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GOC registrants demonstrate ongoing fitness to practise

15 Apr 2016

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has today released figures showing that the vast majority of opticians have demonstrated their continuing fitness to practise by meeting the requirements of its Continuing Education and Training (CET) scheme.

The GOC removed just 160 registrants for failing to meet their CET requirements for the 2013-15 cycle – less than one per cent of the register.

The GOC has also removed a further 135 registrants from its registers for failure to apply for retention by the 31 March deadline.

GOC Chief Executive and Registrar, Samantha Peters, said: “It is pleasing to see such high compliance with our CET requirements. CET is essential for registrants to maintain and develop their knowledge and skills, and ensures that the public are protected and can be confident in the ability of their eye care practitioner. The scheme underwent a lot of changes for the 2013-15 cycle to encourage more interactive learning and the professions have embraced the changes tremendously.

“It is a legal requirement for all fully qualified registrants to renew their registration annually, and those registrants who did not complete their retention are now unable to practise until they have restored their registration. All employers and commissioners should ensure that any optometrist or dispensing optician working for them remains registered with the GOC.”

Any individual or business registrants who have been removed, but who wish to continue practising, must first restore to the register. To do this, applicants must complete a restoration form indicating that they have met the restoration requirements and pay a restoration fee. For individual practitioners, the restoration requirements include completing all necessary CET. Details are available on the GOC website.


For further information please contact:

Simon Grier
Communications Manager
General Optical Council
t: 020 7307 3478



1. A full breakdown of those removed for failing to apply for retention:

Optometrists: 62
Dispensing opticians: 73
Bodies corporate: 44

2. A breakdown of those removed for failing to meet their CET requirements:

Optometrists: 87
Dispensing opticians: 73

These figures do not include a further 22 registrants who applied for further consideration through the exceptional circumstances or dispute application processes and will be removed in May at the end of their appeal period, and four who have appealed and are still awaiting a decision from Registration Appeals Committee (RAC). One appeal decision has already been issued by the RAC which can be found on the GOC website.

3. These removal figures do not include 322 individual practitioners and 23 business registrants, who withdrew from the registers voluntarily (for example due to retirement, moving abroad, etc.).

4. 20,676 individual registrants and 2,457 body corporates successfully renewed their registration.

5. Restoration forms are available from

6. A full guide on CET can be found on the GOC’s website.

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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