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Fitness to practise complaints

IMPORTANT NOTE: April 2020

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

We ask that, if possible, complaints are submitted electronically to ftp@optical.org.

This will enable us to respond quicker.

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Assistance with making a complaint

If you require additional support to help you make a complaint, please telephone us on 0207 580 3898 or email us at ftp@optical.org

How to complain about an optician

This booklet is available to download:

Acrobat Reader icon How to complain about an optician

To receive a paper copy of this booklet, contact our Fitness to practise team .

To make a complaint about a registrant, the first step is to fill in the Referral Form, ensuring you complete the final page in full. 

Acceptance Criteria

We assess all new referrals against our published Acceptance Criteria. The criteria help us to decide whether or not a referral constitutes an allegation that a registrant's fitness to practise is impaired: 

Acrobat Reader icon Acceptance Criteria

 The GOC will not investigate referrals that do not meet its Acceptance Criteria.

Raise a concern

To raise a concern, please complete the form below. You will need to provide details to enable us to gather evidence about your complaint. The details we need include information about any relevant documents and the identity of any witnesses.

  1. Before you begin your application please read the important information, provided below, in full. It will save you time and help you complete your application.

    Before you start

    Please make sure you have read our guide on how to complain about an optician.

    Please remember we can't:

    • arrange refunds, compensation or apologies
    • give you legal advice
    • give you an explanation of what has happened to you
    • order an optician to give you access to your records

    If your concern is about one of the above please visit our help for patients page to get more information on where to get help.

    Raising your concern anonymously

    If you wish to make an anonymous complaint, you will not be able to use this form.

    Please either email us at ftp@optical.org or call us on 020 7580 3898.

    However, please be aware that this may make it more difficult for us to consider the referral and may mean we cannot take any action. You will not receive any information from us about our enquiries or the outcome if you raise your concern anonymously.

    Information you will need before you begin

    To help us with our investigation please provide us with as much information about your concern as possible, this includes:

    • Details of the optician(s) you are raising the concerns about
    • As much information as possible about the concern you are raising
    • Any relevant documents, such as prescriptions or letters, that may relate to your complaint.
    • Details of any witnesses who also saw/heard the things you are concerned about.
    • Details of any other organisations you may have raised your concerns with
  2. Your details

  3. How would you prefer us to keep you updated on our investigation? *

  4. What is your concern about? *

  5. If you chose other, in a few words, please describe your concern. You will have an opportunity later in this form to provide more detail.

    Please remember that we are not able to:

    • arrange refunds, compensation or apologies
    • give you legal advice
    • give you an explanation of what has happened to you
    • order an optician to give you access to your records

    If your concern is not about something we can investigate then you can exit this form and read more about other organisations who can help with your concern.

  6. Opticians details

    In this section please provide us with as much information as possible about the optician you are raising a concern about. Also let us know if your concern relates to more than one optician.

  7. Is your concern about more than one optician? *

  8. Details of your concern

    Please provide us with as much information as possible, the more information you can give us the easier it will be for us to complete our investigation.

    Please explain exactly what happened, where it happened, and the dates when it happened.

    If you are complaining about more than one optician, please explain how each person was involved.

  9. Did anyone else see or hear the things that you are concerned about? *

  10. Do you have any documents (for example prescriptions or letters) that might relate to your complaint? *

  11. Have you raised your concern/complaint with any other organisation? *

  12. Is there an opticians, GP practice or hospital that holds records which may be relevant to the matter you are raising a concern about? *

  13. Do you wish to add another optician/GP practice or hospital? *

  14. Consent

  15. Are you the patient or are you submitting this concern on behalf of the patient? *

  16. If you are the patient's parent or guardian, please provide their details below. 

  17. If you are submitting this form on behalf of a patient, please provide their details below.

  18. Please read the information below carefully

    • I give my permission for the General Optical Council (GOC) to obtain the patient’s records and any other documents the GOC considers relevant to an investigation of this complaint.
    • I agree that the GOC can disclose this complaint to the registrant(s) involved, their representatives, and their employer/contract provider.
    • I also agree that the GOC can share this complaint and any information I provide in connection with it with the Optical Consumer Complaints Service (a service funded by the GOC) should the GOC consider this appropriate.
    • I give my permission for all patient records and other information obtained by the GOC to be provided to the registrant, their representatives and, if required, to the Professional Standards Authority (the body that oversees the work of the GOC).
    • I agree that the registrant(s) can disclose to the GOC any information that is necessary for the GOC to consider my complaint.
    • I confirm that I have the legal authority to give this permission (if you are not the patient, or the patient’s parent/guardian, please provide a copy of any document giving you legal authority to sign on behalf of the patient, for example a Grant of Probate or a Lasting Power of Attorney).
    • I declare that all the information that I have given in this form is, to the best of my knowledge, complete and accurate.
  19. Equality, diversity and inclusion data

     

    Why this information is important

    The GOC is committed to treating everyone fairly, regardless of age, gender, disability, gender reassignment, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy or maternity and carer responsibilities.

    We very much appreciate you completing this form, which will take you less than five minutes, as by doing so you will help us to measure and report on the impact of our processes, practices and culture.

    The information provided will be held by the GOC anonymously and will not at any stage of the complaint process be accessible to anyone involved in dealing with the case. For each question there is an option to ‘prefer not to say’ if you do not feel comfortable providing a response.

    For more information about why we collect EDI data and what we hope to achieve, please see our Approach to EDI monitoring statement. Information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence and in line with the relevant data protection legislation, stored securely on our system and will be only used for monitoring purposes, including publication in our annual monitoring report. No information will be published in any way which allows any individuals to be identified.

  20. Ethnicity

  21. Religion

  22. Disability

    The Equality Act 2010 defines disability as a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial long-term effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities.

  23. Pregnancy/maternity

  24. Carer responsibilities

Content Panels

Search our registers

Search our registers

Find a registered individual practitioner or business.

Hearings

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