program helps your staff to make an extra eyewear sale per week, it will easily pay for itself! Also with all the changes happening in optometry, its important we try to bring our practices to the next level.

Check out these calculations…

  • ECP University online costs less than $2 per CE credit (assumes an 8 person practice takes advantage of at least 20 CE courses per year)
  • ECP University online costs less than $.61 per hour of instruction (we have over 60 hours of instruction. If you take the annual fee and divide by the hours of instruction for an 8 person staff, it’s 61 cents!)
Single Location Practices
# of StaffMaterialsCost
1 LocationUp to 8Student Kit*299
1 LocationUp to 20Student Kit*399
Multiple Location Practices
# of StaffMaterialsCost
2 to 5 LocationsUnlimitedStudent Kit*255
per location
6+ LocationsCustomCustomCall 866-278-3187

Resource List

Closing Thoughts

The way I see it, any new graduate who joins a practice and is not coming up with ideas to help build the practice will not last long. My mentor and boss, Dr. White loves when I bring up new ideas and utilizing ECP University Online was something he really liked for our new front desk staff.

Yes, I am a young new graduate, it was only 12 months ago I walked across the stage. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that a practice should implement an online training system in order to grow and be a contender with the top practices.

Try out ECP University Online

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About Matt Geller

Matthew Geller
Dr. Matt Geller is a technology entrepreneur with a track record of developing successful online platforms to solve problems in the healthcare space. Matt is an optometrist in San Diego and is the founder of, and the co-founder of!

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