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GOC Investigation Committee 'makes sound decisions'

22 Oct 2012

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The General Optical Council’s (GOC) Investigation Committee has been assessed as ‘making sound decisions’ by the body which scrutinises and oversees its work.

The Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE) audit found that the public can be reassured that: “The GOC assesses any risks to patients at an early stage in the investigation process and that complaints are generally progressed…in a timely manner.”

CHRE also found “A number of examples of good practice” when looking at 42 cases from December 2011 to May 2012 which the GOC closed in the investigation phase.

GOC chief executive and registrar Samantha Peters said, “This report should provide assurance to both the public and registrants that we deal with complaints about registrants in a fair, effective and proportionate way.”

The report also stated that CHRE “Had no concerns about any of the [GOC’s] decisions made to close cases at the initial stages of the fitness to practise process”.

It added, “Our findings in this year’s audit are generally consistent with those in our last audit confirming that the GOC’s investigation committee makes sound decisions.”

The report is available on the CHRE website at


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



1. In July 2012 CHRE audited all 42 cases that the General Optical Council (GOC) had closed at the initial stages of its fitness to practise (FTP) processes during the six month period 1 December 2011 to 31 May 2012.

2. All complaints received by the GOC go to its Investigation Committee (IC). The committee decides whether each complaint should be referred to the GOC’s independent Fitness to Practise Committee.

3. Further information about the GOC investigation process is available from

4. Further information about the role of IC, including the circumstances under which it may choose a particular course of action, are available in the GOC’s IC guidance document:

5. On 1 December, CHRE will become the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care. More information is available here:

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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