Standards for Optical Businesses

Closed 30 Aug 2018

Opened 14 Jun 2018

Published Responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


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 which you can access by clicking on the link below (opens in a popup window):

Draft Standards for Optical Businesses

You will need to look at these standards to be able to answer some of the questions in the survey.  You can also access a copy of these after you begin the survey.


The General Optical Council (GOC) is the regulator for the optical professions in the UK and we have a responsibility to set standards and make our expectations clear to those who we regulate.

We regulate the following groups:

  • optometrists
  • dispensing opticians
  • student optometrists and student dispensing opticians
  • optical businesses

When we say 'optical businesses' in this consultation, we mean the opticians where you have your eyes tested and can get glasses or contact lenses from. Your optician will also advise on eye health and you might see them for check-ups and minor treatment.

Depending on where you live, you might see your optician:

  • in their clinic on the high street
  • at your home
  • in a hospital
  • at a community clinic or doctors' surgery
  • on a video call or via an app on your phone

The GOC is responsible for setting standards for the groups we regulate, which set out our expectations of their performance and behaviour.  These standards ensure that patients receive good quality care.

Why We Are Consulting

This is a public consultation to hear the views of both individuals, including patients and the public, and organisations, on our draft Standards for Optical Businesses.

In particular, views are welcomed on:

  1. whether the standards clearly outline our expectations
  2. where things are missing or unclear
  3. what impact the standards might have
  4. whether they fit together with our Standards of Practice for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians, avoiding confusion and making it clear where responsibilities lie.

We are working with an independent company, Pye Tait Consulting, to undertake the consultation. As well as writing the final consultation report, which will set out the results of this survey, they will be holding focus groups and interviewing people to find out a bit more about views on the Standards. As part of the survey, we will ask you if you are happy to be contacted by Pye Tait Consulting to be involved in a focus group or interview. 

Privacy Statement

The information you provide to us, the GOC (as data controller), will be processed and used in line with our statutory purpose under the Opticians Act as a public task in order to set standards for optical education and training, performance and conduct. For more information regarding how we process your data please see the full privacy statement on our website.

Right to Erasure

Article 17 of the General Data Protection Regulations provides data subjects with the right to erasure; this is also known as the right to be forgotten. Right to erasure requests should be sent to the Data Protection Officer ( and will be responded to within one calendar month of receipt.

Data Controller

We are registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office, registration number Z5718812. We are committed to maintaining robust information governance policies and processes to ensure compliance with relevant legislation. Any information you supply will be stored and processed by us or on our behalf, by approved and verified third parties, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations and Data Protection Act 2018.

What Happens Next

We are really grateful for all your responses to the consultation on draft Standards for Optical Businesses. Our consultation partner, Pye Tait Consulting, have produced the following report analysing all the feedback received. As well as the survey hosted on this platform, we also undertook (in conjunction with Pye Tait) interviews and focus groups on the draft Standards with patients and the public; businesses; optometrists and dispensing opticians and optical students. 

Your browser does not support inline PDF viewing.Please download the PDF.