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GOC announces new appointments to its statutory advisory committees

12 Jan 2017

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has today appointed 14 new members to its four statutory advisory committees.  The committee members will provide expert advice on key areas of the GOC’s work, ensuring that it accounts for the realities of a diverse range of optical practice.

After an extensive recruitment process which began in July 2016, the GOC has successfully recruited a combination of optometrists and dispensing opticians to its four statutory committees.

Speaking about the appointments GOC Chair, Gareth Hadley, said “Our committees have a huge responsibility for advising Council on issues that affect both registrants and the public. Their input will be crucial for key projects such as our Education Strategic Review, the future of business regulation, including new business standards, and considering legislative reform.”

“I look forward to working with all new committee members and drawing on their wealth of experience and expertise, to ensure that Council’s decisions continue to be informed by well-reasoned and up-to-date advice.”

Registration Committee

The GOC has appointed Louise Gow, Catherine Viner, Peter Black and Tony Harvey to its Registration Committee.

Louise Gow is an optometrist and was previously a Council member for the AOP between 2013 and 2015. She is currently the clinical lead optometrist at the Low Vision Centre for Action for Blind People (RNIB group).

Catherine Viner is an optometrist and has a diverse optometric background, with experience in the multiple, independent and academic sectors. She is also an assessor and examiner for the College of Optometrists and was a member of the GOC’s Hearings Panel from 2005-2015.

Peter Black is a dispensing optician. He is an advisor to the ABDO board and represents ABDO on a number of committees including the Optical Confederation Joint Education Committee and the Joint Optical Committee to the European Union.

Tony Harvey is a dispensing optician. He has worked as London Area Manager, then Head of Store Development for Boots Opticians; later moving on to the role of Head of Projects for Boots Properties. He is currently a Regional Manager for Boots Opticians,

Education Committee

The GOC has appointed Andrew Logan, Christine Dickinson, Mary Wright, Neil Retaillic and Kirsteen Newman to its Education Committee.

Andrew Logan is an optometrist and an optometry lecturer at the University of Bradford. At a postgraduate level, Andrew provides lectures for higher qualification programmes, particularly in glaucoma and independent prescribing.

Christine Dickinson is an optometrist and Honorary Optometrist Consultant at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. She was elected to a Life Fellowship of the College of Optometrists in 2010.

Mary Wright is an optometrist and has been working at Ipswich Hospital for the past two years, leading the optometry department. She is also a member of Suffolk Local Optometric Committee. 

Neil Retaillic is an optometrist and a visiting lecturer at Aston University. He is currently a committee member for various organisations including The College of Optometrists, The Optical Confederation and Manchester Local Optometric Committee.

Kirsteen Newman is a dispensing optician and a probationary ABDO Examiner. She joined the specialist Professional Training Department at Specsavers in 2013 after fulfilling the role of Regional Development Manager, specialising in opening new practices across the country.

Standards Committee

The GOC has appointed Joy Myint, Nigel Best, Marcus Weaver and Deirdre McAree to its Standards Committee.

Joy Myint is an optometrist and is currently the Programme Lead for Optometry at the University of Hertfordshire. She is also a Council member and Vice-Chair of the Research Committee for the College of Optometrists.

Nigel Best is an optometrist and was awarded a Fellowship of the British Contact Lens Association in 2009. He currently works with Specsavers Professional Services team, providing assistance to registrants subject to FTP investigation.

Marcus Weaver is a dispensing optician as well as a qualified solicitor. He specialised in employment law for more than a decade but currently practices as Laboratory Manager and dispensing optician at Specsavers Hessle.

Deirdre McAree is a dispensing optician and an Executive Council Member of Optometry Northern Ireland. She has 30 years’ experience in optics and has assisted in the training of numerous pre-reg optometrists and in the training of optical assistants.

Companies Committee

Deirdre McAree has been appointed to the Companies Committee in addition to the Standards Committee.

All appointees took up office on 1 January 2017.




For further information please contact:

Simon Grier

Communications Manager

General Optical Council

t: 020 7307 3478






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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