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

  • Disclosing confidential information about patients (including where patients may not be fit to drive): draft guidance for GOC registrants

    Some registrants and members of the public have requested more clarity about when to disclose confidential information in the public interest. We have therefore developed draft guidance on disclosing confidential information which covers the following: General principles of disclosing... More

    Closed 13 June 2019

  • Education Strategic Review

    This consultation forms part of our Education Strategic Review (ESR) and follows on from our analysis of key findings from the Concepts and Principles Consultation published earlier this year. As the regulator for optometrists and dispensing opticians, o ur role is to... More

    Closed 25 February 2019

  • Fit for the Future: Lifelong Learning Review

    This consultation seeks stakeholder views on our Continuing Education and Training (CET) scheme. Our aim in consulting is to gain your views on how our CET scheme can successfully evolve to help meet the challenges of the future. As the regulator for optometrists and... More

    Closed 11 September 2018

  • Standards for Optical Businesses

    The General Optical Council needs to update its current standards for optical businesses to make sure they are consistent with the Standards of Practice that apply to optometrists and dispensing opticians and ensure that they are up to date. We have produced draft standards for consultation... More

    Closed 30 August 2018

We Asked, You Said, We Did

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

We Asked

Thank you for responding to our consultation Fit for the Future: Lifelong learning Review. We asked stakeholders for their views on proposed changes to our CET scheme. Our current CET scheme was introduced in 2013, but the optical sector has changed since then and the work optometrists and dispensing opticians carry out has expanded and diversified. We want to make sure that our CET scheme continues to support our registrants’ learning and development needs, and continues to maintain the safety and quality of care patients receive.

You Said

We received 994 responses from a range of stakeholders and we welcome this feedback. In relation to one specific proposal, we took into account stakeholder views and concerns on our plan to implement a transition CET year in 2019 and a new scheme starting in 2020. The consultation highlighted concerns about this timeframe for change, and having carefully considered this we decided to revert to our usual three year CET cycle (starting in 2019), with the aim of introducing more significant change to the scheme in 2022. 

We Did

We will continue to use all the feedback we received to help inform our policy thinking in this area and help ensure that our CET scheme continues to evolve to meet the challenges of the future. Moving forwards, we will also continue to listen and engage with stakeholders to help develop our policies. 

We Asked

We asked you whether our draft business standards:

  • were clear and accessible to anyone working within an optical business and in any scope of practice
  • could be put into effect by businesses easily and have a positive impact

You Said

358 of you - a mix of optical businesses, individuals and stakeholder organisations - gave us your views on the draft standards and told us:

  • Overall, the standards were clear, but elements of the language used could be made more specific so that it was easier to see where responsibilities lay
  • More explicit reference to online businesses and use of technology would be beneficial, including how the standards might apply in an online context
  • Commercial pressures faced in practice could be addressed more comprehensively

We Did

We took every piece of feedback we received into account and where possible, made changes to the text of the standards (including making language more specific where it was appropriate to do so). For example, the standards now make reference to operational influences on commercial pressures; explicitly include online businesses within their scope as well as ensuring that standards relating to the business environment include the use of software and technology.

Where changes have not been made to the text, we have still taken the feedback on board and are addressing it in our implementation of the standards. We have a number of activities in the pipeline to make it easier for registrants to apply the standards to their practice context, including a microsite which will contain the standards and supporting material in an accessible way.