CET and skills guides

Study and gain CET points through OT’s online CET exams, and access archived CET, CPD articles and skills guides in our education library

Find out more

Science and vision

News and features about the latest scientific developments and advances in optometry, ophthalmology and eye medicine

Find out more

Professional support

News and features about the latest developments relating to professional support from across optics. This includes updates from optical organisations such as the AOP and the GOC

Find out more


Explore the latest UK and global jobs in the optical sector for optometrists, dispensing opticians and more

Find out more

GOC backs regulatory reforms

The Government’s proposed reforms could lead to the delivery of a higher quality of care, the GOC told OT 

Vicky McDermott

The General Optical Council (GOC) has welcomed the Department of Health’s decision to carry out a consultation on healthcare regulator reform.

The Department of Health said that any reforms will streamline the current system to improve patient protection.

Chief executive of the GOC, Vicky McDermott, explained to OT that reform could help the regulator operate more efficiently and effectively.

“Some of the key benefits we would be seeking, include changes to our fitness to practise powers to help us speed the process up,” she said.

This would include full consensual disposal powers, changes to its governance structure, and an increased ability to set out more of its own rules, particularly around continuing education and training.

Ms McDermott also told OT that the GOC is encouraged by the emphasis placed in the consultation document on regulators providing greater support to its registrants in delivering high quality care.

“Any changes which are considered should examine the impact on public and patient protection and not just cost and efficiency,” she said.

The Department of Health’s proposals could lead to the reduction in the number of regulatory bodies, from nine to as few as three or four.

The GOC said that a new regulatory structure should be based on evidence of the benefits to public safety and recognise the rate at which change and innovation occurs in the optical sector.

“The consultation makes clear that the Government is interested in a range of different ways in which efficiencies might be generated, for example the sharing of back-office functions,” Ms McDermott shared.

McDermott added that the GOC will be responding to the consultation ahead of the 23 January deadline and is encouraging others in the sector to do so as well.