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Missing the retention deadline costs you more

9 Dec 2008

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The annual retention period for all full registrants gets underway today. The General Optical Council (GOC) has posted out retention forms to all fully-registered optometrists, dispensing opticians and bodies corporate. Practitioners and businesses must complete and return their forms, along with payment, by 15 March 2009.

Registrants are being urged to return their application as early as possible. A late application charge of £20 will apply to anyone who returns their retention form after the deadline of 15 March but before 31 March, increasing the cost of retention from £219 to £239.

Acting registrar Dian Taylor said: “We’re encouraging registrants to respond early and avoid incurring the extra fee. The GOC isn’t out to make money out of these charges. Processing late applications comes at a cost. We don’t believe that the majority of registrants, who get their forms and payments in on time, should have to foot the bill.”

Registrants are also being asked for an up to date email address and daytime telephone number. This will enable the registration team to deal with any problems quickly, and keep costs down.

Dian Taylor added: “If there is a problem with your retention form and we can’t get hold of you, we have no choice but to post the form back. As the deadline approaches, time is of the essence – you run the risk of being removed on 1 April if we can’t resolve problems in a timely way.”

Equality and diversity monitoring forms are also included in the retention packs. The GOC is encouraging registrants to complete and return the form with their retention application, although they are not obliged to do so. Equality and diversity monitoring is essential to ensure the GOC’s policies and practices remain free from discrimination.

Any registrant who does not receive their form within the next few weeks should contact the GOC to make sure their address details are up to date. The registration team can be contacted on 020 7580 3898 (option 1), or email Registrants can also check address details or download a form online.


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

Notes to editors
1. Optometrists and dispensing opticians who are practising in the UK are legally required to be registered with the GOC.

2. Registrants who do not return their completed form and payment by the deadline risk being removed from the registers from 1 April 2009.

3. If a retention application reaches the GOC after 15 March without the additional fee it will be returned to the applicant. The registrant’s name may be removed from the register on 1 April if full payment is not received by 31 March.

4. Registrants who pay by direct debit are still required to submit their completed retention form, in order to renew their GOC registration.

5. All equality and diversity information provided by registrants will remain strictly confidential. Information will be held on a separate database to which only a small number of authorised GOC staff will have access. Individuals responsible for investigating fitness to practise complaints will not have access to the information provided.

6. The GOC carried out a full consultation on their equality and diversity policy. Details about the GOC’s equality and diversity scheme are available in an information leaflet, which is included in retention packs. Information can also be found at (under Registration>Equality and diversity).

7. A list of those registrants removed from the registers from 1 April 2009 will be published on the GOC’s website, and copies will be sent to primary care organisations.

8. Registrants who are removed from the registers on 1 April and wish to continue practising in the UK must complete an application for restoration form. The restoration fee is £289.

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