GOC Stakeholder Update July 2010
General Optical Council Promoting good eye care, protecting the public
July 2010

What information should we display on our registers of opticians?

We’re currently consulting on how accessible fitness to practise information about opticians should be – and we want to hear your feedback.

The recently-launched consultation asks:

  • Should we make information about expired fitness to practise sanctions available directly on individual records on our online opticians’ registers?
  • Should we display the records of registrants who have been suspended or erased from the registers?
  • How should fitness to practise information be available on other areas of our website? 

GOC registrar and chief executive, Dian Taylor said: “The information we make available about opticians contributes to public safety by providing patients and the public with information about the registration of their optometrist or dispensing optician. However, it is crucial that our policies on how we make that information available are fair and proportionate – this input will help us to develop such a policy.”

You can read and respond to the consultation document, and complete our online survey about the GOC registers on the consultations section of our website.

GOC consultation


How we consult

Past consultations

Our responses to other consultations

FTP info


GOC not ruling out a Licence to Practise

The GOC will continue to explore the introduction of a Licence to Practise for opticians active in clinical practise as part of its revalidation scheme. Further proposals will now be prepared for September’s Council meeting.

Council took the decision to await further proposals after acknowledging that the arguments for and against a Licence to Practise are finely balanced following the recent consultation. Licence to practise

The consultation considered three options:

  • Option 1: Only those active in clinical practice are revalidated (identified by their having a Licence to Practise); 
  • Option 2: All registrants are revalidated; or 
  • Option 3: All registrants are revalidated but to different degrees

GOC director of standards, Jon Levett said: “The introduction of a Licence to Practise model could potentially be seen as adding further complexity to the regulatory regime. Conversely, it could offer greater options to build a revalidation scheme that is proportionate to the different degrees of risk for different registrants.

“Nothing has yet been decided and we are continuing to identify and research the key issues ahead of a decision in September.”

There will be further opportunities to be involved in the GOC’s consultation work on revalidation later in the year.

GOC promotes benefits of registration to patients

Having recently launched a logo that opticians can use to prove they are GOC-registered, this summer the GOC will promote to patients the importance of checking their optician is registered.

GOC standInformation for patients about the importance of GOC registration, what to expect when they see the GOC registered logo and how to check the free online registers will be launched at the Citizens Advice conference in September. The GOC will also distribute the information to advice bureaux, NHS PCTs, Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALs) and other patient support organisations.

Dian Taylor, GOC chief executive and registrar explains: “For patients, not knowing who is treating them, or what that person is qualified to do, can have a negative effect on the perception of, and respect for the professionals within a practice – where registered practitioners can be perceived as having the same level of expertise as an unqualified assistant. GOC registrants do a fantastic job, delivering eyecare to thousands of patients every year. We want the public to benefit from that reassurance also.”

If you’d like to receive copies of our information for patients once published, please contact Clare March on cmarch@optical.org or 020 7307 3473.

IC guidanceInvestigation Committee guidance consultation

In April we published new guidance for our Investigation Committee. This guidance is a document to assist the Investigation Committee when it considers what action to take, if any, when considering Fitness to Practise complaints against opticians.

We consulted on revised guidance last year – many thanks to all stakeholders who responded to the consultation. You can read the new guidance on our website.

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 sgrier@optical.org with ‘unsubscribe’ in the subject line.