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Recruitment for new GOC chair and members gets underway

1 Sep 2008

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A campaign to recruit a new lay chair of the General Optical Council (GOC) and 11 Council members has been launched today. The process is being independently managed by the Appointments Commission. This is the first time that all GOC Council members will be selected by an external body.

The move is in line with Government recommendations outlined in the White Paper on healthcare regulation, Trust, Assurance and Safety. The new Council will have an equal number of lay and professional members, and it is intended that the smaller Council will fulfil a more strategic, ‘board-like’ role. The newly-appointed lay chair will take up office in January 2009, followed by the further 11 lay and professional Council members in April 2009.

Dian Taylor, Acting Registrar and Chief Executive commented: “We are currently working through a period of significant reform. This will offer optometrists, dispensing opticians and lay candidates the opportunity to shape the future of optical regulation – and play an instrumental role in public protection.”

Jan Nottingham, who is coordinating the campaign at the Appointments Commission added: “It is crucial that the future GOC reflects the diversity of both the professions and the public it serves. For this reason, we are encouraging applications from a cross section of candidates who possess a mix of personal attributes, skills and experience.”

Successful candidates will have knowledge and experience of operating within a strategic role in the following: delivering governance in the public or private sector; financial work in a complex organisation; higher education and training in an optical or non-optical field; audit/risk management work in a complex organisation; specialist expertise of work relating to the GOC; and professional expertise relating to either optometry or dispensing optics.

The closing date for applications is 3 October 2008. Council members including the chair are appointed for an initial period not exceeding four years.

For an application pack visit the Appointments Commission website

Download the recruitment advert (large font text only version) 


For press enquiries please contact:
Clare Millington
Communications Officer
General Optical Council
t: 020 7307 3473

For more information about the positions please contact:
Appointments Commission Recruitment Services Centre
t: 0870 240 3802

Notes to editors

1. A draft Constitution Order has been issued by the Department of Health, which is currently open for consultation. This Order needs to be in place before any appointments can be made. The Order will provide that the Council be comprised of 12 members (including the chair) as follows:

  • 6 registrant members (that is members who are registered optometrists or registered dispensing opticians); and
  • 6 lay members, including the chair (currently defined as members who are not and never have been registered in a register, or a director of a body corporate registered in a register, maintained by the Council, and do not hold qualifications which would entitle them to apply for registration in one of the registers maintained under section 7 or 8B [of the Opticians Act 1989] )

2. At least 1 member of the Council must live or work wholly or mainly in each of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

3. To respond to the Department of Health consultation on the GOC Constitution Order, visit their website:

4. The expected timeline for recruiting a lay chair is as follows:

  • Shortlisting: w/c 3/11/08 
  • Interviews: w/c 17/11/08

5. The chair will be required to assist with the shortlisting and interviewing of the other 11 Council members. The expected timeline for this process is as follows:

  • Shortlisting by 23/01/09 (approx five days)
  • Interviews between 09-23/02/09 (seven days)

6. In March 2008, current members agreed that new Council members will receive an annual honorarium of £12,000. The chair will receive £35,000 per annum.

7. It is expected that an average commitment of 2-3 days per month will be required for members, including travelling time and time spent preparing for meetings.

8. It is expected that a notional time commitment of 2 to 3 days per week will required for the chair to include meetings, representing the GOC at external events, preparation, and regular email/telephone communication

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