Issue 6, October 2010
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New information on our public registers of opticians

FTP info thumbOur public registers will now feature more information about registrants’ fitness to practise.

The changes to the information publicly available come after consultation with patients, the public and the profession. We conducted a public survey about our registers, which is still live, and held four UK-wide consultation events as well as inviting written responses to a traditional consultation document.

Read more about the changes to our registers on our website


New Stakeholder Reference Groups launch

SRGs thumbOn 22 September we launched our new Stakeholder Reference Groups (SRGs) to provide stakeholder input into projects and policies.

One group is composed of optical professionals, the other of patients and the public. They will provide professional and public perspectives into a variety of areas of our work.

At their induction day group members met one another for the first time. They also met Council members and learned about the GOC. In the afternoon, they discussed possible changes to our Fitness to Practise rules and an aspect of the revalidation proposals we are currently developing.

SRG members have their own website which acts as the focus for engagement activities and where they will take part in online responses.

Read perspectives on the day from two members of the groups

Council agrees CET changes

We have now agreed the principles behind changes to our Continuing Education and Training (CET) scheme which will form the basis of revalidation for opticians.

Revalidation thumbFrom January 2013, optometrists and contact lens opticians will have to complete one peer review activity per CET cycle. All registrants will have to gain at least six CET points each year and complete CET in all relevant competency areas.

The proposals have been informed by independent research as well as a multi-stage consultation process. We have held public meetings in all four countries of the UK and worked closely with the optical professional bodies and our fellow healthcare regulators, as well as inviting written responses to proposals.

Council agreed the principles and requirements for developing CET at its meeting on 23 September. Over the next few months we will develop these proposals in more detail and give stakeholders further opportunity to help shape them.

The full list of proposals is available on our website 

GOC visits Citizens Advice conferences

During September, we met hundreds of staff and volunteers from Citizens Advice bureaux across the country, at the conferences of Citizens Advice (for England and Wales) and Citizens Advice Scotland.

CAB-thumbWe were there to let bureau staff know how we can help people who have concerns about an optician. We outlined the standards that opticians must meet, the importance of checking that your optician is registered and the sorts of complaints that we can and can’t deal with.

We launched a new booklet, explaining the standards that patients should be able to expect from their optician. This is available to download from our website or you can order paper copies from Simon Grier.

Simon Grier, GOC Communications Officer, said, “We see Citizens Advice staff as a key audience. We were able to explain where the GOC is able to help patients and where complaints may be better dealt with by the OCCS , at a local level or by a different body. Our stand was constantly busy and we hope that raising awareness with Citizens Advice will help them to help us protect the public.”

GOC consultation


How we consult

Past consultations

Our responses to other consultations


Other news

We have appointed Satjit Singh as our new chief executive and registrar

We removed 386 students from our registers for failing to renew their registration

It is now unlikely that our Fitness to Practise adjudication will be transferred to the Office of the Health Professions Adjudicator, subject to the outcome of a Government consultation.



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