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Making declarations

As the statutory regulator for the optical professions, it is our duty to be informed about matters relating to a registrant’s character, behaviour or judgement, and health matters that may impair a registrant’s fitness to practice.
Registrants must declare all criminal convictions, cautions and disciplinary proceedings on their registration, retention and/ or restoration form. This includes minor misdemeanours, but not road traffic offences dealt with by way of a fixed penalty notice.

Registrants must also declare any health matters which may currently impair their fitness to practice. The GOC makes no assumption that a person with a disability or someone with a long-term physical or mental health condition would pose a risk to the public while working as an optometrist or dispensing optician .

You can find declarations guidance below:

Acrobat Reader icon Declarations for bodies corporate
Acrobat Reader icon Declarations guidance for fully-qualified registrants
Acrobat Reader icon Declarations guidance for student registrants

All declarations are reviewed, in strict confidence, by our Registrar.

Criminal offence declarations are dealt with on a case-by-case basis in line with our protocol:

Acrobat Reader icon Protocol on the Handling of Criminal Convictions Disclosed by Registrants

Health declarations are dealt with on a case-by-case basis as set out in the above declarations guidance documents.

If a registrant fails to declare any matter that subsequently comes to light, it could become a material consideration in a Fitness to Practise hearing.

What to declare

  • Spent sentences, cautions, and any matters currently under investigation.
  • Any conviction, caution or investigation in relation to a criminal offence apart from matters which have been previously declared (unless our Registrar has specifically asked the registrant to declare them again).
  • Road traffic offences (speeding, parking fines) except where the matter has been dealt with by way of a ‘fixed penalty notice’ – such matters do not constitute a criminal conviction.
  • Investigations or determinations by any of the other UK health regulatory bodies, as well as by a primary care organisation.
  • Any health matters which may currently impair a registrant's fitness to practice.





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