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
- British Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision
- Ophthalmic Nursing Forum of Royal College of Nursing
- Ophthalmic Imaging Association
Other stakeholder individuals and organisations include optometrists, vision impairment and eye health organisations, low vision service providers, Eye Clinic Liaison Officers, and Rehabilitation Officers.