Optometrists, dispensing opticians and optical businesses can renew their annual General Optical Council (GOC) registration now for the year beginning 1 April 2017. Registrants can apply online by logging in to their MyGOC account at www.optical.org.
The GOC wish to encourage prompt payment, so registrants should apply online by Wednesday 15 March 2017 in order to pay the renewal fee of £330. If registrants apply after this date but before the final deadline of Friday 31 March they will have to pay an additional £20.
Renewing registration is a legal requirement for anyone carrying out restricted functions such as testing sight, or using a protected title such as optician. If registrants do not complete the renewal process by Friday 31 March 2017 they will be removed from the register, be unable to practise in the UK and will also be removed from the NHS National Performers List, if applicable.
Michelle Norman, GOC head of registration, said: “Registration is a legal requirement for anyone practising in the UK. Those who fail to renew will be removed from our registers and will be unable to practise. I would therefore encourage registrants to apply for renewal as soon as possible. The process is quick and straight forward on our website, and by applying in good time registrants will have peace of mind that they are registered for the next year.”
Following a review the GOC has decided to no longer issue registration cards as they are only valid on the day that they are issued and cannot be relied on as proof of current registration. Registrants, their employers and members of the public can check an optician’s registration status on the GOC’s online register which has the most up to date information.
Michelle added: “We are sending renewal notices by email to ensure our renewal process is as cost-effective as possible. This is why registrants will receive notification of renewal by email this year instead of by post, and why they will receive confirmation of renewal by email as well. With these changes we expect to save at least £50,000 annually.”
Practitioners with a total gross income of less than £12,000 per year are eligible for the GOC’s low income fee of £230. If paying by direct debit they should apply for the reduced fee by 1 February 2017, otherwise the full fee will be taken and they will then have to apply for a refund. They can do this by completing the application form that is available on the GOC website before completing their renewal application online.