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Our governance

The documents on this page set out the rules by which the GOC is run. It gives information about how to complain about the GOC, or one of our Council members. It also provides information about the GOC Council Chair and Member appointments policy and process.

Conduct and standards of behaviour of employees and members

Concerns or complaints about the GOC

Financial governance

Our governance framework – meetings and decision making

Member support

Conduct and standards of behaviour of employees and members

Code of Conduct

We expect all members to behave in accordance with our values and accepted standards of public service. The Code provides guidance to assist members in undertaking their duties and outlines corporate and individual responsibilities of the Council and our statutory duty to promote, protect and maintain the health and safety of the public.

Acrobat Reader icon Code of Conduct for Members, Advisers and Visitors

Management of Interests Policy

This policy supports the principles of transparency and probity to maintain confidence in the GOC and protect our employees and members from any appearance of impropriety, to ensure that those who work for and on behalf of us make decisions in the best interests of the public. This means decision making is independent, fair and free from improper influence and bias. Employees and members are free to hold a range of outside personal interests including political activities and involvement, financial or otherwise with commercial, professional and other optical organisations provided that such interests do not conflict (or give rise to a conflict) with our public protection role or conflict with their role as an employee or member. This policy provides guidance on what interests must be declared, how and when to declare interest(s), how to identify and manage a conflict of interest and how we publish interests.

  Acrobat Reader icon Management of Interests policy


Concerns or complaints about the GOC

Corporate complaints and feedback

We aim to provide the best possible service, but we do not always get it right. We view complaints as an important and useful source of feedback about how we have performed and how we can improve in future. When things go wrong we will acknowledge our mistakes and try to put things right. We promise that we will not treat you unfairly because you have raised a complaint with us.

Your complaint should be made to the person you have been dealing with because they will usually be the best person to resolve the matter. If you feel unable to do this, or you have tried and were unsuccessful, you can contact us and ask for our Compliance team or email them directly so they can guide you through our process.

Acrobat Reader icon Corporate complaints and feedback policy

Acrobat Reader icon Corporate complaints and feedback policy (Welsh)

Acceptable Behaviour when communicating with the GOC policy

This policy provides guidance on how the GOC will handle unacceptable and unreasonable behaviour towards our employees carrying out their duties. This behaviour may be through phone, written communication and face to face conversation. It explains what is deemed unacceptable and unreasonable and what processes are put in place to manage this.

Acrobat Reader icon Acceptable behaviour when communicating with the GOC policy

Financial governance
Expenses policy 

We wish to ensure that our employees and members as well as others who incur expenses in relation to our work – such as witnesses, advisers and interviewees are provided with appropriate arrangements for travel and accommodation relating to our work. The policy sets out rules for the reimbursement of travel, accommodation and subsistence expenditure and provides information on what expenses can be claimed, how and when. This covers travel and subsistence, carer costs, hotel accommodation, insurance, airline frequent flyer scheme, witness loss of income and locum fees.

Acrobat Reader icon Expenses policy

Member Fees policy

We are committed to ensuring that we pay our members appropriate fees for the work they undertake for us. We wish to ensure the fees paid to our members are fair and remain current and as such review the fees every three years against benchmark data. Fees for all members are set at a rate in line with the median benchmarked fee level every three years and a general fee increase applied annually (consistent with the pay framework for employees). This policy outlines how members’ fees are set and how they are reviewed. It also provides guidance on who is entitled to additional fees and how fees and expenses are paid.

Acrobat Reader icon Member fees policy

Member fees

This document lists member fees payable for the financial year 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.

Acrobat Reader icon Members fees as of 1st April 2017

Financial Regulations

This document provides the procedural framework for our financial affairs. Its purpose is to ensure that employees and members comply with specific statutory provisions, best professional practice and that the integrity of our financial affairs is protected. All financial and accounting procedures must be carried out in accordance with these Regulations and other corporate guidelines. It includes guidance on financial planning, financial management, accounting records and financial systems, risk management and internal control, control of resources, income and expenditure, external arrangements, and other key policies and documents.

Acrobat Reader icon Financial Regulations - April 2015

Investment policy

The policy provides a framework for the management and control of the GOC’s investments. It provides information on our investment objectives, standards of care, investment transactions, performance review and reporting, record keeping and safekeeping and policy considerations.

