As of now, the General Optical Council’s (GOC) new Standards of Practice for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians, and separate new Standards for Optical Students are in effect.
Inspired Selections understands that these standards have now replaced the Code of Conduct for Individual Registrants, which previously applied to both fully qualified practitioners and students.
The document (which you can get from the GOC) outlines the 19 standards that optical professionals must meet, and they relate both to a registrant’s behaviour and professional performance.
Based on comments from Samantha Peters, GOC Chief Executive and Registrar who said: she was pleased to announce that the new standards would now be in effect. Samantha said “the standards are designed to support registrants and raise standards by making much clearer our expectations as the regulator”.
“Given that the optical sector is developing in line with the wider healthcare system, and the Standards are designed to be flexible enough to enable registrants’ roles to evolve in the interests of patients. It is important to note that the Standards are not a rule book, and give room for registrants to use their professional judgement in deciding how to apply the standards in any given situation”
If our information is correct then all registrants should have received a copy of the standards in the post, and they are also available to access on the GOC’s website, which can be found here.
As part of the retention process, all fully qualified registrants have to declare that they had read and would abide by the standards. Registrants will also have to complete at least one piece of Continuing Education and Training (CET) relating to the standards as part of the 2016-18 cycle.
The new standards have been developed through a comprehensive consultation exercise which included an online survey of all registrants and a series of focus groups with patients and the wider public, optometrists, dispensing opticians, students and fitness to practise decision-makers