The General Optical Council has approved new Fitness to Practise (FTP) Acceptance Criteria.
The criteria will define the circumstances where the GOC will accept a complaint as an allegation of a registrant’s impaired fitness to practise. Those that do not meet the criteria would be closed, and may be directed to another organisation, without referral to GOC Case Examiners.
The criteria will be beneficial to both the public and registrants, allowing for more efficiency and speed in handling cases that raise fitness to practise concerns, and allowing registrants to avoid the stress of being involved in an FTP case when it is not necessary.
From December 2017 to March 2018, the GOC consulted on the draft acceptance criteria which received support from the majority of stakeholders that responded. The consultation included two guidance documents, one for staff and one for the public. In response to comments from stakeholders the GOC has combined the two into one document, providing much clearer guidance which will improve transparency and avoid confusion.
The acceptance criteria is expected to be finalised by the end of July, with the criteria being formally introduced in September 2018.