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Gareth Hadley reappointed as Chair of the GOC Council

9 Jan 2017

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Gareth Hadley has been reappointed as Chair of the General Optical Council (GOC). His second four year term will begin on 18 February 2017 and will run for the next four years until 17 February 2021.

Building on four successful years in the role, Gareth will bring to his second term as Chair, his thirty years’ experience as a senior leader and the strong relationships he has forged with GOC stakeholders.

Gareth welcomed his reappointment, saying: “Over the last four years it has been a great pleasure to work with my fellow Council members, committee members and the staff of the GOC, and I am delighted to be continuing on in my role as Chair.

“There is a great deal of work to be done over the next four years, especially regarding the learning and development of optical professionals. The sector is going through a process of significant transformation; technological change and the growing demand for eye care are altering the roles that optometrists and dispensing opticians have traditionally played.

“My second term as Chair will therefore see a prioritisation of our Education Strategic Review. This project is essential to ensure that we equip optical professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to undertake roles of the future and to meet the health and care needs of the UK population.

“I will seek to lead the Council in close collaboration with all our stakeholders to ensure that we are responsive to the changing environment and that regulation helps rather than hinders developments in eye care that would benefit patients and the wider public; including by working with Government to ensure that the legislative framework is appropriate.”

“I am looking forward to continuing to work with the Council’s stakeholders, staff and members to make sure that protecting and promoting the health and safety of the public remains at the heart of all that we do.”

Gareth’s appointment was confirmed by the Privy Council after the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) confirmed that the GOC’s reappointment process was appropriate.



For further information please contact:

Simon Grier

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 29,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.

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