The Partner in Development program
Your gateway to Specsavers partnership
About the PID program
Partner in Development is a 12 to 15 month development program through which talented and highly experienced retail professionals from top tier businesses prepare for practice ownership and qualify to become Specsavers joint venture partners (JVP). PID candidates earn a full salary whilst on the program and learn the important optical and operational knowledge required for a potential JVP opportunity.
PID is an integrated development program that sees candidates placed in Specsavers store for approximately 12 to 15 months to acquire a solid and detailed understanding of how optics and retail come together within the Specsavers environment. Benefits of completing the program include:
Complete our comprehensive Optical Learning Journey training program, increasing your understanding of our industry and ensuring you can create a culture of great customer service.
Perform as a contributing team member in the stores you are hosted in and add value, learn and embed necessary optical knowledge and be introduced to Specsavers’ culture, brand, operations and systems.
Be mentored in Specsavers host stores by experienced Specsavers retail / dispensing partners for 12 to 15 months to acquire a solid and detailed understanding of how optics and retail come together.
Access assistance from the dedicated PID support team who will help you realise your partnership goals.
While you are in training you will be paid a packaged salary of $80,000 per annum, all we ask in return is your continued commitment and enthusiasm for learning.
Build relationships with like-minded colleagues through workshops, online forums and our buddy system.
When you have successfully been signed off from the PID Program, you will be considered for a joint venture partnership together with an optometrist partner in one of our stores.
PID candidates are inspired, ambitious and committed retail professionals who have decided that running their own business and being responsible for their own success is the next move in their lives and careers.
A typical PID candidate will:
- Have extensive retail management experience from within a high volume, customer facing retail environment.
- Be confident in their management and leadership style.
- Be a motivational leader who ensures that their teams always feel valued, trained and can therefore deliver world-class customer service.
- Have achieved outstanding financial results in previous top tier retail businesses.
- Be geographically flexible and open to considering an array of partnership opportunities once signed off from the PID program
Through a phased learning journey over 12 to 15 months, the PID program will provide you with the critical business management, optical knowledge and leadership skills required to successfully lead your own Specsavers business.
Learning journey (optical focus)
Duration: 3-6 months
- Begin basic dispensing training.
- Sign-off on basic dispensing by the six-month mark, including a training needs analysis.
- Fortnightly check-ins with PID support team.
- Ongoing development under supervision of host store partners.
- Learning via Specsavers’ Pathway Plus workshops.
- Regular checks of the in-store learning checklist, signed off by host store partners.
- Three and six-month performance reviews conducted by various members of the PID support team.
- Next store placement (location reflective of the geo-flexible nature of the program).
Encouraging leadership and retail excellence
Duration: 6-9 months
- Confirmation of Optical Journey – Cert IV training/enrolment.
- Monthly check-ins with PID support team.
- Development, working on operational opportunities and under partners’ supervision, focusing on influence and behaviours.
- Next store placement (if required).
Duration: 9-15 months
Once you have successfully completed your Phase 2 review and passed your probationary period, you will be invited to discuss your final store placement and potential project. This placement will give you the opportunity to operate a store, adding value and demonstrating the skills you learned during the PID program.
Performance and review
As part of Specsavers’ commitment to ongoing team member development, three and six-month performance reviews will be held to give and receive feedback and review your progress to identify objectives and development for your next opportunities.
At the completion of your store placement (Phase 3) you will present to a panel and share an overview of your PID journey, detailing the initiatives you implemented to improve the store’s performance.
Upon sign off from the PID program, you will:
- Have a comprehensive understanding of the optical landscape and how to lead your team in the delivery of world-class customer service.
- Have an in-depth understanding of the Specsavers business, our values and culture.
- Identify your personal leadership style preferences.
- Have the skills and knowledge to effectively plan and implement change.
- Understand profit and loss accounts and how to analyse a store’s financial performance.
- Have the knowledge to successfully run a Specsavers business to commercial success.
- Be considered for upcoming Specsavers joint venture partnership opportunities.
Journey to partnership
Our Joint Venture Partner model
If there is one word that sums up Specsavers, better than any other, it is ‘partnership’. Since 1984 when optometrists and co-founders Doug and Mary Perkins opened the first Specsavers stores, it has been the commitment to working in partnership that has delivered success to literally thousands of Specsavers partners across 10 countries.
