Optometrists, dispensing opticians and optical business are encouraged to renew their annual registration with the General Optical Council (GOC) ahead of the 15 March deadline to avoid an additional penalty.
Registrants can renew their registration online via the MyGOC account on the GOC website. Annual renewal costs £330, however, those who miss the 15 March deadline, but apply by 31 March, will incur a £20 penalty.
Registration with the regulator is a legal requirement for all optometrists and dispensing opticians practising in the UK. If registrants do not complete the renewal process by 31 March, they will be removed from the register and be unable to practise in the UK legally. They will also be removed from the NHS National Performers List, if applicable, the GOC warned.
Practitioners earning less than £12,000 per year are eligible for the GOC’s low-income registration fee of £230. Those who wish to renew under the reduced fee should complete the application on the GOC’s website, before completing their renewal application online.
Head of registration at the GOC, Michelle Norman, 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,” she added, emphasising that: “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 will no longer issue registration cards. The regulator explained that this is because the cards are “only valid on the day that they are issued and cannot be relied on as proof of current registration.”