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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.
Making a declaration

Registrants may use this page to make a declaration at any time.

If it is annual renewal time and you have not applied for annual renewal yet, please submit your declaration through your annual renewal application form. Annual renewal time for dispensing opticians and optometrists is mid January - 31 March, and for student dispensing opticians and student optometrists mid April - 31 August.

Guidance on making a declaration, and the declaration form is below. Read this carefully. It will help identify if a declaration must be made

Once a declaration is made, you will hear from our registration team within 10 working days. If you need help email:

The information you provide to us, the GOC (as data controller), will be processed and used in line  with our statutory purpose under the Opticians Act in order to maintain our Register and ensure our registrants are fit to practise. For more information regarding how we process your data please see our privacy statement.

Requirement to make a declaration

All registration applicants applying to, join, renew or restore must make a declaration.  The GOC's professional standards require registrants to take prompt action if they have any concerns over their fitness to be registered. (Standard 11.4 of the Standards of Practice for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians, Standard 10.3 of the Standards for Optical Students and Paragraph 9 of the Code of Conduct for business registrants).

Being part of the relevant register depends on an individual registrant’s fitness to practise, a student registrant’s fitness to undertake training or a business registrant ’s fitness to carry on business.  You may not be fit for registration if (amongst other grounds) you have any criminal convictions, disciplinary action from another regulator or physical/mental health issues.  Failure to make a declaration may lead to your fitness being questioned and investigated.

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

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

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.

  1. Please select the type of declaration you wish to make. *


  3. Section A - Criminal and disciplinary proceedings
  4. 1. You must disclose:
  5. - A conviction or caution in the British Islands for a criminal offence, or a conviction elsewhere for an offence which, if committed in England and Wales, would constitute a criminal offence; or Social Security Administration Act penalty in the British Isles;
  6. - Any agreed offer, penalty payment agreement or absolute discharge order in Scotland; and
  7. - Any investigation or proceedings that could lead to the above outcomes.
  8. You must give full details of any conviction or caution that is “spent” under section 5(2) of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, unless it is a “protected” conviction or caution (see our guidance documents above).  A list of categories of offences such as serious violent and sexual offences that can never be protected can be found here

  9. You must give the date, details and circumstances of the offence (or investigation), the name of the Court that convicted you (or venue that you attended if under investigation) and any outcome including details of your sentence.
  10. Road traffic offences must be declared unless dealt with by Fixed Penalty Notice. An offence dealt with by a Magistrates Court, including for example speeding and parking matters considered under the 'totting up' process (where 12 or more penalty points have been imposed on your driving licence), will constitute a conviction and must be declared.


  13. 2. You must disclose:
  14. - Any determination by another body that regulates a health or social care profession either in the UK or abroad, including a NHS primary care organisation (PCO) or health board.
  15. - Any investigation or proceedings that could lead to a determination by another such regulator; and
  16. - Any breach of the GOC’s Standards of Practice or Code of Conduct for business registrants.
  17. Please give the date, details and circumstances of the determination (or investigation) and any outcome. Relevant UK bodies are listed in the guidance notes available on this webpage.


  20. Section B - Physical and mental health
  21. You must disclose:
  22. - Any physical or mental health conditions that may currently affect an individual registrant’s fitness to practise or train.
  23. You must give the date, nature of condition, diagnosis and any treatment required. If you declare a health condition we may investigate the matter further with your health practitioner.


  26. Your details





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