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GOC retention opens for 2016/17

11 Jan 2016

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Optometrists, dispensing opticians and optical businesses can from today renew their annual General Optical Council (GOC) registration for the year beginning 1 April 2016. Applications must be submitted by 15 March together with the required fee. The retention fee for 2016/17 is £320.

Michelle Norman, GOC Head of Registration, said: “Retaining registration is a legal requirement for anyone carrying out restricted functions or using a protected title such as optometrist or dispensing optician. Those who fail to retain will be removed from our registers and will be unable to practise in the UK.

“I encourage registrants to apply for retention as soon as possible. The process is quick and simple via the MyGOC area of 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 £220. They must apply for the reduced fee by 1 February 2016 by completing the application form that is available on the GOC website before completing their retention application online.

Any practitioner who does not apply for retention by the 15 March 2016 deadline will face a £20 late application fee. Registrants who have still not renewed their registration by 31 March 2016, including payment of the late fee, may be removed from the registers after 1 April 2016.

Registrants can apply online from today by logging in to their MyGOC account 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, and pay the restoration fee of £70 in addition to the retention fee of £320.

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 29,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.

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