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GOC consults on new Fitness to Practise Rules

FTP-webWe are currently consulting on one further change to our Fitness to Practise Rules before they come into effect.

Last year we consulted on a series of changes to the Rules, which govern what happens when somebody raises a complaint about an optometrist or dispensing optician.

There was widespread support for our proposed changes, which were designed to speed up the fitness to practise process, as well as making it fairer and more transparent.

However, where we had proposed that our registrar should review decisions not to refer registrants to the fitness to practise committee, a number of respondents felt that our new case examiners should have this role instead. We are now conducting a further consultation on whether this particular change should be implemented.

We anticipate that the new Rules will be in place by 2013. The confirmed changes include:

  • two case examiners, rather than the nine-person Investigation Committee, will decide whether to refer complaints to a fitness to practise hearing;
  • we will be able to screen out malicious and anonymous complaints;
  • we will be able to fast-track cases involving serious criminal convictions;
  • we will notify a registrant’s current employer of the outcome of a hearing.

GOC director of regulation, Mandie Lavin commented: “We’d like to thank everyone who replied to last year’s consultation. The new Rules will make our fitness to practise process fairer and faster for registrants and complainants alike.

"We are encouraging stakeholders to reply to this second phase of consultation about who should review decisions not to refer a registrant to fitness to practise.”

You can read about the proposed new rule and reply to the consultation here. The consultation closes on 30 April.


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