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Quality Assurance

As part of our approval and quality assurance (A&QA) of education establishments and qualifications (referred to as ‘providers’ and ‘programmes’ respectively), all providers are required to demonstrate how they satisfy our requirements, currently listed in our education handbooks.  We seek assurance from providers in a number of ways, including: visits, notification of major changes to programmes, conditions management, and annual monitoring. 

Education Handbooks  

Our Education handbooks contain the GOC requirements and core competencies relating to the approval and quality assurance of education and training programmes which lead to registration with the GOC.

There is an additional supervision policy which applies to all providers. 

Acrobat Reader icon Optometry Handbook 2015

Acrobat Reader icon Dispensing Handbook 2011

Acrobat Reader icon Contact Lens Handbook 2007

Acrobat Reader icon Independent Prescribing Handbook 2008

Acrobat Reader icon Supervision policy          


We periodically conduct quality assurance (QA) visits to providers to assess whether the standard of education and assessment offered gives sufficient assurance that students have achieved adequate skills and knowledge to practise safely. After each visit we produce a report of the findings which includes any recommendations for improvement. Each visit is carried out by our visitor panel.

A list of our approved providers and visit reports can be viewed here.  

Annual Monitoring and Reporting (AMR)

Providers are required to submit an annual monitoring report to the GOC to communicate and reflect on key changes, events and risks to their programme(s) and seek guidance to provide assurance of their continued compliance with our requirements.

Acrobat Reader icon GOC Annual Monitoring and Reporting 2017-18 - Guidance Notes


Effective Conditions Management

If a provider fails to demonstrate that it meets one or more of our requirements, we will outline which requirements have not been met and we set out, as a condition of ongoing approval, that the provider must address the failure and evidence that they adequately meet our requirement in a specified time period. This enables providers to clearly understand our Standards and we endeavor to provide guidance, as appropriate. We also make recommendations which indicate where a provider may wish to develop to improve its programme.

Failure to meet a condition within the allocated time-frame is a serious matter as it reduces the assurance that the GOC has in the provider’s ability to deliver the programme effectively. This could lead to the GOC conducting a ‘serious concerns review’ and may result in the GOC withdrawing approval.  

Acrobat Reader icon Effective Conditions Management 2018






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