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GOC recruiting case examiners for new FTP Rules

11 Dec 2013

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has today launched a recruitment campaign for lay people and optical professionals to act as case examiners under its new Fitness to Practise (FTP) Rules.

Introducing case examiners is one of the main ways in which the GOC’s new FTP Rules will speed up its handling of complaints. The Rules are currently progressing through the Parliamentary process and are expected to come into force on 1 April 2014.

Mandie Lavin, Director of Regulation, said: “Our new FTP Rules are intended to help us better protect the public by speeding up the fitness to practise process so we can respond more quickly to complaints.

“The recruitment of case examiners is a crucial step towards this. Case examiners will play an active role in protecting the public, and both registrants and members of the public with the right skills should consider applying for these important roles.”

Case examiners will replace the Investigation Committee (IC) as the principal decision makers at the investigation stage. They will decide whether to refer complaints for a full investigation and fitness to practise hearing.

Other changes in the new Rules will include notifying registrants’ current employers of the outcome of an investigation or hearing and giving the Registrar the power to refer serious and urgent matters directly to the Fitness to Practise Committee to consider making an Interim Order.

The GOC has also launched a consultation on guidance for case examiners, and the Investigation and Fitness to Practise committees, to accompany the new Rules. More information on this consultation can be found on the GOC website.

Applicants have until 13 January 2014 to apply for the case examiner roles. For further details, those interested can visit the GOC website.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Simon Grier
Communications Manager
General Optical Council
t: 020 7307 3478
e: sgrier@optical.org

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. The General Optical Council (Fitness to Practise) Rules Order of Council 2013 (S.I., 2013, No. 2537) was laid before Parliament on 16 October 2013. The forty day ‘negative’ resolution period expired on 26 November 2013.

2. Under the negative resolution procedure, a statutory instrument is laid before Parliament in either draft form or after being made.

3. A statutory instrument which is laid in draft form can be revoked (and will not be made) if either House of Parliament votes against it within 40 days.

4. A statutory instrument which is laid after being made will come into force on the date stated on the statutory instrument, but will be annulled if a motion is passed by either House for its annulment within 40 days.

5. The recruitment process for case examiners opened on 11 December 2013 and closes on 14 January 2014.


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, performance and conduct amongst opticians. The Council currently registers around 26,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and

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