The General optical Council (GOC) yesterday (16 March) launched a consultation around its strategic standards review.
The regulator is calling for optical practitioners across England and Wales to provide their input to the new standards, which will replace the regulators current code of conduct.The GOC’s chief executive and registrar, Samantha Peters, said: “The new standards of practice bring together in one place, and in an easy-to-digest format, all the information registrants need to understand what we expect of them. They will also make it much easier for patients to understand the standards they should expect from their optician.
“Registrants will need to use their professional judgement to decide how to apply the standards in any given situation, and may want to refer to guidance produced by professional bodies and other organisations in doing so, but the GOC’s standards should always be their first port of call.
“I encourage all registrants to get involved in this consultation and provide feedback to us on the proposed new standards. It is very important that the new standards can be easily applied by optometrists and dispensing opticians in their day-to-day work.”
In parallel to the consultations, the GOC will be running an online survey as well as focus groups with registrants, students and patients. The regulator is also currently consulting around regulations for students.
Commenting on the announcement, director of policy and strategy for the College of optometrists, Josephine Mullin, said: “We welcome the chance to contribute to the GOC’s work in promoting high standards. We are particularly pleased to be able to provide additional support to help optometrists interpret the GOC’s standards and understand how to apply them in their daily practice. Our detailed guidance helps optometrists to deliver high quality eye care in the best interests of their patients.”