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GOC clarifies declaration requirements

19 Feb 2007

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GOC press release, 19 February 2007

For immediate release

GOC clarifies declaration requirements

The General Optical Council (GOC) today clarified the requirements for declaring information as part of an application for registration or for restoration or retention of registration with the Council.

Issues relating to declarations were raised by the optical bodies with the GOC, and referred to the Registration Committee for consideration.

Following a meeting of the Registration Committee, the GOC confirmed that 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.

The Committee also considered specific questions raised in relation to declaration of investigations by other bodies. 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.

Any convictions, cautions, determinations or investigations which have not previously been declared 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.

Geoffrey Harris, deputy chairman of Council and chairman of the Registration Committee stressed that minor misdemeanours and minor traffic offences will not of themselves impair registration. “Everything must be declared, no matter how minor it may seem. It’s clear from last year’s figures that the vast majority of declarations will not affect a registrant’s ability to renew their registration. But it is important that registrants should nevertheless declare all matters.”

Previous failure to declare any matter that subsequently comes to light could become a material consideration in a Fitness to Practice hearing.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Kate Fielding
Communications Manager
General Optical Council
t: 020 7307 3472
m: 07763 210019
e: kfielding@optical.org

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.

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