Fees to rise
General Optical Council eBulletin 18
November 2013

GOC fee to increase after three
years of real-terms reductions

 

We have set our registration fee for 2014/15 at £290 to ensure we can continue to do an effective job of protecting and promoting the health and safety of the public.

The £30 increase follows three years of real-terms reductions in the fee. Over that period the fee for optometrists fell by 27.5 per cent in real terms and the fee for dispensing opticians by 16 per cent.

GOC Chair Gareth Hadley said, “We’ve done our utmost to keep fees down during these tough economic times for registrants and they remain lower in real terms than they were three years ago.

“However, our costs have naturally increased over that period and we could not fulfil our role effectively if we were to freeze our fee for another year.

“We would have had to increase the fee just to meet our existing costs; however, we also face new demands and expectations.

“We are ensuring a proactive approach to raising standards across the profession and meeting the needs of patients and the public.

“Like some of our fellow healthcare regulators, we have seen an increase in the volume and complexity of fitness to practise cases in recent years. Against this backdrop we need to work even harder to speed up the fitness to practise process in the interests of patients and registrants alike; this requires additional resources.

“We never like to see registrants enter the fitness to practise process but we must be able to take timely and effective action when a small minority place patients at risk or undermine confidence in the profession.

“We are also modernising our IT infrastructure so we can provide a good service for both registrants and the public.

“Next year’s fee increase is therefore essential if we are to continue to be an effective regulator acting in patients’ best interests.”

The fee for student registrants will increase from £20 to £25. This is the first increase since we introduced student registration in 2005. The low income fee, for fully-qualified registrants earning under £12,000 per year, will increase from £160 to £190. The fee for bodies corporate will increase from £260 to £290.

 

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