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EEA applicants

Applicants from within the European Economic Area ( EEA ) or Switzerland, or those applicants who can demonstrate that they are an exempt person under the Opticians Act 1989 (see guidance here), can apply to have their qualification recognised under EU Directive 2005/36/EU on the recognition of professional qualifications.

The GOC is the ‘competent authority’ for optics in the UK under the EU Directive.  It is our job to consider applications from those who want to practise as an optometrist or dispensing optician in the UK.  We consider applicants’ qualifications and practical experience, and determine whether there are any significant differences between your training and education, and that which is required of a UK optometrist or dispensing optician .  You must be registered with your national regulator (if your profession has one) OR have practised for at least one year in the last ten years to be eligible to apply under the EU Directive. To check if your profession is regulated in your member state please use the EU regulated professions database

If you do not have sufficient knowledge and/or experience to practise in the UK, you can choose to either undergo further training known as an ‘adaptation period’ or complete an ‘aptitude test’. If completed successfully, you may then be eligible to join the registers and practise in the UK.


How do I apply?

You need to complete our information form here. Once completed we will send you the appropriate application form. 

When you receive the form it will advise you what documentation we require. Please ensure that you correctly certify and translate your documents or your application could be rejected. 

Acrobat Reader icon GOC Certification Guidance

How much does it cost?
  • £115 scrutiny fee of the application form and supporting documents
  • £425 for assessment of the application

Please note that all fees are payable to the GOC with 28 days of request.  We will not be able to progress your application to the next stage until we have received payment. If your application is rejected you will not be entitled to a refund of any of the fees. 

How long does it take?

Once you have submitted your application we will advise you within 28 days if we require any further information before progressing your application to the equivalency assessment stage. 

If your application progresses for an equivalency assessment it can take up to four months to assess. At the end of this you will receive an outcome that will advise you if you have any deficiencies in your experience or training that require a compensation measure. 

If no deficiencies are identified then you will be able to progress to our fully qualified register.