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GOC publishes guidance on professional duty of candour

6 Mar 2017

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has today published guidance to assist registrants in meeting its standard relating to the professional duty of candour that requires all those working in healthcare to be open, honest and transparent with patients when things go wrong and a patient has suffered physical or psychological harm or distress, or there might be implications for their future care.

Marcus Dye, GOC Head of Education and Standards said, “In our recent Registrant Survey, 86 percent of respondents told us they felt confident in their ability to meet our new Standards of Practice. However it was clear when we consulted on the Standards that registrants wanted more guidance to help them apply the professional duty of candour in practice. Candour is a relatively new concept in healthcare, so it’s not surprising that registrants asked for further help in this area.

“This guidance will help to support our registrants and give them extra confidence in applying the standard relating to the professional duty of candour.”

The guidance on the standards around the professional duty of candour can be found on the GOC website here:




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 the professional duty of candour is Standard 19 for fully qualified professionals and Standard 18 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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