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Thousands hit CET target

5 Jan 2010

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has today announced that 96 per cent of registrants achieved their Continuing Education and Training (CET) minimum requirement by the 31 December 2009 deadline.

Final results for the end of the second CET cycle show that 97 per cent of optometrists, 92 per cent of dispensing opticians, 94 per cent of contact lens opticians, and 92 per cent of therapeutics specialists had gained their minimum points requirement by the end of 2009.

Commenting on a successful result for GOC registrants, chief executive and registrar, Dian Taylor said: “This is an excellent result for the optical professions, and for patients. Optometrists and dispensing opticians have demonstrated a clear understanding of the responsibilities that come with being GOC-registered.”

The number of registrants in shortfall has reduced by more than half, when compared to the end of the previous CET cycle in 2006. In total, 754 practitioners failed to reach their points requirement by 31 December 2009. The shortfall total includes 331 optometrists, 359 dispensing opticians, 58 contact lens opticians and 6 therapeutics specialists.

Registrants in shortfall will receive formal notification this week. Anyone who believes their record is inaccurate must write to the Registrar by 31 January 2010 to log a dispute. Registrants with a shortfall (including where a dispute is unsuccessful) will need to make up the required number of points by 15 March 2010, or they will be removed from the Register from 1 April 2010.

Registrants with a shortfall in CET points are not eligible to apply for 2010-2011 retention until they have made up that shortfall. Anyone who tries to apply for retention without having fulfilled the CET minimum requirement will have their application returned to them.


For media enquiries please contact:

Clare March
Communications Manager
General Optical Council
t: 020 7307 3473


1. Within a three-year CET cycle, full registrants are required to earn 36 general points, and 18 specialty points where appropriate. For those joining the register part-way through a cycle, the requirement is calculated pro rata.

2. Optometrists with either the supplementary and/ or additional supply of therapeutic drugs specialty; and dispensing opticians with the contact lens specialty, are required to earn 18 specialty CET points in addition to 36 general points. Specialty registration cannot be maintained if a registrant does not earn enough general points. For example, a contact lens optician who has earned enough contact lens points, but who has a shortfall of general points, will be removed from the register as both a dispensing optician and contact lens optician.

3. The new CET cycle runs from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2012. This is the last CET cycle to run its course before revalidation is introduced for all fully-registered optometrists and dispensing opticians, in January 2013.


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