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News from 22 March Council

23 Mar 2012

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Law Commission review
Council discussed the Law Commission’s consultation on changes to the laws governing all healthcare professional regulators. The Commission has proposed a single, overarching statute that would cover all nine of the UK’s healthcare professional regulators, including the GOC. Regulators would be given broad powers to set their own processes and structures, under the oversight of CHRE. In total, the consultation document includes nearly 200 questions and proposals.

The GOC will be responding to the consultation and is encouraging stakeholders both among optics and the wider public to do the same. Responses are due by 31 May. The Law Commission’s draft bills will be subject to further public consultation. It is planned that any new laws will come into effect in 2015.

GOC business plan for 2012/13
Council discussed the GOC’s business plan for the 2012/13 financial year. It sets out the GOC’s commitment to focus on efficiency and effectiveness in delivering safe, fair, proportionate and transparent regulation. The plan lists the projects the GOC will be focussing on to achieve this over the next twelve months.

The projects include reviews of the future of student and body corporate registration. The GOC will also be implementing its enhanced CET scheme from January 2013, making further investments in its IT infrastructure following the successful introduction of online retention and considering relocating to a more modern office.

GOC budget for 2012/13
The GOC published its final budget estimate for 2012/13. The budget is based upon the Council’s lower retention fee of £260 – the second year in a row in which the retention fee has fallen for optometrists, dispensing opticians and body corporates. On top of the budgeted expenditure, the Council will spend some of its Strategic Reserve on ‘invest-to-save’ projects to improve the GOC’s long-term efficiency and effectiveness.

Next meeting – Wednesday 25 April 2012 at 10.00, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD

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The five strategic aims upon which the business plan is based are:
1. Deliver our mission effectively – providing safe, proportionate and fair public protection
2. Excellent strategic capacity – basing policy, regulatory practice and plans on sound evidence
3. Strong stakeholder relationships – building influence through effective working relationships and a real understanding of stakeholder issues
4. Integrated and streamlined processes – so that we develop and use systems that are efficient and cost effective
5. Shared culture and identity – supporting our staff, Council and Committees to deliver the GOC’s goals

For further information, please contact:
Neil Drake
GOC Communications Manager
020 7307 3473


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