It is not uncommon for registrants to spend some time off our register, perhaps going on parental leave or simply taking a career break.
Step one: CET
Firstly, they will need to confirm that they have completed a minimum number and type of CET points within the 12 months preceding their application to restore so that we can be sure that they have kept their skills and knowledge up to date.
To collect points, practitioners will need to set up a restoration account. This will generate a unique U-reference for them to give to CET providers in order for their points to be uploaded to their account.
Once restored to the register, practitioners will need to update their GOC number with CET providers to ensure they continue to receive points.
Practitioners should be aware that there are also additional CET requirements if they wish to restore to either the contact lens optician or therapeutic prescriber registers. Therefore, it is a good idea to check these too. All CET requirements needed for restoration are on our website.
Some practitioners may also have additional requirements to complete before they can be restored to the register. This can depend on several things, including the date they left our register, the reason they left the register and whether they were up to date with their CET at time of leaving. Those who have previously been removed from the register and had not met the requirements, for example, will also be required to make up this shortfall.
Step two: Registration form
Once practitioners going through restoration have completed their CET, they can apply to be restored. To do so, they will need to complete an electronic application form, in which we ask them to make declarations on a number of issues, such as their health and fitness to practise.
We will want to know information about their reason for removal from the register and why they are now looking to restore. If this is because of a simple reason, such as parental leave or time living abroad, then it should be straightforward.
If they have been off the register for more than 12 months, they will need you to provide us with an employment reference for the period that they were off the register for – even if it wasn’t related to optics. If the applicant has not been working, they will need to confirm this.
"To collect points, practitioners will need to set up a restoration account…This will generate a unique U-reference for them to give to CET providers in order for their points to be uploaded to their account"
Step three: Identification
Once practitioners have submitted their restoration form they will need to find an appropriate person to verify their identity. Information on identification verification is available on our website.
We will process applications within 15 working days of receipt after receiving completed application forms and the required restoration fee. The current restoration fee is £70 for fully qualified registrants and £30 for students.
Fully-qualified restorers will also need to pay the annual registration fee or pro-rata part thereof, depending when during the course of the registration year they apply. If an application is successful, the practitioner will receive an email confirming their restoration with us, including their new GOC number.
Practitioners are reminded that they will need to follow the restoration process that is in place at the time that they wish to restore to the register, not the process that was in place when they left the register.
For all those who are thinking about restoring to our registers, we would always recommend that they get in contact with our registration team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7580 3898 (option 1) to check their individual requirements before they begin the process.
Three steps to success
- Contact the GOC’s registration team to confirm individual requirements
- Set up a MyGOC account and collect CET points
- Complete the online restoration form and submit it with the required fee and await outcome.
Read the AOP's advice on returning to work here.