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GOC appoints Lesley Longstone CB as Interim Chief Executive and Registrar

17 Sep 2018

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has today announced that Lesley Longstone will replace Adam Sampson as its Interim Chief Executive and Registrar, following Adam’s appointment to a permanent CEO role.

Lesley joins the GOC on 17 September to provide interim cover while the GOC’s permanent Chief Executive, Vicky McDermott, is on a period of absence due to personal reasons.

Lesley has worked in a variety of fields including employment, education, youth and criminal justice in both national and international contexts. She has recently completed periods as Interim Chief Executive of the Crown Prosecution Service and was previously Chief Executive of the Independent Police Complaints Commission. She has also held a number of senior roles in education, including as Director General at the Department for Education, and as Secretary and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Education in New Zealand.

Adam will be taking up a permanent CEO role leading a new charity being created to provide residential and education services to severely disabled children and adults.

Gareth Hadley, GOC Chair, said, “Lesley brings vast experience which will enable her to lead the GOC over the coming period. In particular, her expertise will help us to further our work in speeding up the complaints process while ensuring it remains scrupulously fair; and her background in education will be of huge benefit as our CET Review and Education Strategic Review ensure the optical workforce is fit for the future.

“I would also like to thank Adam for his contribution over the last three months and wish him well in his new, permanent role. In particular he has overseen the successful launch of our consultations on the future of CET and business standards, both of which received hundreds of responses. I wish him all the best in his new role, an extremely valuable venture supporting some of the most vulnerable members of our society.”

Lesley Longstone said, “It is clear that the optical sector is going through tremendous change right now and that this is a fascinating time to lead the GOC. It is crucial that the GOC modernises its education, CET and business standards to keep protecting the public in a world of new technology and increasing demands on eyecare services. I look forward to contributing to this vital change over the coming months and to working with the many talented and committed people I’ve met in my visits over the past couple of weeks.”



For further information please contact:

Communications Team
General Optical Council
t: 020 7307 3478 – option 3


1. Vicky McDermott is currently on a period of absence due to personal reasons:
2. A biography of Lesley Longstone is available on the GOC website here
3. A high resolution photograph of Lesley Longstone 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 30,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.

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