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GOC reminds students of dangers of not maintaining registration

8 Sep 2014

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The General Optical Council (GOC) is today reminding student optometrists and dispensing opticians of the importance of maintaining their GOC registration following a rise in the number removed from the register for failing to apply by the final 31 August deadline.

In total, 244 students were removed from the register, the highest figure since the GOC moved to an online retention process in 2011. First-year students made up the majority of those removed, accounting for nearly 60 per cent.

Maintaining GOC registration is a legal requirement and being removed from the register can put an individual’s career at risk. All students removed from the register are unable to take part in any clinical training or sit theory or practical assessments and cannot continue with their studies until they have been restored to the register.

Philip Hallam, GOC Head of Registration, said: “I must stress the importance to all students, especially first-years, of maintaining their registration every year. By not registering, students are breaking the law and are putting their future careers in jeopardy. I strongly urge all students who we removed to restore their registration as promptly as possible to ensure they can continue their studies.”

Students removed from the registers must pay a £45 restoration fee to continue their studies instead of the usual £25 annual retention fee.

Since the introduction of the online MyGOC tool, there has been an overall rise in retention figures with the new process making it faster and more efficient to reapply to the register. A survey conducted by the GOC in 2011 showed that 93 per cent of student registrants now complete their retention in ten minutes or less with 89 per cent finding the process easy or very easy to use.

ENDS

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

Notes for editors:
1. Out of 4247 students on the register, 244 did not apply for retention before the deadline and were removed from the register.

Of these, 100 were student optometrists; 45 in their first year of study, 18 in their second year, 17 in their third year and 18 in their pre-registration year.

144 student dispensing opticians were removed from the register; 95 in their first year of study, 22 in their second year, 23 in their third year and 4 overseas applicants.

94.02 per cent of student registrants applied by the deadline.

2. A link to the 2011 student registrants survey can be found here: http://www.optical.org/goc/download.cfm?docid=5E115DCA-5066-452D-A22F153935E3E663

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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