Consent guidance
General Optical Council eBulletin 32
April 2017

Consent guidance published

We have now published new guidance to assist registrants in meeting its standard relating to obtaining valid consent from a patient. Obtaining valid consent should be seen as part of an on-going discussion and decision making process between you and your patient. It reflects the right of patients to determine what happens to their own bodies and to make informed choices when purchasing optical appliances.

After a period of consultation on our new standards in 2015, our registrants requested supplementary guidance to help them apply the standard relating to obtaining valid consent. 

Our Standards of Practice for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians and Standards for Optical Students (standard 3) reflect this legal and ethical principle. The new standards came into force in April 2016.

In February this year, Council agreed the new guidance following a period of consultation with stakeholders, including patients and the public, registrants, professional bodies, employers and insurers. 

We have now published new guidance on how to meet our standard on obtaining valid consent along with details of the legal framework governing how capacity to consent is assessed in adults, young people and children in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The guidance does not create new requirements or give legal advice. You should use your professional judgement to apply this guidance to your own practice.

You can find the new guidance on our website here alongside our new guidance on the professional duty of candour which was published in March 2017.



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