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Also noted at March Council

13 Mar 2008

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Financial budget for 2008/9

As agreed at the November meeting of Council, the 2008/9 budget is forecast to operate at a deficit of approximately £225,000. This is due to increased expenditure to implement White Paper changes, including the restructure and appointment of Council and additional legal costs. Further costs are also necessary to ensure the organisation is sufficiently resourced to meet the challenges over the next year. It is the fifth year running that registration fees have not seen any increase (excluding levies). This year’s deficit will be funded from Council reserves.

Temporary and occasional registration for EU practitioners
Members formally noted changes to the Registration Rules, allowing temporary and occasional registration of optometrists and dispensing opticians from the EU/ EEA. Two new registers have been established in response to the EU Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications, which came into force last year.
Optometrists and dispensing opticians can now register to work in other European countries on a temporary and occasional basis. GOC registrants can apply to provide services by contacting the equivalent optical regulatory body in that country. Anyone using the titles 'optometrist' or 'dispensing optician' who wishes to practise in the UK on an occasional or temporary basis, will have to be registered with the GOC. They will be assessed on competencies, qualifications and experience, and may be asked to complete an aptitude test.

Therapeutic prescribing Rule changes
Council today noted a revised timetable for creating an Independent Prescribing specialty register. Changes to GOC Registration Rules will be finalised in the next few months, to create a new specialty register. Registrants on the Independent Prescribing specialty register will be able to prescribe licensed medicines for ocular conditions affecting the eye and surrounding tissue. Optometrists wishing to become independent prescribers will have to complete GOC-approved training. Once their training is completed, they must apply to have the specialty entered against their name in the register. Specialty practitioners will have to keep their skills up to date by completing additional CET.


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