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GOC issues warning to unregistered students

29 Nov 2005

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General Optical Council Press Release – 29 November 2005

For immediate release

GOC issues warning to unregistered students

The General Optical Council warned today that the ‘grace period’ for student registration would come to an end on 31 December 2005. After that time, unregistered students undertaking clinical practice will be liable to prosecution under the Opticians Act.

Pre-registration students who fail to register also run the risk of having entries in their logbooks discounted, going back to 1 September. Education providers have been advised that as of now unregistered students attending for an exam requiring patient contact must be sent home.

‘We have to now take the issue of unregistered students very seriously’, said Peter Coe, GOC registrar. ‘Students who don’t register in the next month risk failing their course and seriously damaging their future career, all for the sake of £20.’

Supervisors who allow unregistered students to work with patients may also risk prosecution under the Council’s fitness to practise rules. Course managers and supervisors are responsible for checking that students are registered before they undertake clinical work.

Peter Coe explained: ‘Students who are not registered are breaking the law. One very real concern is that, in most cases, this means they won’t be covered by the supervisor’s or university’s professional indemnity insurance policy. The GOC has to ensure that if things go wrong, members of the public have some means of compensation or redress.’

The Council has operated a ‘grace period’ of four months for both students and supervisors to get used to the new system. At 28 November, just over 3,500 students were on the registers. An estimated 670 students, including 185 pre-registration students, have yet to return their forms.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

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

Notes to editors:

1. Student registration became a legal requirement on 1 July 2005. The requirements are set out in the General Optical Council (Registration) Rules 2005.

 

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