You are:



Core Competencies

The term 'core competencies’ is used to describe the knowledge and skills an optometrist or dispensing optician must possess in order to register with us and practise in the UK.

There are core competencies in four areas of practice:

  • optometry
  • dispensing optics
  • contact lenses (for dispensing opticians)
  • independent prescribing (for optometrists). 

To gain a qualification in optometry, dispensing optics, contact lenses or independent prescribing, students and trainees of GOC approved programmes have to demonstrate that they are proficient in the associated core competencies. 

The core competencies for each area of practice are published in the education handbook. The handbook also contains the standards used to accredit and quality assure education and training programmes approved by the GOC.


Acrobat Reader icon Optometry Handbook 2015

Acrobat Reader icon 2016 competencies criteria optometry      


Dispensing opticians:

Acrobat Reader icon Dispensing Handbook 2011

Acrobat Reader icon 2016 competencies criteria dispensing optician

Contact lens:

Acrobat Reader icon Contact Lens Handbook

Acrobat Reader icon 2016 competencies criteria contact lens optician

Independent prescribing:

Acrobat Reader icon IP Handbook

Acrobat Reader icon 2011 independent prescribing competencies



Content Panels

Search our registers

Search our registers

Find a registered individual practitioner or business.

Log CET points

Log CET points

Use the MyGOC area of our website to log CET points or find events in your local area



Click on the link below for more information and requirements for the 2016-18 CET cycle.

Careers in eyecare

Careers in eyecare

Thinking of becoming an optometrist or dispensing optician ?