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Stakeholder Reference Groups

GOC launches Stakeholder Reference Groups


On 22 September we launched our new SRGsStakeholder Reference Groups (SRGs) to provide stakeholder input into projects and policies.

One group is composed of optical professionals, the other of patients and the public. They will provide professional and public perspectives into a variety of areas of our work.

At their induction day group members met one another for the first time. They also met Council members and learned about the GOC. In the afternoon, they discussed possible changes to our Fitness to Practise rules and an aspect of the revalidation proposals we are currently developing.

SRG members have their own website which acts as the focus for engagement activities and where they will take part in online responses.

Two members of the groups gave us their perspectives on the day:

Nikki Joule, a member of the public group:

"It’s true, it’s true! Regulation really can be interesting.

"I applied to become a member of the public stakeholder reference group at the GOC because of my long-standing interest in public and patient involvement in health services though I hadn’t been directly involved in any mechanism for promoting such involvement for a few years.

"Previously, I had been a lay member of a research ethics committee and a member of a public reference group looking at commissioning of specialist health services in London. During my time on both of these groups we had many difficult, challenging and interesting discussions.

"I was not sure quite what to expect of the GOC public stakeholder reference group, but was pleasantly surprised that at our first meeting we got straight into debating some of the more tricky dilemmas facing the Council and had the opportunity to exchange our views with some of the Council members who seemed to genuinely welcome our contributions.

"So a good start, on the whole, and I look forward to more involvement in the future."

Janet Tice, also a member of the public group, said:

"As a member of the lay group I was pleased to see how much thought had been put into the planning of the day so that members like myself, who had only a limited knowledge of the GOC , were able to fully participate in the meeting.

"The morning activities enabled us to gain a good overview of the remit of the GOC and its plans for the future. By the end of this session I felt that I had a much clearer understanding of what I would be able to contribute as a member of the SRG.

"It was also very enjoyable to get to know some of my fellow members of both the lay and optical groups and to discover the variety of backgrounds from which we came .
Just before lunch the GOC council members arrived and introduced themselves to us. We were able to get to know them further over the lunch buffet.

"The afternoon group work enabled us to understand and discuss some of the issues which are currently being considered by council members. I found the discussion on revalidation of particular interest as I spent many years in a profession where continuous professional development was integral to the advancement of one’s career."