Standards review consultation
General Optical Council eBulletin 23
March 2015

Standards review consultation 

We have just launched a consultation on new standards of practice for optometrists and dispensing opticians, and invite you to get involved and provide us with feedback.

We want to promote higher standards across the optical professions by making it easier for registrants to understand our expectations as the regulator. Once finalised, the new standards of practice will replace our existing Code of Conduct for individuals.

The new standards of practice bring together in one place, and in an easy-to-digest format, all the information registrants need to understand what we expect of them. They will also make it much easier for patients to understand the standards they should expect from their optician.

Registrants will need to use their professional judgement to decide how to apply the standards in any given situation, and may want to refer to guidance produced by professional bodies and other organisations in doing so. But the GOC’s standards should always be their first port of call.

As well as standards for fully-qualified registrants, we have developed new standards specifically for students to reflect the fact that their skills and knowledge will develop during the course of their education and training and that they work under supervision.

It is very important that the new standards are clear and can be applied by optometrists and dispensing opticians in different types of practices in all parts of the UK. We therefore hope to hear plenty of feedback from registrants.

We will soon be inviting all registrants to fill out a short survey on the new standards in which we will seek feedback on the impact the standards will have on you as a registrant. We will be sending out further details on this in the coming weeks and encourage you to keep an eye out for this survey and provide us with all feedback that you may have.

In addition to the above, we will be holding CET accredited discussion groups at Optrafair on both Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 April. We encourage all registrants attending Optrafair to visit these sessions where we will be delivering a short presentation on the new standards, as well as running interactive group activities where the new standards will be tested against ethical and clinical scenarios registrants face in practice. If you wish to attend these sessions, you can register by visiting the Optrafair website.

You can also reply to the full consultation by visiting our website:

The consultation period will close on 7 June.

The consultation is being conducted by an independent agency called Collaborate Research on our behalf. They will receive your responses to the survey directly (together with feedback from other stakeholders, including patients) and produce an independent report, summarising all the responses received and setting out conclusions and recommendations for further action. This will be considered by the GOC Council in July and we will then finalise and publish both sets of new standards.

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