GOC consultation on new draft Standards for Optical Businesses

The General Optical Council has discussed the feedback received from the GOC’s recent consultation on new draft Standards for Optical Businesses, which was presented to them by Pye Tait Consulting, the independent agency commissioned to undertake the research and analysis.

Overall, the draft Standards were positively received by respondents, with 79 per cent of respondents agreeing that the GOC’s expectations of optical businesses are clear, and 88 per cent agreeing the Standards are clear and easy to understand for registrants.

Most individual registrants, businesses and professional associations were broadly supportive, with a frequent comment being that they reflect ‘what businesses do anyway’.

The GOC is following up directly with some stakeholders to better understand and address issues they have raised covering areas such as wording and impacts.

The final version of the business standards and an accompanying implementation plan will be presented to Council in February 2019 for approval. The implementation plan will include a campaign to raise awareness within the optical sector, training for GOC staff and Fitness to Practise committees, publication of digital tools for registrants to help them in understanding and implementing the standards, and the potential commissioning of Standards-specific CET.

Provided that the new Standards for Optical Businesses are approved in February 2019, they will be published in April 2019 and will then come into effect in July 2019.

The consultation ran from 14 June 2018 until 30 August 2018 through the GOC’s new platform called the GOC Consultation Hub. There were 351 responses submitted through the consultation hub, and seven offline responses.