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How we consult

We believe it is important that the people affected by our work have a say in how we operate. We believe it is vital that we consult with all the groups with an interest in the GOC; patients, the public, our registrants, optical organisations, healthcare organisations, employers, other regulators, staff and other stakeholders.

The GOC Consultation Framework sets out how we go about consultation. It was originally published in March 2009 and was updated in December 2010 with input from our Stakeholder Reference Groups.

Acrobat Reader icon GOC Consultation Framework

Acrobat Reader icon Payment of expenses for consultation events
 

Executive summary of the Consultation Framework

  • Consultation is the way we obtain our stakeholders’ views. It allows us to generate, develop and test new policies and proposals, and it allows our stakeholders to feed back ideas.
     
  • When we plan major changes which affect our stakeholders, we conduct a full public consultation. Other changes may require targeted consultations.
     
  • Consultation needs to influence. It is not a way of rubber-stamping policies which are effectively already in place.
     
  • Our method of consultation must be appropriate for each of our different audiences. We will publicise consultations through the most appropriate media to reach the groups we intend to target.
     
  • We use different methods of consultation for different issues, depending on what is the most appropriate method of getting feedback for a particular project.
     
  • We make efforts to seek feedback from seldom-heard groups; in particular, on specific issues which directly affect them. 
     
  • Documents should be concise, self-contained and in plain English. They should be free from jargon, and not assume knowledge of abbreviations, optical or other medical terms.
     
  • We try to keep the costs of consultation to a minimum, using electronic and other low cost methods where these will not adversely affect participation.
     
  • Our purpose is to protect the public. It is therefore vital that patients and the public have a strong input into our work to give us a viewpoint from the people that the GOC is in place to protect.
     
  • Before launching any consultations, our staff complete the GOC Consultation Checklist to ensure that the principles set out in this framework are followed.
     
  • We focus on the evidence and reasoning given in consultation responses, making primarily qualitative analysis of the responses. Decisions are never made on strength of numbers. Our decisions are made on the basis of the strength of the arguments put to us and how well they match with our core principles.
     
  • We will publish feedback after the consultation giving the outcome and how we will implement the policy changes.

 

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