For VSP Vision, providing members with extensive education is the best way to help them gain a competitive advantage in the changing optometry profession. Premier Academy360 ( is the company’s wide-ranging database of educational resources available to ECPs who participate in the VSP Vision Premier Program. There are more than 70 different courses on topics such as practice management, human resources and diabetes. Resources are available online, through on-demand webinars and via podcasts. Participants can also earn continuing education credits.

Premier Academy360 content is developed and updated quarterly to ensure it is relevant to ODs. This year, VSP Vision had to create a new educational program to respond to the increased level of staffing problems caused by the pandemic. “Based on feedback from network doctors, we know that practices have been heavily impacted by the pandemic as it relates to staffing and patient disruption,” said Byron Dunsmore, director, VSP Vision Premier Academy360.

“We launched Staff360 Employee Onboarding and Development, a whole series of online training courses, based on what our doctors are experiencing in their practices. This series is designed to help practices ease the challenges associated with onboarding new employees. The courses also elevate existing staff’s professional development and support employee retention,” Dunsmore said.

Now that in-person events are taking place again, Premier Academy360 also has developed a series of six in-person regional workshops led by experts for doctors across the U.S. to network, connect and have valuable peer-to-peer discussions on relevant industry topics. Workshop attendees can earn three hours of complimentary COPE-accredited CE credits and the Premier Academy360 Training Badge.

While COVID has been the main health-related topic in the U.S. and globally for the past few years, VSP reminds patients with diabetes and ODs that diabetes can cause serious vision problems. “Premier Academy360 is the only educational offering that has an American Diabetes Association (ADA) badging program ( We are continuing to build on this program to further support ODs in increasing their visibility,” Dunsmore said. Doctors who earn continuing education credits through the ADA badging program and who have retinal imaging equipment can display two educational badges on their VSP Find a Doctor Directory to show their increased specialization and commitment to patients with or at risk for diabetes.

“Our Premier Academy360 custom content is doctor recommended and guided by an advisory panel made up of practicing ODs and industry leaders within the optical and educational fields. Our goal is to provide Premier Program doctors with business-building education that enhances the patient experience, expands their vision services, and saves them time and money on staff development. As the VSP Premier Program continues to evolve, we’ll continue to grow and develop Premier Academy360 to provide tangible resources and strategies to help doctors be successful,” Dunsmore said.