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

Take part in the GOC's patient and public survey

The GOC has launched a patient and public survey to help determine how it can increase awareness of its work and help to protect the public.

The survey is designed to invite feedback on ways in which the Council can improve its patient and public services, such as: the online Opticians Registers; information on how to complain; and ways in which we can promote the importance of registration.

Questions include:

  • What information would you like to receive from the GOC, and how?
  • What information would you like to find out about an optician?
  • Would it be useful if opticians displayed their registration details? and
  • Have you ever had concerns about an optician?

Your responses to the survey will help to inform the GOC’s future services and policies.

Respond to the patient and public survey

GOC consultation


How we consult

Past consultations

Our responses to other consultations




GOC launches 'phase two' of strategy consultation

The GOC has launched ‘phase two’ of a consultation that will help to determine the Council’s work priorities for 2010-15.

Currently, the GOC has identified three strategic priorities:

  • Modernising to become more efficient and effective;
  • Supporting UK opticians in delivering safe, high-quality care; and
  • Promoting a wider understanding of the GOC’s role and engaging stakeholders in the GOC’s work. 

In May, the GOC began the consultation process by launching an open consultation on its future strategy. As well as receiving written responses, Council heard many stakeholder organisations deliver presentations to offer their views on how the GOC’s role should develop over the next five years. This feedback has shaped the draft strategy.

The consultation closes on 1 February and is available online

Consultation round-up

The following consultations have now closed:

  • GOC registration fee structure – following this consultation, the GOConsultationC has introduced different fees for optometrists and dispensing opticians for 2010-11. For more information see news from 18 November Council
  • Welsh Language Scheme – see below.
  • Initial revalidation proposals – the GOC is now developing more detailed revalidation proposals in light of the responses received from this consultation. Further consultation is planned for 2010.
  • Investigation Committee guidance – feedback is currently being analysed before the guidance is approved and issued.

View all past GOC consultations

 GOC asks: how can the opticians' registers be improved?

This Autumn, the GOC hosted a series of ‘listening’ events for the public, employers, and GOC registrants, designed to gather ideas about how the Opticians Registers can be improved.

Events took place in Cardiff, Birmingham, Belfast and Edinburgh. Each session explored how the Opticians Registers could be made more user-friendly, relevant and accessible. Council members also attended the sessions, along with GOC staff representatives, to hear attendees’ views on how the GOC can continue to fulfil its role to protect the public.

You can read a report of the findings from these events here

Also in September, the GOC exhibited at the annual Citizens Advice Conference in York. GOC staff met with patient groups and bureau managers to discuss ways to raise awareness of the Council’s role. At the event, the GOC also launched two patient information leaflets: ‘How to complain about an optician’, and ‘About us’.

Acrobat Reader icon How to complain about an optician
Acrobat Reader icon About us - the General Optical Council  
GOC staff and members also helped on the Eye Health Alliance stand at the three major political party conferences to promote the benefits of having regular sight tests.

And finally to round off a busy Autumn events season, the GOC headed north to Edinburgh for the Scottish Health Service regulation event, where revalidation in of healthcare professionals was high on the agenda.

If you are interested in attending future GOC listening events, please email Simon Grier on or call 020 7307 3478. 

GOC publishes new codes

In November, the new GOC Codes of Conduct for individual and business registrants were approved by Council and are now available to download. The new Codes come into effect on 1 April 2010 and will apply to all registered opticians, trainee opticians and optical businesses. The GOC will send all registrants a copy of the new Code of Conduct for individual registrants in February 2010.

Earlier this year the GOC consulted on changes to the new Codes, and hosted a discussion event to explore the possible changes. The event was attended by patients, the public, registrants, charities and optical bodies.

The new Codes make it explicit that registrants are required to report concerns about their own, or a colleague’s fitness to practise. They also: clarify that personal misconduct away from practise may put an optician’s registration at risk; stipulate that registrants should show respect to all people; and bring trainee opticians under the remit of the Code.

A full report of the consultation feedback and the decisions taken by the GOC is now available on the GOC website.

GOC launches Welsh Language SchemeWelsh LS

The GOC has launched a Welsh Language Scheme to treat the English and Welsh languages equally when providing services to the public in Wales.

The GOC adjusted its draft Welsh Language Scheme following consultation. The major change made provision for some documents aimed primarily at registrants to be available in Welsh, where this is proportionate. The revised scheme was approved by Council on 18 November and is now GOC policy.

Acrobat Reader icon Welsh Language Scheme

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.