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97 per cent of GOC registrants meet CET target

16 Jan 2014

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The vast majority (97 per cent) of optometrists and dispensing opticians have met their annual Continuing Education and Training (CET) points requirement for 2013, demonstrating that they have kept their skills and knowledge up to date so that they can continue to provide high quality patient care.

CET is mandatory for fully-qualified practitioners registered with the General Optical Council (GOC). This is the first time that an annual requirement has been set, with registrants needing to earn at least six points towards their 36 point total for the 2013-15 cycle.

Linda Ford, GOC Head of Education and Standards, said: “We are very happy that almost all registrants have met their points requirement for 2013. This is a really encouraging start to the first cycle of the enhanced CET scheme and shows that most registrants have managed to adapt to the changes and meet the new requirements.

“A small number, however, have put their registration at risk by not gaining enough points for the year. Anyone in this situation should seek to make up the shortfall as soon as possible before the retention deadline of 15 March or inform us immediately of any exceptional circumstances which prevented them from undertaking CET. Failure to do may result in the Registrar refusing their application to renew their registration.”

Only 580 registrants (3 per cent) failed to meet their target for the year, with 258 not gaining any points at all.

A further 224 registrants gained sufficient points but did not formally accept them in their online CET portfolio. The GOC is urging any registrants in this situation to log in immediately to accept their points so they can be counted towards the annual requirement.

Anyone removed from the registers will be unable to practise in the UK, or use a protected title such as optometrist or dispensing optician, until they have successfully applied for restoration.

ENDS

For further information please contact:
Simon Grier
Communications Manager
General Optical Council
t: 020 7307 3478
e: sgrier@optical.org

NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. The annual points requirement was introduced as part of the enhanced CET scheme launched in January 2013, and is intended to encourage registrants to spread their learning and development evenly across the three-year cycle.

2. Although some registrants have already managed to accrue the 36 points needed for the cycle, they will still need to gain at least six points during each of the remaining two years.

3. Registrants with exceptional circumstances that have prevented them from undertaking CET or with any queries should contact the GOC at cet@optical.org or by calling 020 7580 3898 (option 3).

4. Anyone who is removed from the register must demonstrate that they have met certain CET requirements before being allowed to restore. More information can be found on our website: http://www.optical.org/en/Registration/Restoring_to_the_registers/full-registrants.cfm

About the General Optical Council:
The GOC is the regulator for the optical professions in the UK. Its purpose is to protect the public by promoting high standards of education, performance and conduct amongst opticians. The Council currently registers around 26,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.

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