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General Optical Council

General Optical Council


What is the General Optical Council (GOC)?


The General Optical Council (GOC) is an independent health and care regulator specialising in the registration and monitoring of optical services and professionals. The GOC registers dispensing opticians, student opticians, optical businesses and optometrists as part of their service.


The GOC are not only a regulator, they supply guidance on training and approve qualification in order to register optical professionals. Those registered maintain their membership by upholding the Codes of Practice that the GOC set, which is informed by the Opticians Act (1989), as amended in 2005 to include Continuing Education and Training (CET) guidance for all registrants.


What can the GOC do if there is an allegation of wrong-doing?


If anyone fails to meet these requirements or gives optical treatment whilst not registered, this will be penalised and will potentially be classed as a criminal offence. Those classed as criminal offences under the Opticians Act include:


  • Fitting contact lenses without registration;
  • Selling optical appliances which do not meet optical standards;
  • Testing sight without registration; and
  • Using a protected title without registration (these include: dispensing optician, ophthalmic optician, optician and optometrist).


If a complaint has been made in regards to a registrant’s fitness to practice, the GOC will investigate the claim, if necessary holding a hearing to decide on the penalty issued. In some cases the registrant will be issued an interim order which may suspend registration, temporarily remove the registration or their registration will be made compliance dependent for a period of time.


How can Duncan Lewis help me if the GOC brings proceedings against me?


Duncan Lewis Regulatory Fitness to Practice solicitors are experienced in professional regulatory law, as laid out by the General Optical Council. We can advise you at any stage of registration, whether you have been given a warning, or have had your fitness to practice challenged, or you wish to appeal an interim order or sanction given as a result of a disciplinary hearing. It is our aim to get you the best possible result.


If you require advice on any professional regulatory issue, or advocacy for an upcoming hearing, contact Duncan Lewis Regulatory Fitness to Practice solicitors on 0333 772 0409.


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