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

  • Hearings and indicative sanctions guidance 2021

    As the UK regulator for optometrists and dispensing opticians, we are committed to protecting the public, maintaining standards, and responding to concerns about the fitness to practise of our registrants. In doing so, there are circumstances in which we need to hold hearings. ... More

    Closes 22 September 2021

  • Service of statutory notices by email policy

    There are circumstances in which our legislation requires us to issue statutory notices or notifications (‘notices’) to our registrants (for example, removal of a registrant from the register, refusal to retain or restore a registrant on/to the register, or notice of an interim order... More

    Closes 22 September 2021

  • Remote hearings protocol 2021

    As the UK regulator for optometrists and dispensing opticians, we are committed to protecting the public, maintaining standards and responding to concerns about the fitness to practise of registrants. As part of our fitness to practise process, there are circumstances in which we hold... More

    Closes 22 September 2021

  • Education and training requirements for specialist entry to the GOC register (additional supply, supplementary prescribing and independent prescribing)

    This consultation seeks your views on our proposals to update our requirements for specialist entry to the GOC register in the additional supply (AS), supplementary prescribing (SP) and/or independent prescribing (IP) categories. These proposals are available to download at the bottom of... More

    Closes 4 October 2021

Closed Consultations

  • CET exceptions policy

    Continuing Education and Training (CET) is a statutory requirement for all fully-qualified optometrists and dispensing opticians. All fully-qualified registrants must earn a minimum number of CET points and meet a minimum set of requirements by the end of each cycle to stay on the... More

    Closed 8 July 2021

  • Case Management Meetings - Post-Pilot Review

    This survey seeks stakeholder views in relation to the case management meeting process, following the conclusion of the pilot which ended on 30 April 2021. The process was designed to minimise delays that can arise during the pre-hearing preparation period, which has led to... More

    Closed 18 June 2021

  • Draft guidance for registrants: Speaking Up

    Within the GOC’s Standards of Practice for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians there is a requirement at Standard 11 to protect and safeguard patients, colleagues and others from harm. This includes expectations to raise concerns about patient/public safety, act on them (if... More

    Closed 10 March 2021

  • CET Rules consultation

    This consultation seeks stakeholder views on changes we intend to make to our Continuing Education and Training (CET) Rules 2005 (amended in 2012). We are amending our CET Rules in order to underpin the changes that we will introduce at the start of the new three year Continuing Professional... More

    Closed 28 January 2021

  • 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

    Closed 7 January 2021

We Asked, You Said, We Did

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

We asked

Our COVID-19 statements consultation sought views on how we could continue to support our registrants and the optical sector throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as different parts of the UK experienced local and potentially national restrictions now and in the future.

In particular, we asked for views on:

  • a proposed framework for when our existing COVID-19 statements should apply going forwards, linked to The College of Optometrists’ red/amber/green classification system;
  • the content and impact of our existing COVID-19 statements; and
  • whether there were further areas of GOC regulations, legislation or guidance that needed to change or be put in place to ensure more effective regulation in the future, either during a pandemic or as a result of the pandemic.

You said

Our consultation closed in January 2021 and we received 72 responses.

We commissioned Enventure Research to analyse the responses and the report is available to view on our website

We did

We published our response to the consultation on our website on 28 May 2021.

We decided to align all of our statements to The College of Optometrists’ red/amber/green classification system.

We reviewed all of our statements on the basis of feedback from the consultation and updated each of them, clearly indicating the phase of the pandemic in which they apply.

Our response and the updated COVID-19 statements are available on our COVID-19 latest information webpage.

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.