August 2009
General Optical Council Promoting good eye care, protecting the public
GOC stakeholder update - August 2009

What do you want from the GOC's registers?

This Autumn, we are hosting a series of consultation events to find out how we can improve the Opticians Registers. 

Events will be held around the UK, and will be focusing on issues including:

  • How can we make the registers more accessible?
  • What information should we publish on the registers?
  • How can we make the registers more user friendly?

Each event will begin with a short presentation from the GOC. This will be followed by group discussion on how we could improve the registers.

What should the GOC’s role be?

We’ll also be asking for your thoughts on the Council’s work priorities and strategy for 2010-15, for example:

  • What should we be doing to help registrants meet the standards?
  • What should we be doing to protect the public?

Meet the Council, have a drink on us

An informal drinks and networking session will follow, and GOC representatives and Council members will be on hand to participate in the discussions and listen to your views.

The four events will be held on the following dates:

21 September, Cardiff; 17:30 – 20:00
Wales Millennium Centre, Bute Place, CF10 5AL

28 September, Birmingham; 18:00 – 20:15
Aston University, Aston Triangle, B4 7BT

30 September, Belfast; 17:30 – 20:00
Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland, 73 University St, BT7 1HL

27 October, Edinburgh; 18:00 – 20:30
Apex City Hotel, 31-35 Grassmarket, EH1 2HS

The events are free to attend but space is limited. If you would like to attend, please register your interest in advance. Register online or contact Simon Grier on 020 7307 3478, or email 

Book your place at an event now to avoid disappointment

GOC consultation

Investigation Committee guidance

Registration fees

Welsh Language Scheme


Five-year strategy

How we consult

Past consultations

Our responses to other consultations




Get involved in our work: current consultations

We have recently launched consultations on two key areas of GOC policy, and would welcome your feedback on the following issues:

Investigation Committee guidance: We are consulting on the guidance used by our Investigation Committee when deciding what action should be taken in a fitness to practise complaint against a registrant. Issues include: will the guidance help to ensure consistency in decision-making? Are the factors identified in the guidance relevant to the Committee’s consideration of individual cases?

Registration fees: We are also consulting on our registration fee structure, inviting comment on a range of fee options such as: different fees for optometrists and dispensing opticians; lower fees for new registrants; and fees for those on a lower income.CLs

Other open consultations:

Strategy for 2010-15 – closes 31 August 2009
Welsh Language Scheme – closes 11 September 2009
Revalidation scheme – closes 30 September 2009

We take consultation seriously and would like to hear your views on all of these issues. For a look at how we consult, see our consultation framework.

Attend a Council meeting

Our Council is made up of 12 members, all of whom are independently appointed. The Council meets in public four times a year, and members are responsible for setting the strategic direction of the GOC.

Attending a Council meeting gives you an insight into key issues affecting the organisation, and is an opportunity to understand how decisions are made.

There are two remaining meetings this year:

Date: Wednesday 23 September
Venue: 41 Harley Street, London, W1G 8DJ
On the agenda: financial reporting; the future of education visit reports; the CHRE’s performance review of the GOC.

Date: Wednesday 18 November Ami-Alan
Venue: 41 Harley Street, London, W1G 8DJ
On the agenda: decision on 2010-11 registration fees; approving the Council’s draft strategy for 2010-15.

Full agendas and Council papers are published on our website a week before the Council meeting.

If you would like to attend a Council meeting, contact Maria Claridge on or 020 7307 3469.

GOC visits Citizens Advice conference 

On 8 – 9 September, the GOC is exhibiting at the annual Citizens Advice conference in York. This is the first time that we have participated in the event, which will be attended by over 1,000 delegates from a range of backgrounds.

The conference is an opportunity for the GOC to meet Citizens Advice representatives, patients and members of the public. We will be raising awareness of the Opticians Registers, the complaints process, and of our role as the regulator for opticians in the UK.Linda

In line with our stakeholder engagement strategy, we are encouraging greater patient and public involvement in our work. To help us achieve this, we are launching a patient and public survey at the event. The survey is designed to measure public awareness of the GOC, and of opticians as regulated professionals. We also invite suggestions on ways we can improve our services to patients and the public.

In addition, we will launch two information leaflets: About the GOC and How to complain about an optician. Both leaflets and the survey will be available at from the autumn.

About GOC Stakeholder Update

We have sent you this news update because we regard you as a key GOC stakeholder and would like to hear your views on our work. GOC Stakeholder Update is designed to let you know how you can get involved in GOC policy and other developments, and is sent approximately four times a year. We will not share your contact details with any third party. If you do not wish to receive GOC Stakeholder Update, please email with ‘unsubscribe’ in the subject line.