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'Check your retention form to avoid delays', urges GOC

3 Mar 2008

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The General Optical Council (GOC) is stressing that all full and business registrants must ensure their retention applications are completed correctly, if they are to avoid missing the 15 March deadline.

All practitioners must renew their registration for 2008/9 by submitting a completed application for retention form, along with payment, by 15 March. Those who fail to apply for retention by this date will be removed from the register on 1 April.

Deputy registrar Dian Taylor stressed that registrations will only be renewed if the form and payment are both submitted correctly. “There isn’t much time left so it’s important to get it right first time. Make sure you’ve included: professional indemnity insurance policy details; declarations relating to any criminal conviction, caution or investigation; the signed declaration; and £169 payment. If this or any other part is missing or incomplete, the application will be returned to the registrant.”

With two weeks to go until the deadline, a large number of applications are still outstanding. To date, 60 per cent – 11,169 registrants – have returned their form and payment.

From 1 April, a list of registrants not renewed will be published on the Council’s website, and copies sent to Primary Care Trusts.

Any registrant who has not received their retention forms should contact the GOC registration team on 020 7580 3898 (option 1) to make sure their details are up to date. Or email Forms can also be downloaded from


For further information please contact:
Clare Millington
Communications Officer
General Optical Council
t: 020 7307 3473

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 and conduct amongst opticians. The Council currently registers around 22,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.

Notes to editors:

1) It is illegal to practise as an optometrist or dispensing optician in the UK whilst unregistered.

2) Registrants who pay by direct debit still have to return a completed application for retention form. If they do not submit a completed application, they will be removed from the Opticians Register on 1 April.

3) The retention fee for all full registrants is £169.

4) Practitioners completing an application form must declare any conviction, caution or investigation in relation to a criminal offence. Road traffic offences must be declared except where the matter has been dealt with by way of a fixed penalty, as such matters do not constitute a criminal conviction.

5) Applicants must provide information about investigations or determinations by any of the other UK health regulatory bodies, as well as by a Primary Care Trust (PCT) or Health Board.

6) Any convictions, cautions, determinations or investigations which have not previously been declared to the GOC Registrar should be notified. Matters which have been previously declared do not need to be included except where the Registrar has asked the registrant to do so.

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