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GOC removes 386 student opticians from the registers

3 Sep 2010

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has today removed 386 student optometrists and dispensing opticians from its registers, for failing to renew their registration for 2010-11.

According to the GOC’s figures, a total of 146 student optometrists and 240 student dispensing opticians have been removed from the registers. When compared with last year’s retention removals, this represents a small increase – less than one per cent - in the number of students who failed to meet the 31 August ‘late application’ deadline.

GOC registrar and chief executive, Dian Taylor, issued a warning to those who have been removed: “Failing to renew your registration is a serious matter. Students who wish to continue their training must now restore to the registers – at additional cost – before they are able to continue with their course, pre-registration training or exams.

“We are working with training establishments and scheme providers to ensure that only registered students are allowed to continue with their studies and practical training.”

The GOC is now sending lists of those who have been removed to the relevant training providers and examining bodies.

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, they 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 March
Acting Head of Communications
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 23,500 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.


Notes to editors:

1. 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.

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

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