Lifetime registration number

Closed 30 Sep 2020

Opened 19 Aug 2020


As the regulator we hold registers for optometrists, dispensing opticians, student optometrists and dispensing opticians, specialty practitioners and optical businesses. 

This consultation seeks stakeholder views on introducing lifetime registration numbers for the following registrant groups:

  • new registrants joining our register as students;
  • new registrants joining our qualified register as optometrists or dispensing opticians, having successfully applied via the non-UK registration process;
  • new registrants joining our register as corporate bodies;
  • registrants joining the qualified register having previously been student registrants;
  • individuals who restore to our register, e.g. after a career break or after being removed from the register for failure to meet our CET requirements; and
  • business registrants who restore to our register.

We are not proposing to change registration numbers for existing registrants as this would likely place a significant burden on both the GOC and key stakeholders.

The aim of this consultation is to help us understand any impacts that this policy may have on external stakeholders.

Why We Are Consulting

Work is underway to upgrade the current GOC website and MyGOC portal to improve the user experience and to enable our registrants to do more and more tasks online and on mobile. As a key part of this work we are proposing to introduce a lifetime registration number.

One of the main advantages for introducing lifetime registration numbers for the registrant groups listed above is to not have to change their GOC number throughout their professional career. It will help to deliver simpler and quicker digital services now and, in the future, there will be no requirement to ask for previous GOC numbers and help deliver a future ambition of a single sign in service to our registrants. It will help with monitoring and reporting from the GOC perspective and reduce the risk of inaccuracies due to allocation of numbers being a manual process.

We have also heard from stakeholders that the current system can have cost implications for their organisations, for example, if a registrant restores to the register (and gains a new number) they need to be issued with a new prescription pad with their new registration number.

We would like to hear your views on the proposals in the consultation to help us develop and finalise our policy changes. This is a short consultation and we encourage you to respond to all the questions, but you are free to respond to as many or as few as you choose.