Issue 33, July 2017
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Welcome to eBulletin

Welcome to the July edition of eBulletin. After the departure of our former Chief Executive and Registrar Samantha Peters in June, we are looking forward to welcoming our new CEO Vicky McDermott in September. You can read more about her background and experience in this issue.

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Assessing a patient's fitness to drive

There have been a number of fatalities in recent years involving drivers who continued to drive against the advice of their healthcare professional. Some of these cases have involved patients who were advised not to drive by their optometrist and/or dispensing optician due to poor eye sight.

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Responses to our Education Strategic Review

In December 2016 we published a call for evidence on our Education Strategic Review asking for feedback about the future of eye care delivery and the implications of the expected changes for the education of optical professionals. We received a total of 55 responses to our call for evidence between 15 December 2016 and 16 March 2017.

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Focus on Registration

The Registration team is one of the busiest areas of the GOC, continually maintaining, monitoring and updating our register of over 29,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, students and optical businesses. Here our Head of Registration, Michelle Norman, shares her top tips for getting the most out of the register.

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CET evaluation report

In December 2016 we commissioned an independent agency, Collaborate Research, to collect feedback on the most recent three year cycle of the CET scheme (1 January 2013 – 31 December 2015), as well as some early feedback on the current cycle (2016 – 2018) so far.

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Talking cosmetic lenses at CTSI conference

By law, cosmetic contact lenses must only be sold by, or under the supervision of, a registered optician or doctor. Any sales that do not meet these requirements are illegal under the Opticians Act.

So how do we ensure that people wear cosmetic lenses safely and legally?

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News in brief

Student renewal

GOC student renewal for the year 2017-18 is now open and 72% of students have already successfully renewed their registration.  Please ensure that you complete the online process carefully before the deadline of Saturday 15 July 2017. To renew your registration, please log in to the MyGOC section of our website and press the ‘Apply for Renewal’ button.

New Chief Executive

Vicky McDermott will join us in 4 September 2017 as our new Chief Executive and Registrar. She joins us after serving three years as the Chief Executive Officer of the Papworth Trust, the leading disability charity in the East of England. She also steps down from her role as Chair of the Care and Support Alliance, in which she directed more than 90 charities in campaigning for improved adult social care across England.


Vicky joined the Papworth Trust in 2014 from the NHS Business Services Authority, where she led the transformation of the NHS Pension scheme and advised Government Ministers on a range of issues. In addition to her experience in healthcare, she has worked in the private sector for BT with responsibility for transformation and customer involvement.


We are currently recruiting for the role of Illegal Practice Project Adviser. We regularly have a number of opportunities for registrants to get involved with our work here at the GOC through roles on our committees. We also have vacancies for lay members too, so if you are passionate about engaging the wider public with the optical professions, be sure to check our careers page regularly for opportunities for yourself and others.

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