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Data and information

Data and freedom of information at the GOC

We are committed to ensuring that our Information Governance (IG) is effective, which will enable us to be transparent, responsible and forward thinking.

We have a statutory duty under the Opticians Act 1989 to process personal information to enable us to fulfil our statutory functions, including our duty to disclose, share and publish personal information when it is in the public interest to do so. We do this with careful consideration of our Information responsibilities, under the Data Protection Act 1998 ( DPA ), the Human Rights Act (HRA) and the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), to ensure that our use of personal data is lawful properly controlled and that an individual's rights are respected.

In order to complete our statutory duties effectively, we collect and use information about the people with whom we work. We also acquire information about others in the course of those dealings. The people - known as 'data subjects' - include, but are not limited to, our employees, registrants, members of the public, stakeholders, contractors and suppliers.

Our IG framework contains our IG policies which must be adhered to by all employees, members and those who work on behalf of the GOC (collectively referred to as GOC 'data processors').

  • Data Protection Policy - outlines our approach to complying with the DPA and other data regulations, including our roles and responsibilities, our compliance with the eight DPA principles and handling requests for personal data (Subject Access Requests, SARS).
  • Freedom of Information Policy - outlines our approach to managing our Freedom of Information ( FOI ) duties, including our publication scheme and responding to FOI requests.
  • Information Security Policy - outlines the key principles to ensure that our information is kept securely, including office security, handling, transferring and sharing information, and how to report suspected or actual data breaches.
  • Disclosure Policy - outlines our approach to disclosing personal information and our approach to publishing information.

The framework and associated policies are supplemented with local departmental guidance for further detail regarding specific operational expectations.  


Acrobat Reader icon Information Governance Handbook  


Information on this website


Where appropriate we have attempted to acknowledge the copyright of others. Under the Data Protection Act 1998, the reproduction and use of name and addresses on this website for commercial purposes is prohibited. 

We have made every effort to ensure that the information provided on our website is accurate. It is not our intention to offend, mislead or misinform anyone.

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