Thirty-five years on, the passion for partnership burns as brightly as ever. We believe at our very core that goals are best achieved, businesses built and run, targets set and reached by working together, that teamwork is the key – as partners in a joint venture.
The Specsavers Joint Venture Partnership, known to most simply as the Specsavers JVP model, is a support-laden franchise that currently operates in more than 400 Australian and New Zealand store locations. This short document offers a snackable insight into the Specsavers JVP around a number of key facts – so that optometrists, optical dispensers and optical retailers with ambition and a sense of adventure can start the conversation about their own pathway to partnership.
““I joined Specsavers in September 2014 after working for a company for 15 years where I was constantly told to treat my business as if it was my own, but it never truly was. The Specsavers business model offered that opportunity in an environment where I could be constantly learning and growing while providing great clinical service.
Once I joined Specsavers, my host partners were nothing short of awesome. They had a clear plan of my training needs and I was supported by not just them but the entire team. I was completely immersed within their business and was included in the decision-making process from day one. I learned that feedback was a gift that only made you better.
The biggest challenge for me was starting at the bottom and not having all the answers. Through the support of my host partners, I knew I had made the right decision and five years later I am the retail dispensing partner at two stores.
The opportunity to learn, absorb and see how different partnerships work are the greatest benefits of the program. I had the opportunity to support several stores during the PID program. All the host partners I came across were great support and from that I made relationships that I will continue to have."”Katie DalyRetail Partner at Specsavers Penrith Westfield and Nepean (NSW)
“"I joined the Specsavers PID program in November 2014. I've always dreamed about owning my own business and utilising my skills as a leader / retail manager and I'd heard great things about the Specsavers partnership. I was amazed that there was a company that would pay me a wage to train and support me to realise my own dream.
I had the pleasure of being a part of both the Wynnum and Browns Plains stores in Queensland. Going from leader to newbie was tough and humbling. I wanted to contribute and add value to the store immediately, which was difficult in the beginning without the optics knowledge. The experience has given me invaluable insight to what every new team member feels and I have adapted my own onboarding process as a result.
If there is one tip I would give to a new PID, it's that you control the pace of your learning. Ask lots of questions and if you feel you are missing gaps, speak up early and ask for help - the support is there.
After we all felt confident with my knowledge of the business, I was offered the Palmerston store in the NT. This was a huge decision (even bigger than changing careers) and wasn't taken lightly, but I saw the potential in moving to a growing remote location and was excited for a lifestyle change. I’m now a very happy, successful partner in a growing store and have never looked back."”Luke IveyRetail Partner at Specsavers Palmerston (NT)
“"After working in retail for over 10 years, I found myself wanting to take the skills I had learned and apply them in a different environment where I would be given the opportunity to build something for myself.
Researching Specsavers as a respected brand in the community and the business model of a JVP which had worked successfully for so many years, I knew I wanted to be part of it.
I was given the opportunity to take on the PID journey in May 2014, where I commenced my induction and optical training in Rouse Hill and Stanhope Gardens. I had amazing support from the partners there that challenged me to step out of my comfort zone of a day-to-day manager and step into becoming a business leader. From there I continued my journey working in Warringah Mall and then onto Hornsby, developing and building my skills in the lead up to taking on my own business.
Throughout my PID journey I was in contact with the partner recruitment team, regional support team and host partners who constantly liaised with each other to ensure I was getting the most of my journey and to support me along the way.
In April 2015, I was asked to take on an acting partner role in Parramatta where I was able to bring together what I had learned over the past 11 months and see what I could bring to a business in a thriving area. By October 2015, I had committed to taking on the role as Retail Director for Parramatta. Now with the support of greatly matched business partners, the Local Regional Support team and the Support Office in Melbourne, we have taken the business from strength to strength. Now we are looking forward to expanding this year by opening a second site and launching Audiology in our area, giving more people in our community much greater affordable healthcare.
In addition to my role as a Retail Director, in May 2019 I was nominated by my colleagues and Regional Support Team to take on a joint role in the NSW/ACT Regional Advisory Group, which focuses on topics such as strengthening regional performance, competitive landscape, operational consistency and introducing key business initiatives. This role also gave me the opportunity to have a voice in Specsavers as a brand where I attended the Annual Planning workshop to brainstorm on topics planning for the next three years.
