Hearings and indicative sanctions guidance 2021

Closed 23 Sep 2021

Opened 30 Jun 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 understand their individual and collective responsibilities, leading to the making of fair and just decisions. It was developed by the Council for use by its FtPC when hearing cases and considering what sanction, if any, to impose following a finding of impairment.

We have made some updates to the guidance which can be summarised as follows:

  • revising the format to make the document more user-friendly;
  • updating the case law;
  • updating references to the European Union and the GOC’s Standards of Practice;
  • amending the section on warnings to make it clearer; and
  • adding a section on adverse inferences.

The updated guidance, together with a draft impact assessment, is available on the ‘related’ section at the end of the page.

Why your views matter

We are interested in stakeholders’ views on these amendments before we finalise the updated hearings and indicative sanctions guidance.

The public consultation will last for a period of 12 weeks.