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 

Closed Consultations

  • 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 Optometrists: 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

  • 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

  • ESR Open Canvas for Optometrists: Task 1

    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 5 November 2019

  • ESR Open Canvas for Ophthalmic Dispensing: Task 1

    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 5 November 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 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.

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 stakeholders to provide feedback on a case management process, being introduced to facilitate the effective running of GOC hearings.  The process is designed to encourage both parties to prepare their cases efficiently, to co-operate with each other in order to keep delays to a minimum, and to and make the best use of hearing time.

You Said

The general feedback was that the case management process was a positive proposal to assist with the timely management of cases.  There were some elements that could be tweaked in order to achieve the best outcomes and take into account the practicalities of case preparation and presentation in relation to both parties.

The general feedback suggested:

  • The process should commence at an earlier stage, to ensure both parties are equally being held to account.
  • A review of the timing of the first call should be undertaken as meaningful discussions are unlikely to occur two months after GOC disclosure in the majority of cases.
  • Additional support and guidance should be provided to unrepresented registrants.
  • Clarify why costs have been referred to in the plan.

We Did

We reviewed the feedback from the plan and associated documents, and decided whether to accept, reject or incorporate the feedback in an adapted form.

The following amendments have been agreed:

  • We propose to launch the case management meeting process as a pilot in February 2020.  This will enable us to seek and review feedback from all parties at six, nine and twelve month intervals before implementing a finalised policy in February 2021.
  • We have commenced the process, at the point of referral by case examiners, taking into consideration the GOC’s own disclosure obligations.  This will ensure both parties are now equally being held to account.
  • We have reviewed the timing of the first call.  This call will now take place at three months from the date of disclosure by the GOC to the Registrant, when it is hoped parties will still be able to hold some meaningful discussions.
  • We have reviewed the guidance and support that will be provided to unrepresented registrants throughout this process, offering additional telephone conferences and guidance information, to assist understanding of the processes.
  • We hope it is now clearer that costs have been included in the plan as a reminder that under Rule 52 and 53 both parties have the option to  apply to the FTPC  for a costs order.  

We continue to invite you to relay your thoughts and experiences with the case management process throughout the pilot as we continue to develop the plan.