Now coming into my sixth year with Specsavers, I believe my journey is only just beginning and I’m looking forward to the many chapters ahead."”Dylan DissanayakeRetail Partner at Specsavers Parramatta (NSW)
“"My career goal has always been to own my own business. I found myself in a position where I was ready to explore options that worked best for myself, my family and would help achieve my career aspirations. After looking at many different business models and weighing up the risks and rewards, no other company stacked up in terms support, fees, brand recognition and turnover. Plus, Specsavers was a business, that at the end of the day, helped people with a fundamental human need – their eyesight. A big factor in why I chose this business was being able to help people.
Starting out, my host partners introduced me to optics and the running of the day-to-day business. I always felt supported and knew what was expected of me to succeed in the program. Had it not been for my host partners’ in-depth and decade worth of experience at Specsavers, I would never have been able to hit the ground running like I did in my new store.
The PID journey can be a rollercoaster with many ups and downs, but the result is well worth the challenge."”Ryan GibsonRetail Partner at Specsavers Glenfield (NZ)
“"I started my retail career at an early age with a fastmoving consumer goods brand, where I spent over a decade with the company, honing my skills as a retailer as I made my way up the career ladder. I reached a point in my life where it became necessary to consider a career change in order to build a foundation for my young and growing family.
The opportunity arose to become a business owner in a company that was fast becoming known as the leader in its field and I jumped at it. I joined Specsavers as a Partner in Development (PID) five years ago and have never looked back.
The PID program is a structured development course for experienced retailers who understand the intricacies of running a retail business but have no prior optical knowledge. I was afforded the luxury of being able to experience multiple store settings during my 12-month program, which greatly enhanced my learning journey.
What made the PID program special for me was being paired with two extremely successful franchise partners, Helen and Bernard Chung. My host partners were focused on my development, teaching me every facet of the optical business, so I could become well versed at dispensing glasses. Combined with a range of training courses facilitated by the support office, I was well equipped for JVP in my own store.
I spent the next four years as Retail Partner at Broadmeadows and it was a remarkable experience. The standout was being able to develop the close relationships I had with team. Together with my Optometrist partner Christina Pizzuto, we took the store to new heights in terms of customer volume, customer experience and sales growth. The opportunities to grow the store were endless and included store renewals, expansions and relocations.
Even then as the leader of the business, Specsavers still maintained a big emphasis on my personal development and frequently checked in on my wellbeing. As well as the core development program, there are also courses available to continually develop your leadership capability. A couple of years in, Specsavers gave me the opportunity to complete a Certificate IV in optical dispensing at RMIT which then took my technical ability to new a new level.
Career progression is important to me and Specsavers ensured that I was supported with continual development opportunities. Having felt accomplished with my achievements at a large-sized store, I was now ready to embark on the challenges of an extra-large store. At the end of 2019, the support office team helped me facilitate the sale of my share at Broadmeadows and the purchase of shares at the flagship Highpoint store.
I have so much gratitude for the people who have supported me at Specsavers over the years and it is a truly remarkable company. I still wake up every day thinking that the opportunities I have been given are too good to be true and I am just so thankful to be a part of the Specsavers team."”Johnny TangRetail Partner at Specsavers Highpoint (VIC)
““I was looking for stability in life as with my previous job I was doing a lot of out of town travel, long hours and it was affecting my family life. The PID program and Specsavers appealed to me because I am passionate about the retail environment, meeting and interacting with new people and helping customers with their needs.
I was at Specsavers Botany store for about 15 months. As I had no optics experience prior to working at Specsavers. my host store helped me a lot in learning about optics, dispensing and how to run a profitable clinic. The biggest challenge for me was preparing myself to be an Optical Assistant and having a fresh start again in my career.
The PID program is smartly designed because it gives all the skills and knowledge you need to run a successful Specsavers store. The amount of support available throughout the journey is amazing. I am very lucky to be a part of Specsavers family where everyone is always ready to help and support each other.
My overall journey was quite interesting and well rewarding in the end. I am very thankful to PID support team for giving me the opportunity to join the program and for their support and guidance throughout.””Ramandeep GillRetail Partner at Specsavers Henderson (NZ)
“"The main attraction of Specsavers was the chance to work in an exciting, dynamic industry with a company that lives by genuine values, and values that I have a strong connection with. After some initial research I was genuinely excited at the prospect of joining the Specsavers team. The opportunity to have ownership of my results and be a partner in a store was something I could not experience anywhere else.
