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GOC retention 2010-11 gets underway

11 Dec 2009

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has today sent out retention application packs to all fully-registered optometrists and dispensing opticians who have completed their CET requirements for the current cycle. All other registrants will be sent retention packs in January 2010. Retention packs have also been sent to registered optical businesses.

All fully-registered practitioners are required to return their application form along with the appropriate payment, by the 15 March deadline. This year, the start of the 2010-11 retention period coincides with the end of the current CET cycle. Practitioners without the required number of CET points will not be eligible to renew their registration until they have made up their points shortfall.

Dian Taylor, chief executive and registrar said: “We have been working hard to develop the retention process to make it more efficient, user-friendly and cost-effective for registrants. So far, we’ve made significant improvements that should benefit everyone, and further developments are planned next year. But, as always, getting your retention application and payment to us as early as possible is the best way to ensure you’ve completed your renewal by the deadline.”

One key improvement is the new Registrants Area of the GOC website,, which will be available from 11 January 2010. From the Registrants Area practitioners will be able to track the progress of their retention application. Facilities include: receiving confirmation that the GOC has received their completed form and that payment has been taken; and downloading a payment receipt and confirmation. Details of how to log into the new Registrants Area are included in the retention packs.

The GOC is urging registrants to return their application as early as possible. A late application charge of £20 will apply to anyone whose completed form is received after the deadline of 15 March but before 31 March. Those who fail to apply for retention by 31 March will be removed from the registers from 1 April.


For media enquiries please contact:
Clare March
Communications Manager
General Optical Council
t: 020 7307 3473

Notes to editors

1. Optometrists and dispensing opticians who are practising in the UK are legally required to be registered with the GOC.

2. Registrants who do not return their completed form and payment by 15 March 2010 deadline, risk being removed from the registers from 1 April 2010. 

3. If a retention application reaches the GOC after 15 March without the late application additional fee of £20, the form will be returned to the applicant. The registrant’s name may be removed from the Opticians Registers from 1 April if full payment is not received by 31 March. 

4. Registrants who pay by direct debit are still required to submit their completed retention form, in order to renew their GOC registration. 

5. A list of those registrants removed from the registers from 1 April will be published on the GOC’s website, and copies will be sent to primary care organisations who have registered to receive GOC updates.

6. Registrants who are removed from the registers from 1 April and wish to continue practising in the UK must complete an application for restoration form. The restoration fee is £70 in addition to the appropriate full retention fee. 

7. The current cycle began 1 January 2007. The next cycle will run 1 January 2010 – 31 December 2012. 

8. Registrants are required to complete 36 general points plus 18 specialist points where relevant over a three-year cycle. The requirement is calculated pro-rata for anyone joining the Registers part-way through a cycle. 

9. Registrants with a shortfall must fulfil their CET requirements by 15 March 2010. Anyone failing to do so will be removed from the registers from 1 April.



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