Issue 17, September 2013
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Consultations email

Have your say on student and business regulation

We are carrying out two consultations seeking views on potential changes to how we regulate students and optical businesses.


We are keen to hear as wide a range of views as possible, and would encourage anyone who would like to share their thoughts to submit a response.

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New declarations guidance for registrants

Newly published guidance sets out what declarations registrants must make to the GOC and how these are considered.


There are three separate guidance documents setting out the requirements for students, fully-qualified registrants and bodies corporate.


Registrants must declare all criminal convictions, cautions and disciplinary proceedings on their registration, retention and/ or restoration form.

Once an applicant has submitted a declaration, a member of the registration team may request additional information as required. This information will be presented to the Registrar, along with a recommendation.

Find out more

Declarations email

GOC to consider future priorities

We will be considering our future priorities this winter as we develop our strategic plan for the next three years.

Issues we will be considering will include:

  • the best way for us to tackle illegal practice, such as illegal contact lens sales;
  • the implications of the Francis Inquiry for the optical sector; and
  • how we can better understand and act on the public’s expectations.

We will consult on a draft version of our plan in November, giving all stakeholders, including registrants, the opportunity to have their say on our work.

We expect to finalise the plan at our Council meeting in February 2014 for it come into effect on 1 April. The strategic plan will then direct our priorities over the following three years.

Find out more

Strategy email

Student removals continue to decline

153 students have been removed from our registers for failing to renew their registration for 2013-14, a fall of 23% from last year.


This represents the third consecutive fall in student removals since the introduction of our online retention system in 2011 and represents just 3.8% of student registrants.

Students who have been removed from our registers cannot sit exams, or take part in clinical training. We work closely with all training institutions to ensure that only registered students are taking part in their courses and we have sent lists of those who have been removed to the relevant training providers and examining bodies.

Find out more

Students email

Advice from the DVLA

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) have asked us to make registrants aware of the changes to the law regarding minimum driving licence standards for eyesight. Registrants with queries about the information should contact their professional body.

Find out more

Indemnity email

National Eye Health Week

National Eye Health Week takes place from 16-22 September, promoting the importance of eye health and regular sight tests. To find out more and get involved visit


News in brief

GOC meets all Standards of Good Regulation


The Professional Standards Authority, which oversees our work, has recognised us as meeting all the Standards of Good Regulation in its annual performance review of the UK health regulators.

Find out more on our website


Clare Hayes appointed to Investigation Committee

Dispensing Optician Clare Hayes has been appointed to our Investigation Committee. Clare currently teaches and assesses optometry undergraduates in contact lens practice and dispensing at Aston University. She is also a practical examiner for the Association of British Dispensing Opticians.

Find out more on our website


Fitness to Practice ( FTP ) Rules sealed

This summer Council formally ‘sealed’ our new FTP Rules. This means they can now go to the Privy Council to begin their journey through the Parliamentary approval process.

Changes include introducing case examiners to decide whether to refer an allegation for an FTP hearing, screening out malicious complaints and fast-tracking cases involving serious criminal convictions.

Fight for Sight funding opportunities

Fight for Sight, who fund research to prevent sight loss and treat eye disease, are now seeking applications for potential research grants.

Expressions of interest are being invited from potential partners looking for co-funding for exceptional projects related to eye research.

Applications must be in line with the charity’s research strategy and where possible meet priorities set out in the Sight Loss and Vision Priority Setting Partnership. For more information visit


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