I was lucky to be hosted by the amazing team at Hollywood Plaza in South Australia. The entire team embraced me, and they had a strong understanding of what was required of me and the development required for my success. The program allowed me to learn about optics without the day-to-day challenges of running a retail store, I was supported by the store team and especially the Partners, Ben and Yusuf. Along with the on-the-job training, I attended the extensive off-the-job training -no stone was left unturned to ensure I was given every opportunity to succeed. Once I have developed my optics knowledge Ben and Yusuf focused on the business side of my development so I could get the best results possible in my own store.
After nine months, I was given the opportunity to run a store as a Partner. This was a fantastic test of the knowledge I gained at Hollywood. . After a successful six months at the Kilkenny store I was offered a partnership opportunity at the Munno Para store, where I enjoy a very strong and successful partnership with my optometrist Partner Lynne.
The PID journey was challenging, but extremely rewarding. The learning curve of optics is a steep one, but this program allows you to focus on the optics. No question is too much for anyone at Specsavers and you will always find someone willing and able to assist you along your learning journey and beyond. I could not be happier with my career change. I enjoy the challenges and I get great fulfilment from my day-to-day work.
If you are considering or have started a career as a PID at Specsavers, my advice to you is this; trust the program, focus on the optics, live the values and enjoy the ride."”Michael RobertsRetail Partner at Munno Para and Gawler (SA)
““I joined Specsavers as a PID after almost 10 years as a passionate retailer. I wanted to take the next step in my career and own my own business. I was looking for a company that valued their customers, their staff and development, and had great company culture.
My biggest learning curve was optics as a whole as I had no prior experience in the industry. The great thing about the PID program is that it supports you to gain the knowledge and skills required in optics, so you become confident in this area.
Overall, my experience with the PID program has been excellent. I see an exciting and amazing green-blooded future for both the company and myself at Specsavers. Joining Specsavers has definitely been the most rewarding career move that I have ever made!””Oli AtanasovskaRetail Partner at Broadmeadows (VIC)
The PID program is a leadership and development program for top retail talent. To be considered for the program, you must have extensive retail management experience from within a high volume, customer facing retail environment.
The PID program is available at no cost for successful candidates. Any travel and accommodation costs and the cost of the program itself are covered by Specsavers. On top of this, we will pay you a market-rate salary throughout the duration of the program.
Typically, most of our candidates will complete PID journey over the course of 12 to 15 months.
PIDs will be provided with most of their learnings in store, alongside a retail / dispenser partner. There are also Optical Learning Journey courses that can be completed online and in a classroom forum. In addition to this, we aim to prepare PIDs to complete or commence Cert IV in optical dispensing as it is a requirement post becoming a JVP.
You can find a list of all current Specsavers partnership opportunities, as well as our Partnership Prospectus on Spectrum. Over the course of your journey as a PID, you will have the opportunity to discuss your business preferences with the Specsavers Partner Recruitment team and the Retail Advancement team, who will advise on suitable opportunities once you have been successfully signed off from the PID program.
The success of a PID candidate is determined by their own drive, dedication and self-awareness throughout the program. Specsavers expects a high level of commitment to self-development and supporting the partnership.
PIDs are offered an $80,000 package per annum during the PID program.
Why is it important to be geo-flexible during the PID program and when considering JVP opportunities?
Geo-flexibility is important during your PID training as we aim to align you with retail / dispenser partners who have the experience and capacity to support you during each phase of the program. Each partner that hosts you will offer a different leadership perspective.
When you have been signed-off from the PID program and become a Specsavers joint venture partner, we will place you in a store that offers you the best opportunity for your career, development and leadership style. These opportunities are not always available across the state you currently live in and you should not be limited by geography.
Unlike some other franchise models in which you are required to qualify for finance to take out a loan for the purchase of the business, Specsavers provides the finance to support the incoming candidate to partner with the business. Why do we do this? It’s simple, in order to live and breathe our Vision and Values – we need passionate and driven partners who place customers and team members above all else. In other words, we place a higher value on securing the right partner regardless of their current financial status.
Does this sound like you? Enquire now.
Reach out to us
For all other general enquiries, please contact Amanda La Ferla.
Amanda La Ferla
Partner Recruitment Consultant
Phone: +61 (0)438 293 426