Nockolds appointment
General Optical Council eBulletin 19
March 2014

Nockolds to run consumer complaints service

We have appointed Nockolds to run our independent mediation service for optical consumers from 1 April 2014. Nockolds were the successful candidate in an open tender process launched last year.

The mediation service for optical consumers does not have formal powers but acts as a mediator in disputes between consumers and practitioners. The service can help consumers resolve customer service issues such as obtaining refunds for faulty glasses and can also advise registrants who receive consumer complaints. 

We will continue to deal with complaints that call a registrant’s fitness to practise into question.

Nockolds are a regulated firm of solicitors with substantial mediation and complaints-handling experience. They will draw on a panel of experts in optometry and optics in seeking to resolve consumer complaints.

Gareth Hadley, GOC Chair, said: “We are delighted to have appointed Nockolds to run our independent mediation service and we look forward to working with them.

“We were particularly impressed by Nockolds’ commitment to excellent customer service and to gathering high quality information about complaints that will help us better understand the public’s experience of the optical professions.

“They demonstrated a clear vision for delivering a professional and independent service that will help consumers and registrants to reach amicable resolutions to customer service disputes.

“We would like to thank Richard Wilshin and his team at the OCCS for their hard work and dedication to the interests of optical consumers over many years. We would also like to thank the professional bodies – AOP, FODO, ABDO and the College of Optometrists – that established the OCCS and continued to support it after responsibility for funding and overseeing the service passed to the GOC.”

The Optical Consumer Complaints Service (OCCS) will continue to provide a mediation service for us until 31 March.

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