Pre registration appeal against the GOC for refusing restoration to the GOC register

Pre-registration optometrist member Alex's story

What happened

Photo pending

Alex (not his real name) had received notification from the College of Optometrists (the College) that he had failed his OSCE and his Scheme for Registration would shortly end. He submitted a request to the College’s Appeals Panel for an extension because of the exceptional circumstances that arose during the time of his OSCE. An extension was granted, but the letter did not mention his General Optical Council (GOC) registration. 

Alex only realised that he was no longer on the register when he was showing a friend the GOC website. He immediately stopped testing patients and applied to the GOC for restoration, but this was refused on the basis that undertook restricted activities, including sight testing and contact lens fitting, whilst unregistered.

At this point, Alex got in touch with the AOP for advice.

How we helped

Alex needed to be in a position to re-take his OSCE before the Scheme for Registration extension elapsed, so we submitted an urgent appeal notice to the GOC on his behalf.

We collected all the relevant correspondence needed from the College and the GOC, and information from Alex on witnesses who would attend and give evidence at the Registration Appeal hearing. Alex also gathered a list of personal and professional referees for us to write to, and a member of the AOP legal team accompanied him to the hearing.

The outcome

At the hearing, Alex accepted he should have taken more steps to ensure he was GOC registered. However, the committee were satisfied a genuine error had occurred and no reasonable member of the public would have a real concern that he had acted in disregard or defiance of the GOC, and he was restored to the register.