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Vast majority of registrants hit CET target

4 Jan 2013

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The deadline for optometrists and dispensing opticians to meet their Continuing Education and Training (CET) points target has now passed, with the General Optical Council (GOC) announcing that 96 per cent of registrants met their points target by the 31 December 2012 deadline.

Final results for the end of the cycle show that 97 per cent of optometrists, 94 per cent of dispensing opticians, 96 per cent of contact lens opticians, and 99 per cent of therapeutics specialists had gained their minimum points requirement by the end of 2012.

Registrants who have still not gained the sufficient points are now ‘in shortfall’ and will not be able to apply to renew their registration for 2013/14 until they have met their target.

Registrants in shortfall will receive formal notification by next week. Anyone who believes their record is inaccurate must write to the Registrar by 18 January 2013 to log a dispute.

Linda Ford, GOC Head of Education and Standards, said: “Almost all registrants have completed their CET on time and can now apply to renew their registration from Monday 7 January. This is a positive message for patients who can be assured their optician has kept their skills up to date and is fit to practise.”

31 December marked the end of the GOC’s 2010-12 CET cycle, with a series of new requirements coming in for 2013-15.

A total of 36 points is still required over the three year period, but with an expectation that registrants obtain at least six points per year.

More interactive learning is one of the main focuses of the enhanced CET scheme, with at least 50 per cent of points now needing to be achieved through interactive CET. The number of points given for a task will reflect the level of interactivity required, as well as the extent to which the activity supports reflective practice.


For further information please contact:
Simon Grier
Acting Communications Manager
General Optical Council
t: 020 7307 3478



1. For more details of forthcoming changes to the CET scheme, please visit

2. Within a three-year CET cycle, full registrants are required to earn 36 general points, and 18 specialty points where appropriate. For those joining the register part-way through a cycle, the requirement is calculated pro rata.

3. Optometrists with a therapeutic prescribing specialty and dispensing opticians with the contact lens specialty are required to earn 18 specialty CET points in addition to 36 general points. Specialty registration cannot be maintained if a registrant does not earn enough general points. For example, a contact lens optician who has earned enough contact lens points, but who has a shortfall of general points, will be removed from the register as both a dispensing optician and contact lens optician.

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 25,000 optometrists, dispensing opticians, student opticians and optical businesses.

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