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GOC removes 354 student opticians from the registers

2 Sep 2009

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has today removed a total of 354 students from its student registers for failing to renew their registration for 2009-10.

In total, 97 student optometrists and 257 student dispensing opticians were removed from the registers. This represents a 1.3% decrease when compared to last year’s figures. The GOC is now sending lists of those who have been removed to the relevant training providers and examining bodies.

GOC Registrar and Chief Executive, Dian Taylor warned: “Students who have been removed from the registers are putting their studies and future career at risk. Whilst the majority of students have complied with the registration requirements, those who have not must recognise that GOC registration is an essential part of becoming a fully-qualified practitioner. We will continue to work with training establishments and scheme providers, to ensure that only registered students are allowed to continue with their studies and practical training.”

Unregistered students should not be allowed to continue with their course or pre-registration training, nor sit any exams, until they have restored to the registers. If a student has not been continuously registered throughout their course, the GOC may refuse them full registration. Gaps in registration may also be taken into account when determining an optician’s fitness to practise in the future.
Unregistered students who carry out activities reserved for GOC registrants, such as sight tests, may face criminal prosecution.

Students who have been removed and intend to continue with their course must apply to have their name restored to the registers before the new term starts. To do this, students must submit a completed restoration form, and pay a total of £40 – double the basic £20 retention fee. Retention forms will no longer be accepted.

Application forms and further information are available from the GOC website, The registration team can also be contacted on 020 7580 3898 (option 1) or email

First year students starting optometry or dispensing optics courses this year must register before their course begins. This Autumn, the GOC will hold a series of roadshows for first year students enrolled on every GOC-approved course in optometry and dispensing optics. GOC staff will be highlighting the importance of student registration, and explaining the Council’s work.


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

Notes to editors:
1. In addition to those removed for failing to renew, 29 students withdrew from the registers. This is broken down into:
Student dispensing opticians: 16
Student optometrists: 13

2. Optometry and dispensing optics come into contact with patients during their educational courses and practical training. Since 30 June 2005, it has been a legal requirement for optometry and dispensing optics students to be registered with the General Optical Council.

3. The student registration year runs from 1 September to 31 August, and students must apply for retention by 15 July.



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