Find activities

  • Statement on verification of contact lens specifications and definition of aftercare

    Section 27 of the Opticians Act 1989 (‘the Act’) sets out the requirements for the sale and supply of prescription contact lenses. In order to be supplied with prescription contact lenses, a person must have an in-date contact lens specification which has been issued following a contact lens fitting. Where the sale is being made under the general direction (rather than supervision) of a registrant, and a copy [1] of the contact lens specification is... More
    Opened 29 August 2023
  • Consultation on managing applications for GOC registration from optical professionals who have qualified outside the UK or Switzerland

    Overview This consultation seeks your views on our proposed revised approach to managing applications for GOC registration from optical professionals who have qualified outside the UK or Switzerland, following the introduction of the GOC’s updated education and training requirements. These proposals are available to download at the bottom of this page under the 'related' section. The consultation will close on Wednesday 4 October at 11.59pm. Why we are... More
    Opened 12 July 2023
  • Customer Feedback Survey

    This survey has been created to help us improve the customer service we provide within our Regulatory Operations team. More
    Opened 23 January 2023
  • Updating gender on register

    We are committed to supporting registrants who wish to update their gender on our register and ensuring compliance with the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA) and the Equality Act 2010. We have drafted a policy setting out the process for applying to the GOC to update the registered gender. We will agree such applications unless there is a public protection reason for not doing so. As part of our statutory duty to maintain and publish a... More
    Opened 12 December 2022
  • FtP Focus bulletin

    In December 2020, we introduced FtP FOCUS , a learning bulletin for registrants on the fitness to practise process. We published a total of five bulletins, the most recent in December 2021. You may have answered some questions about the bulletin in our 2021 registrant survey. We would like to ask you some further questions to help us improve going forward. More
    Opened 1 June 2022
  • Call for evidence on the Opticians Act and consultation on associated GOC policies

    Please refer to the document at the bottom of this page in the 'related' section for the full call for evidence and consultation document and questions. To respond to the survey, scroll down the page and click on 'online survey'. You do not have to answer all the questions. What we’re doing This call for evidence seeks views, information and factual evidence on the need for change to the Opticians Act 1989 (‘the Act’) (the legislation that underpins the... More
    Opened 28 March 2022
  • Illegal practice strategy review

    We are consulting on a revised illegal practice protocol which is available in the ‘related’ section at the end of this page. The GOC’s overarching objective is the protection of the public. Although not a specific statutory duty, we may act on reports about alleged illegal optical practice when necessary to protect the public. Illegal optical practice (illegal practice) is conduct that amounts to a criminal offence under Part IV of the Opticians Act 1989... More
    Opened 27 October 2021
  • Education and training requirements for entry to the GOC register as a contact lens optician

    This consultation seeks your views on our proposals to update our requirements for specialist entry to the GOC register as a contact lens optician. These proposals are available to download at the bottom of this page under the 'related' section. The consultation has now been extended and will close on Monday 3 January at 11.59pm. What are we seeking your views on? Our proposed Outcomes for Approved Qualifications for Specialist Entry to the... More
    Opened 20 September 2021
  • Remote Hearings Experience

    We have been facilitating remote hearings at the GOC since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. In 20/21 we facilitated 93% of events remotely. We would like to hear about your thoughts and experiences with remote hearings. We are keen to identify what went well, what hasn’t worked so well, and any further support you may need as we are anticipating facilitating over 80% of events remotely in 21/22. More
    Opened 6 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 this page under the 'related' section. What are we seeking your views on? Our proposed Outcomes for Approved Qualifications for Specialist Entry to the GOC Register... More
    Opened 12 July 2021
  • 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. Our hearings and indicative sanctions guidance was most recently revised on 1 December 2018. The aim of this guidance is to assist members of the Fitness to Practise Committee (“FtPC”) to... More
    Opened 30 June 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 hearing) or applicants seeking initial registration or to restore to the register. We are committed to doing this in a way that is fair to registrants/individuals and in line with the requirements of... More
    Opened 30 June 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 hearings. We recognise that it is in the fair administration of justice and important to registrants and to other parties involved in our fitness to practise proceedings, to follow a... More
    Opened 30 June 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 hearing dates being vacated, and at the hearing stage, where valuable time is often spent dealing with preliminary matters which can ordinarily be resolved before the hearing. The primary... More
    Opened 14 May 2021
  • 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 register. Our CET Rules provide that “the Registrar may remove or refuse to retain (a) the name of a registrant or (b) particulars of a registered specialty, if the... More
    Opened 15 April 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 within the individual’s remit) or escalate them if they remain unresolved. There are similar expectations on business registrants under the Standards for Optical Businesses (Standard 1.1) and students... More
    Opened 17 December 2020
  • 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 Development cycle in January 2022. This consultation gives stakeholders an opportunity to review our draft amended CET Rules and to provide feedback before we progress with legislative... More
    Opened 17 December 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 like your 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... More
    Opened 15 October 2020
  • 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 registrant. It will also help ensure that we continue to make consistent and transparent decisions in relation to our fitness to practise processes. The acceptance criteria will only... More
    Opened 1 October 2020
  • 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; • Our proposed Outcomes for Registration, which describe the expected knowledge, skills and behaviours a dispensing optician or optometrist must have at the point they qualify and enter the... More
    Opened 27 July 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 – such as education providers, students, employers and professional bodies – although members of the public are welcome to respond. Background We are responsible for... More
    Opened 23 July 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 personal scope of practice. These proposals are based on feedback from our 2018 public consultation: Fit for the Future: A lifelong learning review , and further engagement... More
    Opened 28 May 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 describes what we plan to do over the next six years from April 2020. In developing our draft strategic plan, we have consulted and taken on board feedback from GOC staff, the GOC Council and... More
    Opened 17 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 on the basis that their views will be used to develop our work on the ESR. We will be publishing authors’ names and their responses. The Open Canvas is a forum for you to give us your views as our... More
    Opened 11 November 2019
  • 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 on the basis that their views will be used to develop our work on the ESR. We will be publishing authors’ names and their responses. The Open Canvas is a forum for you to give us your views as our... More
    Opened 11 November 2019
  • General Optical Council - Case Management Meetings

    This consultation seeks stakeholder views about introducing an pre hearing case management process. The case management process is intended to ensure cases are hearing ready, to reduce delays and make the best use of hearing time. The case management procedure is primarily intended to: Facilitate the effective running of GOC hearings Encourage both parties to prepare their cases and cooperate with each other in order to keep delays to... More
    Opened 7 October 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 on the basis that their views will be used to develop our work on the ESR. We will be publishing authors’ names and their responses. The Open Canvas is a forum for you to give us your views as our... More
    Opened 3 October 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 on the basis that their views will be used to develop our work on the ESR. We will be publishing authors’ names and their responses. The Open Canvas is a forum for you to give us your views as our... More
    Opened 3 October 2019
  • 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 confidential information, with or without consent What to do when a patient may not be fit to drive as a result of their vision Other disclosures in the public interest Disclosing... More
    Opened 21 March 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 protect the public. One of the key ways that we do this is by setting the standards of optical education and then approving and quality assuring education programmes and qualifications that lead to... More
    Opened 12 November 2018
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