The organisation that developed into AHPO began in 1999 as a sub-committee of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists with a remit to consider and recommend a programme for the education and training of ophthalmic support workers. As the work of the sub-committee progressed it became clear that wider and more formal representation from all ophthalmic related professional groups was needed. AHPO was established in 2002, became a registered company limited by guarantee in December 2003, and was registered as a charity in January 2005.
AHPO has the following stakeholders:
- Royal College of Ophthalmologists
- British and Irish Orthoptic Society
- Ophthalmic Imaging Association
Other individuals and organisations include ophthalmic nurses, optometrists, the British Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision, vision impairment and eye health organisations, low vision service providers, Eye Clinic Liaison Officers, and Rehabilitation Officers.