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Standards Strategic Review


We are currently undertaking a review of all of our standards. The review will seek to ensure that our standards continue to reflect good practice now and in the future, while enabling optical professionals to develop their roles.

The three objectives of the Standards Strategic Review are to:

  • clarify, and ensure that we fulfil, our statutory role in promoting high standards, including our role in providing guidance;
  • produce standards of ethics and performance that focus on outcomes, meet the public’s expectations, are clear to registrants and reflect good practice, including the recommendations of recent inquiries, notably the Francis Inquiry; and
  • ensure that our standards of competence, and system of regulation more generally, enable developments in optical practice that would benefit patients and the public.

As part of the review, new Standards of Practice for individuals and for students havewere agreed and came in to effect on 1 April 2016. We also intend to develop new standards for business registrants. The new Standards are available for fully qualified registrants and students.

For our full statement on the new standards, please see:

Acrobat Reader icon GOC standards statement

We initially launched the review with a 'call for evidence' consultation to ask stakeholders to consider how the scopes of practise of optometrists and dispensing opticians may evolve in the future, and how our standards should therefore adapt to ensure continuing patient safety. A copy of the consultation document is provided below:

Acrobat Reader icon Call for Evidence information and questionnaire

The consultation concluded on 10 October 2014. Having analysed the responses, our statement on the Call for Evidence can be found below:

Acrobat Reader icon Statement on the outcome of the Call for Evidence

We also produced a summary of research carried out by other bodies into patient expectations of the standards that should be met by healthcare professionals.

We used the outcomes of this research to develop our draft standards for optometrists, dispensing opticians and optical students. We will also be exploring the identified gaps in our knowledge of patient expectations through our standards consultation (details above).  

Acrobat Reader icon Summary of research into patient expectations

We recently consulted on draft new standards of practice for optometrists and dispensing opticians and draft new standards for optical students. Collaborate Research were appointed to conduct consultation activities with our key stakeholder groups.  They produced an independent report on the findings of the consultation:

Acrobat Reader icon Summary of research into patient expectations

We then responded to the feedback obtained through all the consultation strands by amending the standards to avoid duplication, make them clearer and ensure that they were achievable for all registrants regardless of their employment status and where they work. You can see full details in our statement on the new Standards of Practice:

Acrobat Reader icon GOC standards statement
 

Our Chief Executive and Registrar, Samantha Peters, spoke to Optometry Today about the new standards:


 

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