Acrobat Reader icon Investment policy

Reserves policy

The policy provides a framework for the management of our reserves. All reserves are unrestricted although we have designated some for specific purposes. Information is given on the target levels for some reserves and the conditions for their use.

Acrobat Reader icon Reserves policy

Contracts & Procurement policy

The policy provides a framework for the management and control of our Contracts and other procurement. It states the rules for buying goods, works and services.

Acrobat Reader icon Contracts & procurement policy

Risk Management strategy and policy

Our Risk Management Policy is to adopt best practice in the identification, evaluation and cost-effective control of risks, to ensure that they are either eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level. The policy provides details of responsibilities, the risk management process, risk identification, analysis, recording, monitoring and review. 

Acrobat Reader icon Risk management strategy

Our governance framework - meetings and decision making 
Council meeting Protocol

This document provides guidance for employees and members in preparing for and attending Council meetings. It includes processes for preparation and governance of our Council meetings.

Acrobat Reader icon Protocol for Council Meetings November 2015

Standing Orders

The Standing Orders provide details of the procedural arrangements of the Council and its committees including details of its membership, proceedings and conduct of business.

Acrobat Reader icon Standing orders

Scheme of Delegation

The Scheme of delegation identifies who has authority to make decisions which are identified under the Opticians Act. It includes functions imposed upon the Council by the Opticians Act 1989 and by Rules made under the Act and identifies if these decisions are made by Council or delegated to its Committees or the Chief Executive and Registrar.

Acrobat Reader icon Scheme of delegation

Allocation of roles and responsibilities

This document sets out the statutory roles and responsibilities of the Council, Committees, the Chief Executive and Registrar and the Executive. This includes: The Council and Registrar, the Education Committee, the Companies Committee, the Investigation Committee, the Registration Committee, the Registration Appeals Committee, the Standards Committee, the Fitness to Practise Committee, the Hearings Panel and Council employees.

Acrobat Reader icon Allocation of roles and responsibilities

Audit and Risk Committee terms of reference

This document identifies the purpose and structure of the Audit and Risk Committee, including its decision making authority, duties, frequency and notice of meetings.

Acrobat Reader icon Audit and Risk Committee terms of reference

Nominations Committee terms of reference

This document identifies the purpose and structure of the Nominations Committee, including its decision making authority, duties, frequency and notice of meetings.

Acrobat Reader icon Nominations Committee terms of reference


Remuneration Committee terms of reference

This document identifies the purpose and structure of the Remuneration Committee, including its decision making authority, duties, frequency and notice of meetings.

Acrobat Reader icon Remuneration Committee Terms of Reference  

Senior Council member role description

This document specifies the role description of our Senior Council Member. It outlines the role, responsibilities and terms of office.

Acrobat Reader icon Senior Council member role description  


Member support

Member appointment and reappointment process

We wish to ensure that our process to appoint and reappoint members is fair, open and transparent to ensure the correct appointments are made based on merit. This document provides individuals wishing to apply for a member vacancy details of the process which we will follow in managing appointments. It also provides details of the process which we will follow in relation to reappointments, extensions, emergency appointments, disqualification, suspension or removal of members.

Acrobat Reader icon Council and Committee appointments process July 2014 - updated January 2018

Member Development plan

We are committed to ensuring that our members are provided with relevant induction and training to enable them to perform their role appropriately and effectively. In doing so, ensuring we governed aptly, our strategic objectives are met, and we are complying with our legislative framework and reducing the risk of reputational damage. The document sets out our expectations of members in relation to their personal development and outlines how we will provide development opportunities to members.

Acrobat Reader icon Member development plan

Member appraisal process

We have a formal appraisal process for all members in order to strengthen the links between individual appraisal discussions with Council and Committee members and the reappointment process and to ensure that all members have an opportunity to consider their role and provide feedback to us. The process provides members with feedback on their performance against objectives, role competencies and our values prior to reappointment and enables any development needs to be identified. This document outlines the appraisal process including a time table and Appraisal Form template. 

Acrobat Reader icon Council and Committee appraisal process - September 2014

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