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GOC recognised as meeting all the Standards of Good Regulation

27 Jun 2014

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has been recognised as ‘maintaining its performance as an effective regulator’ by the body which oversees its work.

In its annual performance review of UK regulators, the Professional Standards Authority (the Authority) found that the GOC met all 24 of its Standards of Good Regulation during 2013/14.

The Authority reported being pleased at the high level of compliance from registrants with the GOC’s new Continuing Education and Training (CET) scheme. They also praised changes to the way the GOC captures patient feedback in its quality assurance of education providers, its efficient processing of registration and retention applications, the reduction in the median length of fitness to practise cases and its ‘proportionate and targeted’ draft strategy for tackling illegal practice.

The report did express concern about a decline in the median time for the GOC to make an Interim Order decision. It notes however that the GOC expects its new Fitness to Practise (FTP) Rules, which came into effect on 1 April 2014, to lead to improved performance against this standard in the future.

Gareth Hadley, GOC Chair, said: “We are very encouraged to receive a positive report from the Professional Standards Authority across all of our core functions. However we are determined to drive further improvement, particularly in realising the benefit of our new FTP Rules to help speed up the time in which we deal with complaints.

“It’s also great to see the Authority recognise the efforts that registrants have made in engaging with our enhanced CET scheme. We will continue to work closely with the Authority to explore how we can work together to protect and promote public health and safety.”

The report is available on the Authority’s website at

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


1. The Professional Standards Authority assess each of the nine UK healthcare regulators every year. The process looks at how each regulator carries out its functions and their general performance against agreed standards. The review highlights good practice and identifies areas for improvement. It covers the period 1 April 2013 – 31 March 2014.

2. The Authority’s Standards of Good Regulation are available here:

3. The Authority oversees the following nine UK regulatory bodies:
- the General Medical Council (GMC), which regulates doctors
- the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which regulates nurses, midwives and specialist community public health nurses
- the Health and Care Professions Council (HPC), which regulates 16 health and care professions
- the General Dental Council (GDC), which regulates dentists, dental hygienists and dental therapists
- the General Optical Council (GOC), which regulates optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses
- the General Chiropractic Council (GCC), which regulates chiropractors
- the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC), which regulates osteopaths
- the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), which regulates pharmacists
- the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI), which regulates pharmacists.

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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