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GOC welcomes Professional Standards Authority performance review

11 May 2017

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has today welcomed the Professional Standards Authority’s (The Authority) 2015-16 performance review report. The GOC has met 22 of The Authority’s 24 Standards of Good Regulation. This is an improvement on the previous review when the GOC met 21 of the Standards.

The Authority’s report notes a number of changes that the GOC has made to its registration processes to improve the accuracy of the register. These improvements enabled the GOC to pass The Authority’s third registration standard, which it had not done so in 2014-15.

Samantha Peters, Chief Executive and Registrar, said: “We welcome The Authority’s report and their feedback on our work to protect the public. We are pleased that they have recognised the significant work we have done to improve the quality assurance of our register.”

The standards the GOC did not meet relate to information governance and the total time taken to process fitness to practise complaints. The review covered the period 1 April 2015 – 30 September 2016.

Samantha Peters added, “We have already made significant improvements in our information governance since the period under review, which the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has recognised. Where we had a small number of information breaches the ICO recognised the swift and appropriate action we took to minimise any risk and as a result they did not take any enforcement action against us.

“We have also made changes to improve the efficiency of the fitness to practise process. These changes are improving the way we handle new cases so we hope to see an improvement in our processing time once our older cases have filtered through the system.

“We fully understand the importance for both registrants and patients alike in improving the time we take to deal with cases and this remains an organisational priority.

“We look forward to continuing to work together with The Authority to protect patients and the public.”

The full report is available at:



For further information please contact:
Communications Team
General Optical Council
t: 020 7580 3898 (option 4)



1. The Professional Standards Authority assess each of the nine UK healthcare regulators every year. The process looks at how each regulator carries out its functions and their general performance against agreed standards. The review highlights good practice and identifies areas for improvement. It covers the period 1 April 2015 – 30 September 2016.

2. The Authority’s Standards of Good Regulation are available here:

3. The Authority oversees the following nine UK regulatory bodies:
- the General Medical Council (GMC), which regulates doctors
- the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which regulates nurses, midwives and specialist community public health nurses
- the Health and Care Professions Council (HPC), which regulates 16 health and care professions
- the General Dental Council (GDC), which regulates dentists, dental hygienists and dental therapists
- the General Optical Council (GOC), which regulates optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses
- the General Chiropractic Council (GCC), which regulates chiropractors
- the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC), which regulates osteopaths
- the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), which regulates pharmacists
- the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI), which regulates pharmacists.

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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