You are:

Council meeting 2015

How Council works

Our Council sets the strategic direction of the organisation. This page explains the role of Council, the Chair and the Council Champions.

The role of Council

Council is made up of professional and lay members with different backgrounds and skills, knowledge and experience all of whom share the same duty of public protection and oversee the range of regulatory processes. Members share corporate responsibility for:

  • providing strategic direction and making policy and strategic decisions in the interests of public protection;
  • ensuring the Council’s statutory functions are delivered effectively and efficiently by holding the Executive to account, monitoring performance and ensuring an equality of opportunity, accountability, openness and transparency;
  • delegating authority to the Registrar, Executive and committees of the Council where appropriate;
  • defining policy on important issues relevant to the Council, including standards of education, conduct and performance and structuring of indicative sanctions guidance;
  • ensuring compliance with relevant legislation;
  • setting registration fees;
  • being a forum for public debate on important issues;
  • publishing an annual report;
  • accounting for its performance to Parliament and the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care ( PSA );
  • appointing committee and panel members;
  • appointing the Registrar/Chief Executive.
  • exercising oversight of the Council’s activity through financial stewardship;
  • ensuring effective communication with the public, registrants, professional bodies , government, and other interested parties; and
  • promoting public confidence in regulation and enhancing the Council’s reputation.

The role of the Chair

The Chair is responsible for:

  • chairing Council meetings effectively, to facilitate wide debate, listening to discussion carefully, summarising areas of consensus prior to decision making and articulating clear actions.
  • ensuring that in making decisions Council takes into account all available evidence, stakeholder needs, legislative requirements and guidance from its oversight body and ensures that the interests of public protection are maintained.
  • ensuring an annual programme of Council meetings with appropriate agendas;
  • providing effective leadership to develop a focused Council who work collectively and that each Council Member puts the interests of the GOC above their own;
  • providing strategic direction and leading the formulation of GOC strategy, ensuring the GOC discharges its statutory duties;
  • leading Council in overseeing the timely development and delivery of realistic business plans and budgets, monitoring performance and examining proposals for change;
  • leading Council to use sound judgement to arrive at proportionate and targeted decisions, in line with corporate objectives, with the ability to withstand public scrutiny;
  • leading Council in scrutinising and holding the Executive to account for performance, delivery of the business plan, governance, risk and financial management;
  • communicating effectively with Council Members between meetings to ensure that business is taken forward, and effective contributions are made;
  • handling any complaints or concerns about Council Members and the Chief Executive in line with agreed procedures;
  • undertaking performance evaluation and supporting training and development of Council Members and the Chief Executive in line with agreed procedures;
  • ensuring high standards of probity, integrity, fairness and confidentiality across the GOC, with a clear organisational commitment to public service values and maintaining appropriate governance in the public or private sector. Including ensuring that the GOC’s code of conduct and other relevant provisions are adhered to by all Council Members and that Council exhibits the GOC’s Values;
  • taking a key role in representing the GOC, developing and managing positive, productive, collaborative and influential relationships at all levels, including relationships with key senior stakeholders and accounting for GOC performance to key senior stakeholders and its oversight body; and
  • establishing and maintaining a close working relationship with the Chief Executive, Directors and other staff, as appropriate; and provide a sounding board for discussion of emerging issues for the Executive.

The role and purpose of Council Champions

The purpose of Council champions is to

  • ensure at least one Council member is sufficiently informed to provide assurance to Council that projects (and, if the need arises, other areas requiring oversight at Council level) are progressing satisfactorily in line with agreed strategic objectives enabling all Council members to carry out their responsibilities effectively; and
  • provide constructive support to project sponsors, directors and managers.

Please see the document below for a full description of their role and purpose.

Acrobat Reader icon Role and purpose of Council Champions

 

Content Panels

Search our registers

Search our registers

Find a registered individual practitioner or business.

Hearings

Hearings

Information about our upcoming fitness to practise hearings.

Our Council

Our Council

The General Optical Council is composed of 12 members

Working for us

Working for us

Healthcare regulation in the UK is currently undergoing reform and modernisation – so this is an exciting time to join us.