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GOC publishes guidance on gaining valid consent

27 Apr 2017

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has today published guidance on obtaining valid consent to assist registrants in meeting its standards of practice.

The guidance reflects patients’ rights to determine what happens to their own bodies and to make informed choices when purchasing optical appliances and services. Obtaining valid consent should be seen as part of an on-going discussion and decision-making process between a healthcare professional and their patient.

Marcus Dye, GOC Head of Standards and CET said, “Gaining valid consent is a fundamental part of optical practice, but it was clear from the consultation on our standards of practice that registrants wanted further guidance on how to meet this requirement in their day-to-day work.

“We consulted closely with a range of stakeholders, including patients and the public, registrants, professional bodies, employers and insurers, to develop further guidance in this particular area. 

“Our new guidance helps to clarify our standard relating to obtaining valid consent and supports our registrants in meeting it in their daily practice.”

The guidance on consent, including the legal framework on assessing capacity to consent for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, can be found on the GOC website here alongside the new guidance on the professional duty of candour published in March 2017.



For further information please contact:

GOC Communications Team
General Optical Council
t: 020 7580 3898 (option 4)



1.    The Standards of Practice came in to effect on 1 April 2016.


2.    The standard relating to obtaining valid consent is Standard 3 for fully qualified professionals and for students. To access the new Standards in full, please visit:


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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