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Sinead Burns appointed to GOC Council

21 Sep 2016

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Sinead Burns has been appointed as the newest lay member of the General Optical Council (GOC).

Sinead will join the GOC Council on 1 October 2016.

GOC Chair Gareth Hadley welcomed the announcement, saying: “I am delighted to welcome Sinead to Council. Sinead brings a wealth of experience of healthcare and public protection, as an occupational psychologist and through her work at the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland. I look forward to working closely with Sinead and drawing on her insight to help us in our work of serving the interests of the public in the optical sector.”

Sinead Burns said: “I am delighted to join the GOC. The optical sector is continuing to evolve as a result of new technology and an ageing population, and it is important that regulation adapts and enables developments in eye care that benefit patients. I look forward to working alongside my fellow Council members and GOC staff to further the Council’s vital public protection work.”

Sinead is an occupational psychologist and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Sinead served as Commissioner for Judicial Appointments in Northern Ireland from 2005 until 2013 and is Vice President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI). She will step down from her role at the PSNI on 30 September.

In March 2016, Sinead was appointed by Her Majesty The Queen as a Civil Service Commissioner for Northern Ireland. Sinead is also a Lay Magistrate and a Lay Representative within the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency."

The appointment was confirmed by the Privy Council after the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) confirmed that the GOC’s recruitment process was appropriate.

Sinead will replace outgoing Council member Brian Coulter, whose term finishes on 30 September 2016.


For further information please contact:

Simon Grier
Communications Manager
General Optical Council
t: 020 7307 3478


1. Sinead’s biography is available from

2. The GOC Council is composed of twelve members; six GOC registrants and six lay members (not optometrists or dispensing opticians). The Chair must be a lay member. Their biographies are available here:

3. The Privy Council formally made the appointment based on the recommendation of the GOC’s selection panel.

4. The selection panel was independently assessed to ensure the process is fair, transparent, open, credible and based on merit. The appointments policy is available from

5. Photographs of Sinead are available on request.

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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