Business registration
General Optical Council eBulletin 40
February 2019

Business registration

As an optical professional you may own your own optical business or work in one. Thousands of UK optical businesses are registered with the GOC, from small independents to large national chains. Limited companies operating as optical businesses which use protected titles such as optometrist or optician, must register with us by law.

But for those business owners who don’t have to there are still big advantages in registering. Here are the top 3 reasons why optical businesses should register with the GOC:

1. Trust from patients: In a recent GOC commissioned survey 84 per cent of patients interviewed said they would rather ‘use an optical business that meets a certain set of standards, than one that does not’. Having a GOC business registration gives the public extra confidence that a business is operating to high professional standards. Optical businesses registered with us can promote their registration by displaying a “We’re registered” logo. Logos can be downloaded from the registration toolkit in MyGOC.

2. Trust from optical staff: Optical professionals like working for a regulated business – it gives them confidence that their employer operates to the same high professional standards as they do and provides assurance that the business environment is conducive to maintaining those standards.

3. Trust in the optical professions: The optical sector is changing. Optometrists and dispensing opticians are developing their scopes of practice and moving into new more clinically complex areas of work. GOC business registration gives commissioners confidence that optical businesses meet the same high standards as other healthcare organisations that are regulated by bodies such as the Care Quality Commission or General Pharmaceutical Council.

Our current Code of Conduct for optical businesses will be replaced later this year by our new Standards for Optical Businesses. The new Standards won’t impose a lot of new requirements on optical businesses, instead they make our expectations much clearer and reflect what optical business should already be doing. Read more here.

So why not find out if the optical business you work for is eligible for business registration and if so consider letting your employer know about the benefits of registration. Alternatively if you are an unregistered optical business owner and your business meets our criteria why not get registered today and  let the world know about the high standards your business meets!


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