Issue 18, November 2013
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One month to go until CET deadline

Registrants have a month left to meet our minimum annual requirement for CET points or they may put their registration at risk.

Most registrants must obtain and log in to accept six CET points by 31 December. We will review registrants’ CET activities once the deadline has passed, and registrants who have not met their minimum requirement will need to explain why. This information will be considered by the Registrar during retention.

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Businesses set to register according to function

Our current system of business registration is set to change to a system based on restricted functions rather than protected titles.

The proposals are subject to a change in legislation and are unlikely to be introduced before 2016/17.

The changes will mean that rather than a business’s name dictating whether it has to be registered with us, all businesses carrying out restricted functions would be required to register. 

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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.

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Statement on fluorescein ophthalmic strips

We recently published an updated statement on the use of CE-marked fluorescein ophthalmic strips.

The statement aimed to address registrants' questions surrounding the use of CE-marked strips following the decision by Bausch + Lomb to discontinue Fluorets, ophthalmic strips used for contact lens fitting and assessing eye health.

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More research and engagement ahead of student changes

Council has agreed that more research and engagement with stakeholders is needed before we produce concrete proposals on changes to student regulation.

We consulted from July to October on proposals to introduce a system of regulation without registration for student optometrists and dispensing opticians.

After carefully considering the feedback received during the consultation, we have decided to conduct more research into the potential impact and to carry out further discussions. We will make a final decision at a future Council meeting.

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Students email

DoH urges healthcare professionals to get flu vaccinations

The Department of Health (DoH) is encouraging all healthcare professionals to get vaccinated against flu this winter to protect both themselves and the public.

The DoH believes that getting vaccinated against flu to reduce the risk of getting infected and passing it on to patients forms part of a healthcare professional’s duty of care.

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News in brief

Annual Report

Last month we published our Annual Report covering the year 2012-13.
Highlights from the year included the launch of the enhanced CET scheme and a wide-ranging stakeholder survey.

You can access the report here.

Strategic plan consultation

We have recently launched a consultation on our strategic plan for the period 2014/15 – 2016/17. We are keen to hear from as many stakeholders as possible on our proposed priorities for the next few years.

To view and reply to the consultation, visit our website.

Welcome to new students

A warm welcome to all of the first-year students who have recently registered with us. Over the course of September and October we took our annual student roadshow across the UK, speaking to new students to explain our work and what it means to be registered.

FtP guidance consultation

We have recently launched a consultation on updated guidance for the committees involved in our fitness to practise process and for the new role of Investigation Case Examiners. The new guidance supports the updated FTP rules that are due to come into force next April and are intended to speed up the process.

You can respond to the consultation on our website.

Declarations guidance

We have revised our declarations guidance for registrants to reflect recent changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. If you need to make a declaration to us, please download the guidance from our website

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