Derek Baker devoted his career to improving standards of education and training within the field of ophthalmic dispensing. His relationship with Anglia Ruskin began in 1985 when he played a key role in the initial courses at Cambridge College of Arts and Technology and in gaining accreditation by the General Optical Council. He continued to play a major role in the development and growth of "optics" within our University. In addition to his valuable work at Anglia Ruskin, he has also played a prominent role within the wider profession, serving as both Registrar and Deputy Secretary of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians and is now Honorary Life Member of both the Association of Dispensing Opticians and the Association of British Dispensing Opticians as well as Honorary life member of the Malaysian Association of Practicing Opticians.
Throughout his career, he was a firm believer in the benefits of integrating the educational and commercial interests within the profession, and his ability to recognise and combine the requirements of each enabled Anglia Ruskin to establish strong links both within the commercial sector at home and with overseas institutions.
In 1997 Derek Baker was made Honorary Fellow of the University.