Welcome to the GOC Consultation Hub

Welcome to the General Optical Council Consultation Hub. We are the regulator for the optical professions in the UK. Our purpose is to protect the public by promoting high standards of education, performance and conduct amongst opticians. 

We run consultations because it is important to us that the people who are involved with and affected by our work have a say in how we operate. 

This site will help you find and participate in consultations that interest you. Recently updated consultations are displayed below. Alternatively, search for consultations by keyword, postcode, interest etc.

For more information about us please visit our website 

Open Consultations

  • Acceptance criteria policy for GOC business registrants

    This consultation seeks the views of stakeholders on the introduction of an acceptance criteria policy specifically for GOC business registrants. The purpose of the acceptance criteria is to provide greater clarity and guidance on when we can open an investigation against a business... More

    Closes 29 October 2020

  • COVID-19 statements

    This consultation seeks views on how the GOC can continue to support our registrants and the optical sector throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as different parts of the UK experience local and potentially national restrictions now and in the future. In particular, we would... More

    Closes 7 January 2021

Closed Consultations

  • Education and training requirements for GOC approved qualifications

    This consultation seeks your views on our proposals to update our requirements for GOC approved qualifications leading to registration as an optometrist or a dispensing optician. What are we seeking your views on? We are seeking your views on; • ... More

    Closed 19 October 2020

  • CPD (CET) review proposals

    This consultation seeks stakeholder views on our proposals to introduce changes to our Continuing Education and Training (CET) scheme to make it more flexible and less prescriptive, allowing registrants greater freedom to undertake learning and development which is relevant to their own... More

    Closed 20 August 2020

  • Temporary changes to our Optometry Handbook and Supervision policy

    We are consulting on proposed temporary changes to our Accreditation and Quality Assurance Handbook for Optometry and our Supervision policy, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a targeted consultation and we are particularly interested in the views of those affected... More

    Closed 6 August 2020

  • Draft Strategic Plan 2020-2027

    The General Optical Council is the regulator for the optical professions in the UK. Our purpose is to protect the public by promoting high standards of education, performance and conduct amongst opticians. This consultation seeks stakeholder views on our draft strategic plan, which ... More

    Closed 17 January 2020

  • ESR Open Canvas for Ophthalmic Dispensing: Task 2

    The ESR Open Canvas is a forum for interested stakeholders to respond and participate in the work of the GOC’s ESR Expert Advisory Groups. The thoughts generated in this space will feed into our work on the ESR. All individuals participating in the forum do so without anonymity and... More

    Closed 6 December 2019

We Asked, You Said, We Did

Here are some of the issues we have consulted on and their outcomes. See all outcomes

We Asked

We asked stakeholders for their views on our new draft strategic plan. 

You Said

Thank you for all your feedback. We have considered all the comments we recieved and this has helped us to finalise the plan. 

We Did

On 1 April 2020 our new strategic plan came into force.

Our ‘Fit for the future’ strategy for 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2025 describes what we plan to do over the next five years to achieve our vision of being recognised for delivering world-class regulation and excellent customer service.

2020 has proven to be an unprecedented time for the optical professions and we did not anticipate that our strategic plan would be published during such extraordinary circumstances.

COVID-19 has impacted the way we currently regulate and will no doubt impact the future of the optical professions and in turn, our strategic plan. Therefore, as we continue to monitor the situation, we will revisit this plan after one year.

The three main strategic objectives for the next five years are:

  • Delivering world-class regulatory practice
  • Transforming customer service
  • Building a culture of continuous improvement

We Asked

We asked the Open Canvas audience to provide feedback on the first task as conducted by the Expert Advisory Group (EAG). 

You Said

The general feedback was that Knowledge, Skills and Behaviour applied to all categories, the EAG also agreed with this.

Under the following categories and elements, the Open Canvas feedback suggested:

  • Communication category: Under Communication the elements ‘Attitude' and 'Demeanour’ should read as ‘Professional Conduct’. ‘Breaking Bad News’ and ‘Managing Patient Expectations’ should read as ‘Explaining and Advising’
  • Supporting Others to Develop category: Under this category it was felt by a respondent that the element ‘Teaching’ should read as ‘Teaching and Assessing’
  • ‘Lifelong Learning’ category could incorporate ‘Supporting Others to Develop’
  • Clinical Excellence category should be merged with Clinical Management category
  • A respondent disagreed with the element ‘Entrepreneurship' sitting under Clinical Excellence and felt the name of this element was unsuitable
  • Disagreement with the element ‘Multimodal’ which sits under the Communication category.

We Did

We presented the feedback from Open Canvas for Task 1 to the EAG they then decided whether to accept, reject or incorporate the feedback from Open Canvas into the next stage. The EAG feedback can be seen below:

  • Communication category - Under Communication the group decided that:
    • ‘Professional Conduct’ is a more suitable term than ‘Attitude and Demeanour’.
    • ‘Breaking bad news’ and ‘Managing patient expectations’ should fall under an element called ‘Advising the patient’.
  • Supporting Others to Develop category: Under this category the group decided that the element ‘Teaching’ should be ‘Teaching and Contribution to Assessing’
  • The EAG felt that the Lifelong Learning category should be kept as is and should not be merged with Supporting Others to Develop
  • The EAG felt that the ‘Clinical Excellence’ category and the ‘Clinical Management’ category should not be merged.
  • The element ‘Entrepreneurship’ (under Clinical Excellence) should read as ‘Innovation’ instead and the EAG decided against the use of ‘Multimodal’ as an element under the Communication category.  

We continue to invite you to relay to your stakeholders that the ESR Open Canvas is a platform open to the thoughts of all interested parties as we continue to develop the ESR.

We Asked

We asked the Open Canvas audience to provide feedback on Task 1 as conducted by the Expert Advisory Group (EAG).

You Said

The general feedback was that Knowledge, Skills and Behaviour applied to all categories, the EAG also agreed with this.

Under the following categories and elements, the Open Canvas feedback suggested:

  • Communication category: Under this category there should be an additional element called ‘Personal Appraisal’
  • Multi-disciplinary teamworking category: There should be an element added in this category called ‘Awareness of professional boundaries’
  • Clinical Excellence category: In this category the element ‘Research’ should read as ‘Conduct and critically evaluate research’, the element ‘Learning from near misses’ should be changed as it is difficult to define what a near miss is.

We Did

We presented the feedback from Task 1 to the EAG, they then decided whether to accept, reject or incorporate the feedback from Open Canvas into the next stage. The group agreed the following:

  • Communication category: The term ‘Personal appraisal’ is associated with business and strays into employment the EAG felt this was ambiguous in meaning. Furthermore the EAG decided that ‘Personal Appraisal’ can be reflected under the element ‘self-reflection’
  • Multi-disciplinary teamworking category: The EAG felt the addition of ‘Awareness of professional boundaries’ as an element is not needed at this stage and will come under referral and signposting and can be reflected in the Ethics and Standards category.
  • Clinical Excellence category: The EAG felt that ‘Conduct and critically evaluate’ was going into a more granular level and will be explored later. The EAG agreed that the term ‘near-misses’ was not seen as appropriate and instead felt that NHS Governance terminology such as ‘Impact prevented’ was more suitable.

We continue to invite you to relay to your stakeholders that the ESR Open Canvas is a platform open to the thoughts of all interested parties as we continue to develop the ESR.