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Investigating complaints

COVID-19 update: We are continuing to process fitness to practise complaints during the current emergency and anyone wishing to raise a concern should do so.

This section explains our role in dealing with complaints. It provides information about how to make a complaint, and how we deal with complaints.

If you can't find the information you need on this page, please telephone us on 020 7580 3898 and select option 2.

Fitness to practise complaints about GOC registrants

Consumer complaints about GOC registrants

Illegal practice complaints about non-registrants

Complaints about medical devices

Complaints about the GOC


 Fitness to Practise complaints about GOC registrants

Anyone can complain to us if they think a GOC registrant is not fit to practise (or train or run a GOC-registered business). We receive complaints from members of the public, patients, carers, employers, the police and other GOC registrants.

A complaint that a GOC registrant may not be fit to practise can be as a result of one or more of a number of different factors including:

• Poor professional performance
• Physical or mental health problems affecting their work
• Inappropriate behaviour
• Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs at work
• Fraud or dishonesty
• A criminal conviction or caution
• A finding by another regulatory body

For more information about fitness to practise complaints, or to make a complaint, see our how to make a complaint page

Acrobat Reader icon Raising concerns with the GOC (whistleblowing) policy

What can I do if a complaint is made about me?

If you are the subject of a complaint, you may find our booklet "What happens if a complaint is made about me?" useful. 

  Acrobat Reader icon What happens if a complaint is made about me?

We can’t:

• Arrange refunds or compensation
• Provide legal advice
• Provide a detailed explanation of what happened during a visit to an optical practice
• Make a GOC registrant apologise to the person making the complaint
• Order a GOC registrant to permit a patient access to their optical records
• Take action in response to false or misleading advertising

If we cannot help with a complaint we will provide details of other organisations that may be able to assist. A list of organisations that may be able to help is provided at the back of our “How to complain about an optician” booklet:


Acrobat Reader icon How to complain about an optician


 Consumer complaints about GOC registrants

If you are dissatisfied with your glasses or have a consumer complaint (for example if you wish to obtain a refund or have a complaint about customer service issues) please contact the Optical Consumer Complaints Service (, on 0344 800 5071, at or write to: OCCS , 6 Market Square, Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, CM23 3UZ.

The policy document at the link below sets out how the OCCS and the GOC will, where appropriate, work together to manage complaints about GOC registrants:


Acrobat Reader icon GOC-OCCS Working Together Policy (June 2019)



 Illegal practice complaints about non-registrants

If you want to make a complaint about a non-registrant misusing a protected title or undertaking restricted optical activities, there is more information in our Protocol at:

Acrobat Reader icon Protocol for the investigation and prosecution of criminal offences  

If you want to make a complaint about illegal practice, you can:

  • complete our illegal practice complaint form below
  • email your concerns to our Legal department at
  • telephone us on 020 7307 8853

The complaint form can be completed online as a Word 2007 document or downloaded and completed by hand.

GOC Illegal Practice complaint form GOC Illegal Practice complaint form


Acrobat Reader icon Corporate complaints and feedback policy


Acrobat Reader icon Corporate complaints and feedback policy (Welsh)





Content Panels

Search our registers

Search our registers

Find a registered individual practitioner or business.


Information about our upcoming fitness to practise hearings.

Standards of practice

Standards of practice

Our standards of practice explain what is expected of our registrants.  

Our complaints process

Our complaints process

Read about how our complaints process works