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White Paper update: Optical regulator agrees reconstitution of membership

13 Mar 2008

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Optical regulator agrees reconstitution of membership
At its March meeting, Council agreed to initially reduce the number of members to 12, with parity of professional and lay membership. The decision follows Government recommendations that healthcare regulatory Councils become smaller and more ‘board-like’. It is expected that the newly-constituted Council will take up office from April 2009. In March 2007, members originally proposed to reduce the number of members from 28 to a maximum of 13, with a lay majority. However, the legislation needed to enable a lay majority of Council members is not expected to be approved until early 2010. Members therefore agreed to a two-step approach to the change, so that an additional lay member can be appointed once the enabling legislation is in place. A smaller Council means members will have a more strategic role, and will enable more effective decision-making.

Council agrees transitional committee membership arrangements
GOC members today agreed a transitional approach to appointing new committee members. Changes to the governance of Council mean that in future Council and committee membership will be separated.
The decision, which was taken at the March meeting of Council, means that committees will be reconstituted, but will be populated with existing members for a transitional period of 12 to 18 months.
The new Council will decide on an appointments process for committees once it is in place from April 2009.
Council will in future be smaller and fulfil a more strategic role, including holding committees and the executive to account.

GOC determines qualities for Council members
Members today gave approval to a person specification for members of a newly-constituted Council, subject to amendments. Attributes of potential candidates will include knowledge and experience of: 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, and; audit/risk management work in a complex organisation. Final changes to the wording will be made to reflect members' comments. The person specification will then be used by the independent recruiting body responsible for appointing Council members. The GOC anticipate the recruitment process for Council members to begin in Autumn 2008.

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