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Renewing your registration

This page provides guidance about renewing your GOC registration for:

  • fully qualified registrants and bodies corporate
  • students

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) about renewal can be found here.

Individual registrants and bodies corporate

All registered optometrists and dispensing opticians have to renew their registration with us each year. This is called 'retention'.

At the end of January we will send all individual registrants and bodies corporate a notification of retention. All applications for retention should be submitted by the annual deadline of 15 March.

Individuals and bodies corporate will be able to complete their retention online by logging in to MyGOC during the retention period. They complete their online retention application by making a debit card or credit card payment to cover that particular year's annual registration fees.

As part of the renewal process, registrants make declarations about their health and any criminal or disciplinary proceedings. Individual registrants must also confirm they have professional indemnity insurance.

Registrants who fail to submit an application and pay the retention fee by the deadline are removed from the register. A list of all the practitioners who have not renewed is sent to NHS commissioners and employers who have registered to receive it. Those registrants can no longer practise as an optometrist or dispensing optician .

If a practitioner is removed from the register, but wishes to continue practising, they must apply for restoration.

Enquiries regarding CET restoration requirements should be submitted in writing to It is not possible to confirm these requirements over the phone.

If a practitioner wishes to retire or withdraw from the register, they should notify the GOC. It is possible to inform the Registration team of retirement/withdrawal from the register by logging on to MyGOC.

Applications to renew your registration should be made online through MyGOC. There is guidance on the process within the electronic form.

Students - registered students must renew registration every year.

All registered optometry and dispensing optics students must renew their registration each year. This is called 'student retention'. We send all existing student registrants a notification of the need to complete renewal each year. Applications must be completed and the £30 retention fee paid by 15 July.

Students should complete their renewal online now by logging on to MyGOC 

Anyone who fails to submit an application and pay their annual fees by the annual retention deadline may be removed from the student register. Students who are not registered may be excluded from clinical training and examinations. We may not recognise qualifications of applicants for full registration who were not registered for all or part of their training.

If a student is removed from the register, but wants to continue practising, they must apply for restoration. If a student wishes to withdraw from the register, they should notify the GOC in writing, or they may provide notification by logging on to MyGOC.

Please note that Section 8A (3) of the Opticians Act 1989 states that only students currently in education or training can remain on the register. If you are not going to be in study during the next academic year (for example if you are taking a gap year), then you will not be able to remain registered. You must inform us as soon as you leave optical training or study. You will then need to apply to restore to the register when you recommence your studies. For further information, please consider the section on student restoration.

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.


Content Panels

Search our registers

Search our registers

Find a registered individual practitioner or business.

MyGOC area

MyGOC area

Registrants can update their contact details, log CET points or complete their annual retention.

Registration forms

Registration forms

Download any of our registration forms, including restoration, specialty and student transfer.

About registration

Read about the importance of checking an optician's registration