Issue 34, September 2017
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Vicky McDermott

Welcome to eBulletin

Welcome to the September edition of eBulletin and my first as GOC Chief Executive and Registrar. I am delighted to be joining at such an exciting time for eyecare and look forward to working with you all. While the summer period is usually characterised by frivolous news stories, it’s certainly not been silly season at the GOC! We’ve been hard at work and have a lot to update you on in this issue.  

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Education Strategic Review update

We are continuing to make progress with our Education Strategic Review, developing proposals for the future that build upon the Call for Evidence responses that we received earlier this year. 

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Love Your Lenses Week 2018

Love Your Lenses Week 2018 will take place on 23-30 March 2018 and is set to be even bigger and better - and it's not too early to start planning how you and your business will get involved.

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Conflict of interest statement

On 8 August 2017 we joined the other healthcare regulators to agree a joint statement on handling conflicts of interest. The statement outlines expectations of how optical professionals, and other professionals working in healthcare, should act in avoiding, declaring and managing actual or potential conflicts of interest. 

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Conflicts of interest

Article from Esme’s Umbrella

Esme’s Umbrella is the campaign group working towards a greater awareness of Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS). In 1760 naturalist and philosophical writer, Charles Bonnet, described a condition in which vivid, complex visual hallucinations occur in psychologically normal people. 

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Esme's Umbrella


We are currently consulting on two important topics across our education and fitness to practise functions; Accreditation of Prior Learning and consensual disposal of fitness to practise cases. We would really welcome your input and views.

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News in brief

Student renewal

On 31 August the deadline passed for student registrants to renew their registration. Only 338 student registrants were removed from the register for failing to renew on time. This is less than 6 per cent of our student registrants, a slight reduction from last year. Thank you to the thousands of you who renewed your registration on time.


This is one of the busiest times of the year for our Registration team due to the high volumes of applications that we receive from students applying to join the full register, and full registration applications may take longer than ten working days to process. Please be assured that we are working extremely hard to ensure that everyone gets on the register as quickly as possible. 


Committee vacancies

We are currently seeking to appoint six new members to our statutory committees - four representatives from optical businesses to our Companies Committee and one optometrist and one dispensing optician to our Investigation Committee. All roles are on a part-time basis, with a time commitment of approximately three days per annum for the Companies Committee, and approximately five days per annum for the Investigation Committee.


We would strongly encourage any registrant who feels they can offer a fresh perspective and insight to apply for these positions. The closing date to apply for these vacancies is Monday 18 September. Please visit our website and download the candidate information pack to apply online.


Cosmetic contact lenses leaflet 

The GOC and the Association of Optometrists ( AOP ) have jointly produced a new information leaflet Do you know the law on selling contact lenses?, which sets out the facts and our legal remit to take action about illegal sales of cosmetic contact lenses. The leaflet has been developed for use by optical practitioners who wish to advise local suppliers of the law around contact lenses, and inform them that they should stop selling them illegally. You can download the leaflet here.


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