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Gareth Hadley appointed new GOC Chair

15 Feb 2013

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Gareth Hadley has been appointed as the new Chair of the General Optical Council (GOC). He will take up the post on Tuesday 19 February.

Brian Coulter, interim GOC Chair since October 2012, said: “Gareth brings a wealth of experience to the GOC from a wide range of organisations. His experience and expertise will ensure we keep public protection at the very heart of the GOC while further improving our efficiency and effectiveness as a regulator.”

Gareth has over thirty years’ experience as a senior leader in organisations with complex stakeholder relations.

He has helped boards to strengthen their strategic engagement, to deliver complex change in difficult environments, to align support functions to business need, and to bring performance management and equality and diversity to the very core of the organisation.

Gareth Hadley said “I am delighted to be joining the GOC. This is a challenging time for all healthcare regulators and public awareness of, and concern about, integrity and accountability in healthcare has never been higher.

“For me, this means it is vital that we always work hard to enhance patient safety. I am looking forward to working with the Council’s stakeholders, staff and members in meeting those challenges and ensuring that the quality and safety of the patient experience remains central to all that we do.”

Gareth’s appointment was confirmed by the Privy Council after the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) approved the GOC’s recruitment procedure.


For further information please contact:
Simon Grier
Acting Communications Manager
General Optical Council
t: 020 7307 3478


1. Gareth’s biography is available from

2. The GOC Council is composed of twelve members; six GOC registrants and six lay members (not optometrists or dispensing opticians). The Chair must be a lay member. Their biographies are available here:

3. The Privy Council formally made the appointment based on the recommendation of the GOC’s selection panel.

4. The selection panel was independently assessed to ensure the process is fair, transparent, open, credible and based on merit. The appointments policy is available from

5. A photograph of Gareth is available on request.

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 25,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.

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