The General Optical Council (GOC) has welcomed the Professional Standards Authority’s (The Authority) 2015-16 performance review report. The GOC has met 22 of The Authority’s 24 Standards of Good Regulation. This is an improvement on the previous review when the GOC met 21 of the standards.
The Authority’s report notes a number of changes that the GOC has made to its registration processes to improve the accuracy of the register. These improvements enabled the GOC to pass The Authority’s third registration standard, which it had not done so in 2014-15.
Samantha Peters, chief executive and registrar, said: “We welcome The Authority’s report and their feedback on our work to protect the public. We are pleased that they have recognised the significant work we have done to improve the quality assurance of our register.”
The standards the GOC did not meet relate to information governance and the total time taken to process fitness to practise complaints. The review covered the period 1 April 2015 – 30 September 2016.
Samantha Peters added, “We have already made significant improvements in our information governance since the period under review, which the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has recognised. Where we had a small number of information breaches the ICO recognised the swift and appropriate action we took to minimise any risk and as a result they did not take any enforcement action against us. We have also made changes to improve the efficiency of the fitness to practise process. These changes are improving the way we handle new cases so we hope to see an improvement in our processing time once our older cases have filtered through the system. We fully understand the importance for both registrants and patients alike in improving the time we take to deal with cases and this remains an organisational priority. We look forward to continuing to work together with The Authority to protect patients and the public.”