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News from 13 February Council

18 Feb 2013

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Business plan 2013/14

Council approved the GOC’s business plan for 2013/14. 

The plan will see the GOC complete its reviews of how optical businesses and students will be regulated in the future. The ongoing reviews are considering the potential risks to the public from different types of optical business and from students, and how they might be mitigated in a way that is fair, effective and proportionate.

The GOC will also conduct a review of its standards of competence, conduct and performance. This review will enable the GOC to protect the public by ensuring that its standards are clear, accessible and up-to-date.

In the coming year the GOC will also consider its approach to tackling illegal practice; will prepare to implement new Fitness to Practise Rules, subject to Parliamentary approval; and will develop a new customer relationship management (CRM) system to manage data and information more efficiently.

GOC chief executive and registrar Samantha Peters said: “The projects in our business plan are heavily focused on our core regulatory functions. They all have public protection at their heart, while ensuring that we remain efficient, effective and proportionate in our work.

“I like forward to working with our staff, Council and stakeholders over the coming year to make sure these projects deliver real benefits to patients.”

The business plan covers the 2013/14 financial year (1 April 2013 – 31 March 2014).

Other news

Council welcomed the Charity Commission’s decision to award the GOC charitable status. Charitable status will bring the GOC cost savings in a number of areas, including lower VAT on fuel and lower costs for IT equipment, training and recruitment.

Council approved the GOC’s budget for the 2013-14 financial year. The budget is based on the frozen retention fee of £260, the third consecutive reduction in real terms. As well as the savings from becoming a charity, the GOC is also cutting costs by bringing its CET IT system, including telephone support, in-house. It has been confirmed that the GOC will not have to pay a levy to the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) in 2013-14.

Council also discussed the Francis Inquiry and its implications for professional regulation, including the emphasis on the importance of peer review, and approved a new set of financial regulations to ensure that the GOC’s systems and processes are robust and cost-effective.

Next meeting – Wednesday 27 March 2013 at 41 Harley Street, London, W1G 8DJ. Time to be confirmed at a later date.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Simon Grier
GOC Acting Communications Manager
020 7307 3473
sgrier@optical.org

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