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GOC opens up debate on revalidation proposals

13 Mar 2009

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The General Optical Council (GOC) is today urging registrants to have their say on a revalidation scheme for opticians, as the Council launches an open consultation on its draft proposals.

Comment is invited on any aspect of the GOC’s proposals, including: what criteria should determine whether a registrant undergoes revalidation; the intensity and frequency of the revalidation process; and the evidence required when demonstrating professional competence.

Jon Levett, GOC director of standards commented: “Revalidation will affect all those involved in the Council’s work. It is crucial that from the outset, all interested groups – particularly registrants – have ample opportunity to influence what revalidation will look like. Opening up the debate will help us formulate a scheme that is proportionate, effective and fair.”

Jon Levett added: “At this stage, nothing is set in stone. The Council will use these responses to develop more detailed proposals, which will then form the basis of a second consultation later in the year.”

A series of public consultation events on revalidation are anticipated toward the end of this year. The Council is encouraging registrants, optical bodies, employers, education providers, charities, fellow regulators and groups representing patients and the public to get involved in the consultation process.

Revalidation for registered optometrists and dispensing opticians will be introduced at the start of the 2012-15 CET cycle. The GOC plans to formally approve its policy in 2010.

The consultation document and draft revalidation proposals are available from the consultations homepage. Responses can be sent by post or email. Alternatively, respond to the consultation online.


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


1. The Government’s White Paper on healthcare regulation, ‘Trust, Assurance and Safety’, directed that revalidation was necessary for all health professionals, and that ‘its intensity and frequency needs to be proportionate to the risks inherent in the work in which each practitioner is involved’.

2. The GOC’s draft proposals for a revalidation scheme have been compiled by the Council’s Revalidation Workstream. This group comprises both staff and Council members.

3. The draft proposals were presented to the Department of Health in January 2009, and are underpinned by the Department of Health’s key principles for the revalidation of non-medical health professionals (including optometrists and dispensing opticians).

4. The Non-medical Revalidation Working Group’s report can be found on the Department of Health’s website,

5. The closing date for consultation responses is 25 September 2009.



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