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GOC launches consultation on new standards for the optical professions

16 Mar 2015

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has today launched a consultation on new standards of practice for optometrists and dispensing opticians designed to promote higher standards across the optical professions by making it easier for registrants to understand the regulator’s expectations.

Chief Executive and Registrar, Samantha Peters, said, “The new standards of practice bring together in one place, and in an easy-to-digest format, all the information registrants need to understand what we expect of them. They will also make it much easier for patients to understand the standards they should expect from their optician.

“Registrants will need to use their professional judgement to decide how to apply the standards in any given situation, and may want to refer to guidance produced by professional bodies and other organisations in doing so, but the GOC’s standards should always be their first port of call.

“I encourage all registrants to get involved in this consultation and provide feedback to us on the proposed new standards. It is very important that the new standards can be easily applied by optometrists and dispensing opticians in their day-to-day work.

“As well as the consultation we’ll be running an online survey of registrants and focus groups with registrants, students and patients. I’d encourage everyone with an interest in our standards to let us know what they think.”

Once finalised, the new standards of practice will replace the GOC’s Code of Conduct for individuals.

As well as developing new standards for fully qualified optometrists and dispensing opticians, the GOC is also consulting on new standards specifically for students to recognise that their skills and knowledge will develop during the course of their education and training and that they work under supervision.

You can reply to the consultation by visiting

The consultation period will close on 7 June.


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


1. Details of the call for evidence are available at:

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 26,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.

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