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GOC launches improved facility to search its registers

28 Nov 2011

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has launched an improved facility for the public to check their optometrist or dispensing optician is registered.

The public can now use the GOC website to search for a local optician with a registered specialty - for example a contact lens optician, or an optometrist able to independently prescribe drugs for eye conditions. New technology will also allow the public to find their optician even if they don’t know the correct spelling of their name - using the 'sounds like' function.

Suspended registrants will now be included on the public registers, with a note explaining what this means. Previously, suspended registrants had had no entry on the public GOC registers.

GOC head of registration, Philip Hallam said: "By using a GOC-registered optometrist or dispensing optician, the public can be sure that their practitioner is fit to practise and meets our standards of skill, knowledge, performance and conduct. We encourage the public to check their optician is registered, and the improved search facility on the website will make it easier for them to do so."

The GOC introduced the changes following consultation with patients, the public and professionals. The regulator held a discussion event in each of the four countries of the UK before publishing a formal, public consultation document last year.

Earlier this year, a GOC campaign promoted the importance of checking an optician's registration by placing the leaflet 'Check your optician is registered' in 7,000 doctors' surgeries and 1,200 pharmacies.


For further information please contact:
Clare March
Communications Manager
General Optical Council
t: 020 7307 3473


1. All optometrists and dispensing opticians must, by law, be registered with the GOC in order to practise in the UK. The GOC registers can be searched 24 hours a day at

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, conduct and performance amongst opticians. The Council currently registers around 24,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.


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