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GOC retention opens for 2014/15

6 Jan 2014

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GOC retention opens for 2014/15

Optometrists, dispensing opticians and optical businesses can from today renew their General Optical Council (GOC) registration for 2014/15. Applications must be submitted by 15 March together with the required fee. The retention fee for 2014/15 is £290.

By law UK optometrists and dispensing opticians must register with the GOC in order to practise. Certain optical businesses must also register. Failure to complete retention each year will lead to removal from the register.

Philip Hallam, GOC Head of Registration said: “Registration is a legal requirement for anyone carrying out restricted functions or using a protected title. Those who fail to retain will be removed from our registers and will be unable to practise.

“I would therefore encourage registrants to apply for retention as soon as possible. The process is quick and simple on our website, and by applying in good time registrants will have peace of mind that they are registered for the next year.”

Practitioners with a total gross income of less than £12,000 per year are eligible for the GOC’s low income fee of £190. They must apply for the reduced fee by 1 February 2014 by completing the application form that is available on the GOC website before completing their retention application online.

Any practitioner who does not apply by the 15 March 2014 deadline will face a £20 late application fee. Registrants who have still not renewed their registration by 31 March 2014, including payment of the late fee, will be removed from the registers after 1 April 2014. 

Anyone removed from the registers will be unable to practise in the UK, or use a protected title such as optometrist or dispensing optician, until they have successfully applied for restoration.

Registrants can apply online at


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

1. Registrants who experience a problem during the online application process or have a question can contact the registration team by email at, by sending a tweet to @GOC_UK, or by calling 020 7580 3898 and selecting option 1.

2. Registrants who pay by direct debit are still required to apply for retention in order to renew their GOC registration.

3. Registrants who are removed from the registers from 1 April and wish to continue practising in the UK must complete an application for restoration form.

4. The restoration fee is £70 in addition to the appropriate full retention fee. Registrants also need to have earned 12 general CET points to restore (and six specialist points where applicable) in the 12 months prior to their restoration application, six of which must be from interactive CET.

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 optical businesses.

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