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GOC launches new website

10 Oct 2007

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has today launched its new website as part of its mission to promote good eye care and protect the public.

Extra functionality has been added which is designed to make the site informative and user-friendly for registrants and other users. The site also meets internationally recognised standards for website accessibility (WC3) and is AA compliant.

Key new features include:

A registrants’ area where optometrists and dispensing opticians can log in and update their personal details. Registrants can also update and add practice addresses to their profile. 

  • Audience homepages to alert users to content and news that is relevant to them. 
  • Search the site function. 
  • Dedicated hearings section with explanations of the hearings process, plus details on sanctions and outcomes from past hearings. 
  • Glossary explaining key terms. 
  • Updated and revised FAQs section, including option to filter by category. 
  • History section exploring the origins of statutory regulation within the optical professions. 
  • Search for a practice results can be limited by distance from postcode

Popular features from the current site, including legislation and Council papers are still available, but should be easier to find and use thanks to a new structure and standardised document download formats. A policies, procedures and protocols area contains core documents on issues such as complaints and declaring criminal offences.

Kate Fielding, Head of Communications commented: “Our website is a vital information resource for registrants and the public. We’ve listened to people’s ideas and overhauled the entire site. It is designed to be accessible for everyone regardless of cultural, physical or technical barriers. We want registrants and other users to have an online experience that is informative, coherent, and engaging, and which reflects the best in UK optics and regulation.”

The relaunch of the GOC’s website is the result of a 12-month user consultation programme, involving members of the public, partner organisations and registrants. Almost 300 people participated by providing comments and suggestions on the design, structure and content of the new site.

Design agency L&Co were commissioned by the Council to produce modern, clean and spacious concepts for the site. The GOC appointed Pixl8 Interactive to develop the site based on a content management system which supports the website’s new functionality and content.

ENDS

For further information please contact:
Clare Millington
Communications Officer
General Optical Council
t: 020 7307 3473
e: cmillington@optical.org

Notes for editors
1. The following groups can access the registrants’ area:

  • full registrants 
  • student optometrists 
  • student dispensing opticians 
  • bodies corporate

To log in:
Click on login icon in the top left corner from anywhere in the site. 

  • Enter username and password. 
  • Username: GOC number. Those who do not know their registration number should call the GOC registration team on 020 7580 3898 (option 1).
  • Password: date of birth.

2. The new site incorporates an online Press kit for journalists and media professionals. The kit contains an image library, GOC facts and FAQs. Journalists can also request a spokesperson to comment on topical issues. The Press Kit can be accessed at: xx

3. In October 2006, a website questionnaire was sent to all full registrants, student optometrists and dispensing opticians, plus partner organisations, optical press and other key user groups. The questionnaire was also published on the original website.

4. A total of 254 people responded to the paper questionnaire, and 21 people participated in the online version, giving an overall number of 275 responses. In addition, 24 individuals participated in one-to-one research and user testing sessions.

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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