Issue 9, December 2011
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GOC launches improved registers search

New registers - emailIt is now easier for the public to check their optometrist or dispensing optician is registered following the launch of the improved registers search facility on our website.


You can now search for a local practitioner with a registered specialty - for example a contact lens optician, or an optometrist able to independently prescribe drugs for eye conditions. New technology also means you can find your optician even if you are unable to spell their name correctly - using the 'sounds like' function.


Read more about the changes here or check your practitioner's registration


New fitness to practise guidance for employers

FTP guidance - emailWe have now launched guidance for optical employers, to explain what they should do if they have concerns about an optometrist or dispensing optician ’s fitness to practise.


The guidance outlines what is expected of those employing registered optometrists, dispensing opticians and students.


Read more and download the guidance

Annual report reviews progress towards enhanced CET scheme

Annual Report - emailWe have now published our 2010-11 Annual Report. It is available online from

The report reviews our work and achievements over a year of modernisation from April 2010 to March 2011, including our development of an enhanced Continuing Education and Training (CET) system to take effect from January 2013.


Read more about enhanced CET and the Annual Report

Stakeholder community contribute ideas at feedback event

SRGs - emailLast month our two Stakeholder Groups met to offer input into three areas of our work.

The groups discussed our communication with complainants, student regulation and business regulation.

Read more about the day

News in brief

New director of regulation

Mandie Lavin has been appointed as our interim director of regulation. Mandie, a qualified barrister, has significant experience of working in regulation. She is a former director of the Bar Standards Board and was director of fitness to practise and legal affairs at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

Read our directors' full biographies here


Citizens Advice

In September, we exhibited for the third year in a row at Citizens Advice Conference in York. We met hundreds of staff and volunteers from bureaux, and explained to them about the role of the GOC and the types of complaints we can help with.

Carrots Nightwalk

Team GOC raised a total of £1,952.50 for research into sight-threatening conditions on Fight for Sight’s 15 mile Carrots Nightwalk. Eight GOC staff and Council member James Russell completed the walk - a big thank you to everyone who sponsored the team.


Registration fee cut

For the second year in a row, we have cut our registration fee. The fee for both optometrists and dispensing opticians has been cut by £10 to £260. GOC chief executive and registrar, Samantha Peters said: “The reduction in fees for next year is a sign of our ongoing commitment to increasing our efficiency as a regulator, whilst ensuring public protection.”


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